Have you ever seen an albino turtle? A rare albino turtle swims in a tank at the Sea Turtle Reserve Centre in Kosgoda, Sri Lanka. The centre collects turtle eggs from the beaches for hatching before poachers remove them as they are considered a delicacy. Once hatched the small turtles are let free in the sea. Albinos often struggle to survive in the wild, as their lack of pigment makes them an easy target for predators.
Sea Turtles Project: The sea turtles project is one of the turtle hatcheries located along the southern coast, this hatchery is located 3 Km south of the Bentota bridge. These turtle hatcheries were constructed to rescue and protect turtle eggs because of the rapidly declining numbers of marine turtle in Sri Lankan shores.
Marine turtle eggs are purchased from the fisherman and re-buried along the beach and left there for 48 days allowing the eggs ample time to hatch. Thereafter the baby turtles are collected from the beach and kept in tanks for 2-3 days, and released into the ocean to fend off for themselves. The few female turtles that survive will return to their natal shores after ten years to lay their own eggs.
Visitors to the hatchery could release baby turtles into the ocean at night; they could also take a glimpse at the two very rare albino turtles that are kept at the sea turtle project for research. This one of a kind sea turtle conservation project is a site that should not be missed when one visits Bentota.
Here he is! He was captured in a fisherman's net and if he had not been an albino would have been eaten. But he was brought to the folks at Kosgoda. He lives in his own holding pond. He has been there for many years. When the tsunami hit, the director ran out to the pond, grabbed him, and ran to safety. There are two of them at Kosgoda.
How long do albino turtles live? Albino Red Eared Slider Turtles can live as long as 40 years. Most typically live between 20 to 30 years. Are albino turtles rare? Researchers estimate one in every 100,000 turtle hatchlings is albino.
The lack of colour is caused by a melanin deficiency. What do albino turtles eat? Albino red-eared sliders are Omnivorous which means they can eat anything from plants, algae, and animals like small fish and mollusks. They are also referred to as opportunistic eaters. This means they will eat whatever they manage to get their hands on.