Zoos & Aquariums in Sri Lanka

Zoos & Aquariums in Sri Lanka play a significant role in wildlife conservation, education, and providing opportunities for people to connect with and learn about various animal species. These zoos and wildlife centers in Sri Lanka offer unique opportunities to observe and learn about various animal species, contribute to conservation efforts, and raise awareness about wildlife conservation and the importance of protecting these magnificent creatures and their habitats. Here is a small description of zoos in Sri Lanka:

National Zoological Garden – Dehiwala

Zoos & Aquariums in Sri Lanka

The National Zoological Garden, commonly known as the Dehiwala Zoo, is the main zoological park in Sri Lanka. Located in Dehiwala, a suburb of Colombo, it is one of the oldest and largest zoos in the country. Here are some key features and aspects of the National Zoological Garden:

Size and Location: The Dehiwala Zoo covers a vast area of approximately 30 acres and is situated within a lush green environment. It provides a natural and spacious habitat for a wide range of animal species.

Animal Collection: The zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. Visitors can observe and learn about various species from around the world, including elephants, lions, tigers, giraffes, crocodiles, snakes, and many more.

Conservation and Breeding Programs: The Dehiwala Zoo actively participates in conservation and breeding programs for endangered species. It aims to contribute to the conservation of Sri Lanka’s native fauna and promote the breeding of rare and threatened species.

Educational and Research Facilities: The zoo offers educational programs and facilities to promote public awareness about wildlife conservation. It provides informative displays, signs, and guided tours that educate visitors about the animals, their habitats, and the importance of conservation.

Enclosures and Habitats: The zoo features well-designed enclosures and habitats that aim to replicate the natural environments of the animals. Efforts are made to create suitable living conditions for the animals, including providing ample space, appropriate diet, and enrichment activities.

Recreational Areas and Facilities: The Dehiwala Zoo also offers recreational areas and facilities for visitors, including picnic spots, food courts, souvenir shops, and children’s play areas. These amenities enhance the overall visitor experience and make it a family-friendly destination.

Visiting the National Zoological Garden in Dehiwala provides an opportunity to observe and appreciate a diverse range of animal species from around the world. The zoo’s focus on conservation, education, and research makes it an important institution for wildlife preservation in Sri Lanka.

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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Zoos & Aquariums in Sri Lanka

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a renowned elephant conservation and rehabilitation center located in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, offering visitors the opportunity to observe and interact with elephants in a semi-wild environment. Here are some key features and aspects of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage:

Orphaned Elephant Rehabilitation: The primary objective of the orphanage is to care for and rehabilitate orphaned and injured elephants. The facility provides a safe and nurturing environment for elephants that have been abandoned, injured, or separated from their herds.

Bottle Feeding and Care: Young orphaned elephants at the orphanage are bottle-fed and provided with specialized care. The dedicated caretakers ensure they receive the proper nutrition and medical attention needed for their growth and well-being.

Herd and Social Structure: The orphanage maintains a strong emphasis on preserving the social structure and natural behavior of elephants. The elephants are raised in herds, which allows them to develop natural social interactions and learn essential skills from older elephants.

Daily Bathing and Feeding Sessions: One of the highlights of visiting the orphanage is witnessing the daily bathing sessions of the elephants. The elephants are taken to the nearby river for a refreshing bath, providing a unique opportunity for visitors to observe them up close. There are also scheduled feeding times where visitors can watch the elephants being fed.

Conservation and Education: The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage plays a significant role in elephant conservation and public education. It raises awareness about the challenges faced by elephants in the wild, including habitat loss and human-elephant conflict. The orphanage serves as an educational center, providing information about elephants and their conservation to visitors.

Elephant Rides and Interactions: The orphanage offers the opportunity for visitors to have close interactions with the elephants, including elephant rides within the premises. It’s important to note that while elephant rides are available, there is ongoing debate and concern regarding the ethics of elephant tourism and riding.

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage serves as a vital institution for the welfare and conservation of elephants in Sri Lanka. It provides a unique experience for visitors to observe these majestic creatures, learn about their plight, and support their ongoing conservation efforts.

