Environmental Projects in Sri Lanka
Wildlife Conservation and Rehabilitation
Sri Lanka has diverse habitats and a great variety of indigenous wildlife and plant life. To help maintain breeding populations of some of the more vulnerable animal species endemic to the island, conservation projects have been started. Tikalanka encourages travellers to visit some of these projects to support their conservation work.
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. Tikalanka is an active supporter of Born Free and its animal welfare campaigns, and we encourage all travellers to be aware of potential animal exploitation while on their holidays.
Turtle Conservation Project
Rekawa, on Sri Lanka’s south coast, is one of the places where turtles come to lay eggs and, since 1993, has been protected by the Turtle Conservation Project (TCP).
TCP is a non-government organisation and it is quite distinct from the turtle hatcheries established on the southwest coast in accordance with the legislation passed in 1972 protecting the various turtle species. Instead of collecting the eggs when they are about to hatch, and looking after the baby turtles for a few days, the TCP protects the actual nesting sites without any intervention apart from discouraging predators. Of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, five nest at Rekawa, with over 97% being green turtles.
TCP has been recognised for its work by receiving a 'Highly Commended' award in the 'Best for Conservation of Endangered Species or Protected Area' category at the 2008 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards.
Elephant Transit Home
The Elephant Transit Home (ETH) in Uda Walawe National Park is an excellent way of seeing baby wild elephants at close quarters in their natural environment (supported by the Born Free Foundation - see below).
This conservation project takes in baby wild elephants that have been separated from their mothers and cares for them until they can be returned to the wild. The young animals spend their days roaming freely in a section of the park, being observed at a distance by a few members of the ETH staff. They are fed at three-hour intervals in a specially constructed feeding yard, and this is the only time that they can be seen by tourists, who watch from a viewing platform separated from the yard itself. At no point can the tourists have physical contact with the animals. The sight of feeding time is very popular with local and foreign tourists alike as the elephants are enthusiastic, relaxed and full of character, unlike the elephants at Pinnewala Elephant ‘Orphanage’ (see below).
Tikalanka does not promote or visit Pinnewala Elephant ‘Orphanage’ following adverse reports from Travellers’ Animal Alert, the global animal welfare campaign of the Born Free Foundation we support, and some of our own customers. Please contact us for more details.
Born Free Foundation
The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. Born Free's Travellers’ Animal Alert campaign works around the world to generate a greater public awareness of animal suffering and exploitation, encouraging the public to report animal 'attractions' they encounter both in the UK and abroad, and to promote the philosophies of the Born Free Foundation.
Throughout the world there are hundreds of thousands of wild animals exhibited in zoological collections, performing in circuses, dolphinaria and magic shows, or used as photographic props. While some establishments do appear to provide the animals with adequate conditions, many do not and these continue to thrive due to the support of the tourism industry.
Travellers’ Animal Alert is about being a compassionate traveller, alerting Born Free of captive animal suffering around the world. Incorporating complaints received from concerned members of the public returning from holidays in both the UK and abroad, Born Free hopes to tackle the growing problems associated with captive wild animal welfare.
Tikalanka is an active supporter of Travellers’ Animal Alert and we encourage all travellers to be aware of potential animal exploitation while on their holidays. In order to help Travellers’ Animal Alert, Tikalanka will promote the following guidelines as a provider of responsible tourism:
- Promote Travellers’ Animal Alert in our customer travel documents and on our website
- Pledge not to promote any exploitative animal 'attraction' through our company literature or website
- Encourage all our holiday service providers not to promote any activity that involves animal exploitation
- Encourage our staff and customers to look out for captive animal exploitation and report any suffering to Travellers’ Animal Alert
- Actively encourage compassionate and responsible tourism.
To find out more, visit http://www.bornfree.org.uk/