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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 amazing animals you can see in Sri Lanka- Explore the wildlife
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 amazing animals you can see in Sri Lanka- Explore the wildlife

Sri Lanka is home to some beautiful wildlife- the Sri Lankan leopard, elephants and more. Here are some gorgeous species to look out for.

1

Sri Lankan Elephant

There are three types of Asian elephants and the Sri Lankan elephant is one of them. Elephants are considered to be sacred animals in the country and are protected. While most national parks will have elephants, the Minneriya National Park is the most famous one to spot a herd of elephants during a popular event called "The Gathering". It is one of the largest gatherings of Asian elephants in the world- you can spot as many as hundreds of them around the reservoir. The best time to witness this is from June to September, which marks the dry season.

2

Peacocks

These colourful and proud birds are native to Sri Lanka and India both. The males are the colourful ones while the females called the peahens are not quite colourful and usually hunt down for their meat. Despite the fact they love to spread their colourful wings and dance around in the rain, they are quite shy and therefore, can be spotted only within the boundaries of the national parks. The peacocks are also known to be sacred birds in Hinduism as it is known to be the carrier of Lord Muruga and in Sinhalese culture where there's a dance style named after the peacock's behaviour called the Mayura Vannama.

3

Sri Lankan White-eye

This bird, with an olive green head, brown and green tail and wings with the distinct white feathers rimming its eyes are one of the rare endemic birds of Sri Lanka. They are usually spotted in the highlands where the Sinharaja Forest is located- a UNESCO World Heritage SIte that is a paradise for bird watchers as it is home to more than 147 species of birds out of which about 20 species are endemic to Sri Lanka. It is best recommended to stay at the Rainforest EcoLodge, an accommodation within the forest reserve and known to be a popular Eco Hotel in Sri Lanka. This would be convenient for those who do not want to miss an opportunity to miss the birds around.

4

Sri Lankan Leopards

These majestic creatures have unfortunately made itself to the endangered species list in 2008- due to habitat loss, poaching and indirect human-leopard related deaths. According to sources, about 700 leopards were recorded in 2015. Currently, Wildlife Conservation Trust is working tirelessly alongside the local government to ensure their safety and conservation. The Lankan leopards are distinguished from the Indian leopards by looking at the dark spots and close-set rosettes on their skin; the former have much smaller ones compared to the latter. Head to Yala National Park which is one of the popular national parks in the country where you have the highest possibility of spotting these mammals.

5

Sri Lankan Leopards

These majestic creatures have unfortunately made itself to the endangered species list in 2008- due to habitat loss, poaching and indirect human-leopard related deaths. According to sources, about 700 leopards were recorded in 2015. Currently, Wildlife Conservation Trust is working tirelessly alongside the local government to ensure their safety and conservation. The Lankan leopards are distinguished from the Indian leopards by looking at the dark spots and close-set rosettes on their skin; the former have much smaller ones compared to the latter. Head to Yala National Park which is one of the popular national parks in the country where you have the highest possibility of spotting these mammals.

6

Sambar Deer

The Sri Lankan Sambar deer, who prefer to live in herds, can be usually found inside national parks. They are commonly spotted in Horton Plains during the hike towards the World's End or the Baker's Falls. TO distinguish between male and female, take a look at their antlers- the males have larger ones.