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Ridiyagama Safari Park

Zoos & Aquariums in Sri Lanka
Zoos & Aquariums in Sri Lanka

Ridiyagama Safari Park, also known as Ridiyagama Mahinda Rajapaksa Safari Park, is a popular wildlife park located in Ridiyagama, Hambantota district, Sri Lanka. It is one of the largest safari parks in the country and offers visitors the opportunity to observe and learn about a diverse range of wildlife species.

Size and Location: Ridiyagama Safari Park covers a vast area of approximately 500 acres. It is situated in Ridiyagama, which is in the Hambantota district of Sri Lanka. The park’s location provides a natural habitat for various wildlife species.

Wildlife Encounters: The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Visitors can embark on a safari experience within the park to observe animals such as elephants, deer, giraffes, zebras, leopards, crocodiles, and numerous bird species. The park aims to provide a natural and spacious environment for the animals.

Safari Options: Ridiyagama Safari Park offers different safari options for visitors to explore the park and its wildlife. These include guided jeep safaris and tours conducted by experienced park guides who provide information about the animals and their habitats.

Animal Conservation and Welfare: The park plays an active role in wildlife conservation and aims to provide a safe haven for various animal species. It focuses on maintaining the well-being and natural behaviors of the animals within its premises.

Recreational Facilities: In addition to wildlife encounters, Ridiyagama Safari Park offers recreational facilities for visitors. These include picnic areas, play areas for children, and other amenities to enhance the overall visitor experience.

Education and Awareness: The park also emphasizes education and awareness about wildlife and conservation. It provides information about the animals, their habitats, and the importance of protecting wildlife for future generations.

Ridiyagama Safari Park offers a unique opportunity to experience and appreciate the diverse wildlife of Sri Lanka. It combines wildlife conservation, education, and recreational activities to provide an enjoyable and informative experience for visitors of all ages.

Udawalawa Elephants Transit Home

The Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home, also known as the Elephant Transit Home or ETH, is a facility located near the Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of orphaned elephant calves with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild.

Orphaned Elephant Rehabilitation: The main purpose of the Elephant Transit Home is to provide care and rehabilitation for orphaned elephant calves. These calves are typically rescued from various parts of Sri Lanka, often due to human-elephant conflict, poaching, or other unfortunate circumstances.

Release Back to the Wild: The primary objective of the Transit Home is to prepare the orphaned elephants for eventual release back into their natural habitat. The staff at the facility focuses on providing appropriate care, nutrition, and medical treatment while minimizing human contact to ensure the elephants retain their wild instincts.

Naturalistic Environment: The Transit Home aims to create a naturalistic environment that closely resembles the elephants’ natural habitat. The elephants reside in spacious enclosures with access to open spaces, water bodies, and vegetation, allowing them to develop their natural behaviors and social structures.

Feeding Program: The elephants at the Transit Home are provided with a milk formula specially designed to meet their nutritional needs. As the elephants grow, they are gradually weaned off milk and introduced to a diet of natural vegetation, which helps them adapt to a wild diet.

Observation Deck: Visitors to the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home can observe the elephants from a designated observation deck. This ensures minimal disturbance to the elephants while still providing an opportunity for visitors to learn about the rehabilitation process and witness the elephants in their natural surroundings.

Conservation and Research: The Transit Home actively contributes to conservation efforts by rehabilitating orphaned elephants and promoting public awareness about the challenges faced by these majestic animals in the wild. The facility also participates in research projects aimed at enhancing elephant conservation and welfare.

The Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home serves as a vital facility for the rescue, rehabilitation, and eventual release of orphaned elephants in Sri Lanka. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness these elephants as they progress towards a life back in the wild.

Pinnawala Open Zoo

Location: The Pinnawala Open Zoo is situated in the Sabaragamuwa Province, specifically in Pinnawala Village, Kegalle district, Sri Lanka.

Open-Air Concept: As the first open-air zoo in Sri Lanka, the Pinnawala Open Zoo offers a unique experience for visitors. Unlike traditional enclosed zoos, the open-air concept provides a more natural environment for the animals, allowing them to move more freely within their designated enclosures.

Endemic and Exotic Species: The zoo is home to a variety of animal species, including many endemic animals found in Sri Lanka. This provides visitors with the opportunity to observe and learn about the native wildlife of the country. Additionally, the zoo’s “World” section houses non-native animal species that are being studied.

