We went inside the small place, there were around four water tanks which housed few turtles, its owner Nimal guided us through various types of turtles that are there and how hes managing the whole project with donations from visitors. Running a Turtle Hatchery is no easy task, according to him he spends around Rs 30,000 monthly just to buy fish for the turtles that are being kept. He buys turtle eggs from locals who often sell the eggs as a local delicacy.
"Sam the beautiful Green Turtle"
"The eggs need to be brought back immediately after they are dug up otherwise it would be useless and would not hatch". He explained in sinhala showing us a bag full of eggs that he has bought in the morning which he cannot use as they have been kept much longer than they are supposed to.
What was more moving was his story around the Turtle Hatchery. Before 26th December 2004 he was an AC Technician working in Colombo and the fateful day turned his life upside down. The tsunami took away his mother,two sisters, wife and three small children. He returned from Colombo to find out that everything he had including his family, house and the hatchery (which was run by his sister) had washed away to the sea.
Many foreigners and several organizations helped him in rebuilding the hatchery and there are few turtles named after several foreigners who have made contributions. He explains that his knowledge in these turtles are not profound as his sister who was even fluent in two more languages, but showing care and compassion to these animals have helped him much in recovering.
Even now hes having difficulty in maintaining the hatchery as he is not receiving many visitors to the place. If you happen to drive pass Paraliya try to stop by this small hatchery and make a contribution, he also welcomes any efforts in helping him out in cleaning the place out. If you are a student organisation or a group willing to contribute some time and effort in conservation projects you could help Nimal out with his work.
"Lets save more of these cute fellas.."
You can find more information aobut the Paraliya Turtle Farm from here
or contact him from this number
94 777 292738