List Headline Image
Updated by Lucie Aurore on Jun 27, 2016
Lucie Aurore Lucie Aurore
5 items   1 followers   0 votes   2 views

Top Mammals Seen in Yala – Largest Animal Sanctuary in Sri Lanka

Yala located along the southern coast of Sri Lanka is the country's largest animal sanctuary, home to varied wildlife and a diverse bio-sphere of stunning landscapes, lagoons, lakes and boulders.



The Sri Lanka Leopard indigenous to the island is a sub species with genetic distinctions that sets it apart from those outside of the country. It has a high survival rate due to its alpha predator status and adaptability. Although high in numbers within the Yala Park the Sri Lankan leopard is today an endangered species due to the interventions of man with poaching and hunting. The Leopard has little or no fear and can be seen wandering about Yala at daytime; some may be bold enough to come close to your vehicle. Best times to see these creatures are at dusk and dawn; throughout the year. Although spotted at different locations across the island, Yala boasts Asia's highest concentration of Leopard population.


Sloth Bear

The highly endangered Sri Lankan species of sloth bear is a fast dwindling species; this too is again due to human intervention. The omnivorous creatures will feed on insects, berries, meat carrion and nuts. You can distinguish the slot bear from its long snout, hooked claws and black patchy fur; these features serve the bear well in its endeavours of seeking, digging, sucking and clawing out insects. The bear can run at very high speeds regardless of its sluggish appearance and are good swimmers. June to July is high season for spotting the sloth bear which will venture into the open during the day for a taste of the seasonal fruits weera and palu. Yala is one of the best places to spot the sloth bear, which is why many resorts in Sri Lanka offer tours to the park. Book a Yala Safari holiday and enjoy Yala accommodation right within the jungle. Tented options, such as those offered by WildTrails Yala which belongs to Theme Resorts & Spas offer creature comforts and the thrill of spending time in the folds of nature.



Yala is home to the Asian elephant different in features and smaller in size to the African elephant. Only 6% of the Asian elephants have tusks unlike the much larger African counterparts. These herbivorous animals considered as gentle giants are subject to poaching and hunting making the Sri Lankan elephant a highly endangered species. Best times to see elephants in Yala are mornings and evenings as the mammals tend to keep away from open plains during the hot afternoons.


Wild Water Buffalo

Constricted to just the national parks the Wild Water Buffalo is not to be linked to the domestic buffalo seen wandering all over Sri Lanka. They are much bigger in size than the common water buffalo and even sport much larger horns. The Wild Water Buffalo is considered a dangerous animal and will not hesitate to attack if surprised. These animals can be spotted throughout the day at all times of the year; if you are wandering Yala Park at afternoon look out for the buffalo submerged in the cooling lagoons and ponds.


Spotted Deer

Hunted by jackals and leopards the spotted deer move in large herds; they are the most commonly seen animal within the Yala National Park. An interesting fact is the deal the spotted deer seem to have with the Hanuman Languor's who give out a collective call of warning whenever a predator approaches. The spotted deer feed mainly on grass but during the dry season you just maybe rewarded with sights of deer standing on hind leg and eating the leaves off trees. Spotted deer can be seen throughout the year and come into the open during the day.