Learn More About the Wildlife in Sri Lanka

a beautiful sunset with pink hues and silhouette of coconut trees in front of a beach

Sri Lanka offers different cultures, climates, cuisines, mesmerising landscapes, religions and ethnic backgrounds. This little island country is located in the Indian Ocean and is shaped like a teardrop. Sri Lanka has a coastline of almost 830 miles and offers breathtaking beaches with bewitching sunsets. Apart from a rich historical past and beaches, Sri Lanka is home to verdant flora and alluring fauna.

Elephants of Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan elephants are indigenous to this island and are one of the three subspecies of the Asian Elephant. These Elephants are primarily found in the North, East and Southeast of Sri Lanka. These native Elephants have dark patches on their bodies and depigmentation around their belly, ears and trunk. Adult Elephants attain a height of 12 ft., and female Elephants are a little shorter than males. The oldest female Elephant or matriarch leads the herd, which ranges from 12 to 20 Elephants, including lactating females, calves and tusker males. However, in recent years, the primary threat to Sri Lankan Elephants has been urbanisation and the cutting down of forests, which adversely affects their migratory routes. Elephants hold cultural, symbolic and economic importance to Sri Lanka. Therefore, the government has started taking the required measures to protect those herbivore tuskers.

a herd of elephants captured bathing in a river with green trees in the background
an asian leopard spotted in a Sri Lankan national park around dry bushes

Asian Leopards of Sri Lanka

Panthera pardus is the scientific name given to the Sri Lankan Leopards. These native Leopards have rusty yellow coats with dark spots that look like rosettes over their body. These elusive and shrewd carnivores are excellent climbers and can kill prey larger than their size. The height of these Leopards varies from 45 cm to 80 cm, and research says males are up to 30% larger than females. This Sri Lankan subspecies is one of the largest leopards found in the world. Tourists who wish to witness this beauty can visit different national parks in Sri Lanka like Yala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, Sinharaja Forest Reserve and Wilpattu National Park, among others.

Yala National Park

Yala National Park is undeniably one of Sri Lanka's most famous wildlife parks. This park occupies a vast part of the island's southeastern corner. This national park is divided into five blocks and stretches from the interiors of the jungle to the beaches of the Indian Ocean. 2 important Buddhist pilgrim sites are located within the park, namely, Sithulpahuwa and Magul Vihara. This park is an avid traveller's paradise. One can witness herds of Elephants, Deers, Monkeys, Sri Lankan Sloth Bears, Leopards, Red Slender Loris, Golden Palm Civets and many more.

a royal bengal tiger captured resting its face on a pile of rocks during daytime
a herd of elephant standing together in a pool of water

Udawalawe National Park

Udawalawe National Park was established to protect and provide a sanctuary for endangered Sri Lankan Elephants. Approximately spread across 30,821 hectares of land, this sanctuary is also home to various water birds and other wildlife like Mugger Crocodiles, Pied Cuckoos, White Wagtails, Golden Jackals, Grey Langurs, 30 different species of Snakes and much more.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

The Sinharaja Forest Reserve shelters a vast number of indigenous and migratory birds and is a haven for ornithologists. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this tropical rainforest is home to rare endemic fauna. Lastly, pay a visit to the local watchtower that is ideal for bird watching in Sri Lanka.

an image of a peacock flaunting its feather in a national park

Explorers can partake in short treks, beach visits and more when planning your Sri Lanka safari. When you are planning a visit to these national parks in Sri Lanka, consider staying at Owl and the Pussycat Hotel. Our hotel offers luxurious accommodations and is undoubtedly the best stay in Galle.