Enclosures and Sections: The Pinnawala Open Zoo is divided into seven enclosures, each dedicated to specific animal groups. These include the Pet area, Swan pond, Deer enclosure, Crocodile enclosure, Leopard enclosure, Bear enclosure, and Butterfly garden. The zoo is also divided into two sections: the Sri Lankan zone and the World zone.

Sri Lankan Zone: The Sri Lankan zone showcases the country’s native wildlife, and it includes a special open section for the free-roaming Sri Lankan Leopard. The Sri Lankan Leopard is a subspecies unique to the island and is considered one of the world’s most endangered species.

Conservation and Research: The Pinnawala Open Zoo is involved in conservation efforts and research initiatives. By housing and studying both native and non-native animal species, the zoo aims to contribute to the understanding and conservation of wildlife.

Visiting the Pinnawala Open Zoo provides an opportunity to explore and appreciate Sri Lanka’s diverse animal life, both endemic and non-native. It offers a blend of education, conservation, and a chance to observe these animals in a more natural setting compared to traditional zoos.

Birds Park Hambantota

Zoos & Aquariums in Sri Lanka

Birds Park Hambantota, located in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, is renowned as Asia’s largest Birds Park and Research Centre. The park is a haven for bird enthusiasts, offering a diverse collection of endemic and exotic bird species.

Extensive Bird Collection: Birds Park Hambantota is home to over 180 varieties of birds, with approximately 3,200 individual birds residing within the park. The collection includes both endemic species unique to Sri Lanka and exotic birds from around the world. Visitors have the opportunity to observe and learn about a wide range of avian species.

Conservation and Breeding: The park plays a crucial role in the conservation and breeding of endangered bird species. It collaborates with foreign bird breeding centers and participates in the exchange of rare species with other zoological gardens globally. The breeding programs at Birds Park Hambantota contribute to the preservation of endangered bird populations.

Landscaped Environment: Spanning across 35 acres of landscaped grounds, Birds Park Hambantota offers a natural and visually appealing environment for both birds and visitors. The park features well-designed enclosures and habitats that mimic the natural habitats of the birds, creating a comfortable and enriching space for their well-being.

Aviaries and Exhibits: The park comprises spacious aviaries and exhibits where birds can fly and interact freely. Visitors can stroll through the park and observe the birds up close, appreciating their beauty, colors, and unique characteristics. Information boards and guided tours provide valuable insights into the various bird species found in the park.

Recreational and Tourist Destination: Birds Park Hambantota is a popular tourist destination, attracting both local and international visitors. The park offers recreational facilities, including walking trails, picnic areas, and a children’s play area. It provides an enjoyable and educational experience for families, nature lovers, and bird enthusiasts.

Birds Park Hambantota stands as a significant attraction for bird lovers and researchers, promoting the conservation and study of avian species. Its commitment to breeding endangered birds, research initiatives, and educational programs contribute to the understanding and preservation of bird life in Sri Lanka and beyond.

Water World Kelaniya

Zoos & Aquariums in Sri Lanka

Water World in Kelaniya which is an aquatic attraction showcasing a diverse collection of fish and invertebrates.

Varied Collection: Water World Kelaniya houses over 500 varieties of fish and invertebrates, including freshwater, marine, and brackish water species. Visitors can explore and observe a wide range of aquatic life from different ecosystems around the world.

Sharks and Eagle Rays: One of the unique features of Water World is the opportunity to witness majestic sharks and graceful eagle rays in action. This thrilling experience sets Water World apart as the only local facility offering such encounters.

Underwater Tunnel Aquarium: The latest attraction at Water World Kelaniya is the Underwater Tunnel Aquarium, which was unveiled in 2013. It is the first of its kind in South Asia, providing visitors with an immersive and panoramic view of the aquatic life surrounding them.

Rare and Fascinating Species: Water World showcases rare and fascinating species that are not commonly seen, such as the Arapaima, which is the largest freshwater fish in the world. Visitors can also encounter unique species like the Lungfish, which possesses actual lungs like those of humans, and the Electric Eel, known as the world’s most dangerous electricity-generating fish. Freshwater stingrays from the Amazon River are also among the notable species present.

Water World Kelaniya offers visitors the chance to explore and appreciate the beauty and diversity of aquatic life. It provides educational opportunities and a captivating experience for both local and international visitors interested in the underwater world.

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