Sea turtles live for over a 100 years. Yet, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) seven species of marine turtle are included on its list as vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species.
With many people continuing to consume turtle flesh and eggs, the species is being driven into extinction. The turtle is most at danger at the time it makes its way to sandy beaches to lay its eggs. It is here turtles are killed by man for its flesh and eggs.
Last Thursday a man in Pesalai was arrested by navy personnel attached to the North Central Navy Command with 3.185 kg of turtle flesh in his possession.
Sea turtles also regularly get entangled in fishing nets or get hooked to fishermen’s hooks. They suffer a slow and painful deaths.
Recently a sea turtle with a badly damaged shell was rescued by the wildlife officers of Hambantota. It took the skills of a veterinary surgeon at the Hambabtota Wild Life office to save the creature and return it to the wild.
In another incident an injured Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) which was critically injured was rescued by the officials of the Kalpitiya Wildlife range last week, a wildlife Ranger said.