Sri Lanka’s only national island sanctuary --Pigeon Island-- in Nilaweli was declared open to the public yesterday, by the Wild Life Conservation Department.
The picturesque 41.4-hectare island that can be seen from the Nilaweli beach was declared a national sanctuary in 2003 through a Special Gazzette Notification.
But the opening was delayed as the land areas near the scenic island were battle zones during the conflict.
Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, this little island is a haven for corals of various colours and a variety of species of fish.
Officer in charge of the sanctuary P.D. Lalith Vijithananda said, “Following requests from local and foreign tourists visiting the Nilaweli beach, the Wild Life Department decided to open the sanctuary to the public,”
He said tickets would be available at a special counter set up for tourists at the Nilaweli beach.