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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 mammals in Yala National Park– wildlife of Sri Lanka
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 mammals in Yala National Park– wildlife of Sri Lanka

The Yala National Park is considered the best wildlife reserve in Sri Lanka with a large variety of animals calling it home. These are the top 5 mammals found in Yala.

1

Sri Lankan Leopard

Known by the scientific name Panthera pardus kotiya, the Sri Lankan Leopard is a rare and largely endangered species found in the Yala National Park. The block 1 has recorded the highest number of leopards seen in the park. Covered in a tawny spotted coat, these magnificent creatures can grow up to 5 ft in length. They are skilful hunters preying on mainly small mammals and birds. A conservation project by the Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT) is active for protecting the leopard population in Sri Lanka.

2

Elephant

Elephants are the masters of this wildlife sanctuary, often travelling in herds of 5-10 members including mothers and young calves. They can be spotted well close to water bodies. It is fascinating to watch these giants playing in the water and gallantly marching in and out of the forest. The Yala National Park also has a number of Tuskers that are often a rare sight. They are smaller compared to the African elephants but still grow as big as 11 ft in height and 5,500 kg in weight on average. Elephants feed on food plants and vegetation including rice, corn, and coconut.

3

Sloth Bear

Sloth bear is a black furry animal, quite dangerous when enraged. A fully-grown adult male can be as large as 6ft tall and 140kg heavy. They are omnivores foraging on berries, fruits, meat, and insects. They are usually found wandering solitarily, except during the mating season and with cubs. Sri Lankan sloth bear is a highly endangered animal with a recorded population of less than 1000. This is even lower when it comes to the wild population. The decrease in population is due to the destruction of natural forest as it is the main source of food for the sloth bear in the wild. They cannot live without water for long hours.

4

Wild Boar

Sri Lankan wild boars are quite frequently spotted during the jeep safaris in the Yala National Park. They are also known as the wild swine, and wild pig. Wild boars mainly feed on fruits, nuts, and seeds but they are also great scavengers. People tend to feed them with processed food which is not recommended. You need to be careful when a wild boar is close as they can attack people with their large canines as a defensive action.

5

Spotted Deer

The Sri Lankan spotted deer is one of the prettiest animals you can see in the wild. With beautiful white spots scattered on the back, they are also known as Axis Spotted Deer. It's the most common of the four types of deer found in Sri Lanka. They are occasionally seen close to some of the best hotels in Kataragama, which are located in a natural forest environment such as the Mandara Rosen Kataragama.

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