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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Animals to Spot in Yala -Meet the Celebrity Animals of Sri Lanka's Wild!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Animals to Spot in Yala -Meet the Celebrity Animals of Sri Lanka's Wild!

The Yala National Park, in Sri Lanka's most visited as well as the second largest. Take a safari here, and you will get the chance to meet the most popular wild creatures in Sri Lanka.

1

Elephants

These great beasts are adored all across Sri Lanka. The best way to see them of course is in the wild, their true home, and one of the best places to wild elephants in Sri Lanka is at Yala. Elephants are among the 44 species of mammals resident in Yala National Park. There is said to be about 300 to 350 elephants within the park, so there is no doubt of seeing more than a couple during your safari here.

Elephants in Yala are most of the time shy, However, there are incidents of them becoming a little bit aggressive due to inexperienced drivers steering the safari jeeps too close to the animals. This can be dangerous, especially if the elephant is in musth, as they can get really aggressive and attack the jeep. So, in order to avoid this make sure to hire a professional driver who abide by the park regulations. Some Yala hotels like the Jetwing Yala offer safari jeeps themselves that come with veteran drivers. So before booking your hotel make sure its one like the above.

2

Leopards

These majestic creatures are considered to be best highlight of a Yala safari as the Yala National Park is said to contain one of the highest density of leopards in the world! According to park records, there are about 25 leopards within the park's Block I itself. However, sighting of leopards depends entirely in the time you visit the park. There are some travellers who claim they only caught a glimpse of one leopard while others say that they have seen up to 12 leopards in just one sighting. The latter is a probability if you set out on your safari either very early in the morning or at nighttime as it is during these time that the animals go out to hunt. So settle down somewhere that's very close to the Yala National Park. Hotels varying in budget to luxury are in plenty here as well as camping huts that can be built in authorised areas of the park.

3

Reptiles

There is a recorded number of 47 species of reptiles in the Yala National Park. Six of these are endemic to to the country. The largest and one of the most ferocious of these are crocodiles that live in the many tanks of the park. There are two types of crocodiles that breed within the park and these are mugger crocodiles and saltwater crocodiles. The most deadliest of snake species found within the park include the Russell's viper and the Indian cobra.

Turtles are also among the reptiles in Yala and they come in a variety of species ranging from the giant leatherback turtles to the Olive Ridleys, the loggerheads, Hawksbills and green turtles.

4

Birdlife

There is an astounding number of 130 species in the Yala National Park, making it an ideal destination for birdwatching. Some of the most notable species of birds at the park include the crested serpent eagle, white bellied sea eagle, whistling duck, rare black necked Stork, flamingo and the purple heron to name a few.

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