Sri Lanka is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean that is blessed with great bio diversity and breathtaking landscapes. This tear shaped island dwarfed by its massive neighboring counterpart India, is a rich in a multitude of natural resources and is home to some of the friendliest locals in the whole of Asia. Although Sri Lanka is a small country, compared to others in the region, the difference in climatic conditions within the island are quite remarkable and is the reason why such a variety of animals survive in these paradise like conditions. Some fish, insect and even bird species that inhabit the jungles of Sri Lanka are indigenous species of which a handful are listed as endangered animals because they are nearing extinction due to habitat loss which is a direct result of the increasing human population.
Sea turtles are truly an amazing breed of creatures. With a lifespan of almost 80 years, these gentle beasts inhabit all the oceans of the world except the Arctic. Anyone who has stumbled upon an animal show while going through TV channels has seen the graceful beauty of a sea turtle gliding underwater effortlessly in search of a meal or to reach the shore. Even this harmless animal has suffered under the cruelty and utter selfishness of man. For many years fishermen along the western coastal belt of Sri Lanka had been used to feeding their families with sea turtle eggs which are easy find for those who live by the sea because the female sea turtle can only cover her batch of eggs under a few feet of sand because the eggs need to be incubated at a specific temperature.
Female sea turtles come to the shore during the safety of the night to lay their eggs because they are vulnerable to predators during labor. These shallow nesting locations are easy to detect when fishermen rise early morning and find adult sea turtle tracks to and from the beach. The lucky hatchlings that avoid the hands of humans are challenged with a daunting task within minutes of birth. Once they make their way through the sand they are defenseless and have a long stretch of land to cover before they reach the safety of the sea. This long wobbling struggle to reach the water is the very moment their life depends on. Seagulls and other birds of prey make the most of this all you can eat buffet as hundreds of baby sea turtles make a run for their lives.
In recent years steps have been taken within Sri Lanka and even on a global level to ensure the survival of this amazing animal. The Sea Turtle Project plays an essential part in ensuring the continuity of this species as an irreplaceable component of the natural world. Human involvement as a predator in the life cycle of sea turtles has practically vanished as hunting for sea turtles and collecting sea turtle eggs for financial purposes has been banned by the Sri Lankan government. When you’re in Sri Lanka you can also be a part of this initiative and help save the sea turtle for generations to come.
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