Tripin 2019 - page 62

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WILD AT HEART
For a small island, Sri Lanka is home to a massive
number of species of birds, animals and reptiles.
The island is home to 91 species of mammals (16 of
which are endemic), and over 200 resident species
of birds (more than 400 migratory species). Here
are our top picks for Lankan wildlife and where
you can find them.
LEOPARDS
The elusive Leopards rule over the expanse of the
Yala National Park. Your best chance for a Leopard
sighting is during the early hours of the morning,
or just before the sun sets.
SLOTH BEARS
During the fruiting of the palu trees in June
and July, Sloth Bears are often observed in Yala
National Park or Wilapattu National Park.
ELEPHANTS
Udawalawe, Wasgamuwa, Kaudulla and Minneriya
Parks are great options for Elephant lovers. You
are almost certain to have sightings of these
majestic creatures at any of these national parks.
MONKEYS
Monkeys are hard to miss in Sri Lanka - often
they’ll visit you in the balcony of your hotel rooms
near the cultural triangle, sometimes you can even
spot them in the trees that shade residential areas
of Colombo.
DEER
There are four species of deer to be seen in Sri
Lanka - Sambur, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer and
the Hog Deer. Deer can be easily found in Horton
Plains, Yala National Park or Wilapttu National Park.
BIRDS
Sri Lanka is a bird watcher’s paradise. There are
many sanctuaries to spend an afternoon sighting
endemic and migratory species. Kumuna National
Park and the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary are great
places to start.
BLUE WHALES, SPERM
WHALES AND DOLPHINS
Commonly referred to as the whale watching
triangle: head to Mirissa to find Blue Whales
between the months of December and March,
Kalpitiya to see Dolphins and Trincomalee
for Sperm Whales and Blue Whales that can
sometimes be spotted from the shore.
Photo by Ben O Bro
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