Which is the best National Park to see Sloth Bears, Leopards and Elephants

Which is the best National Park to see Sloth Bears, Leopards and Elephants

 

Sri Lanka is one of the best places in Asia for seeing wildlife. It is also one of the best all-round wildlife destinations in the world for a mix of big game, marine life and varied landscapes. 

Sri Lanka is proud of its natural beauty. For over 2,000 years, swathes of land have been preserved as sanctuaries by Sri Lankan royalty. Mihintale, the world’s first reserve, was created here in the third century BC. Now 98 areas, including strict natural reserves, elephant corridor, national parks, nature reserves and sanctuaries are protected lands in the island. Read more

The Prince of Persibendiwewa

The Sri Lankan Leopard
Panthera pardus kotiya

The first villu (water body) that you encounter when entering the Wipattu National Park has royalty of its own. A majestic Sri Lankan leopard cub who is merely one and a half years old sits proudly on the sandy track leading into the park around five in the evening. Still a young predator, the Prince of Persibeniwewa will soon claim his territory as King. Even though he appears brave and poised in this capture he has to defeat the mature leopard that currently reigns in the territory to become the true King. The cycle of leopards claiming territory, having cubs of their own and witnessing their cubs grow up to become mature predators themselves is quite commonly seen in these eco systems.

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The biggest party in all of Asia is thrown by Sri Lankan Elephants

A true spectacle to behold, the Minneriya elephant gathering in Sri Lanka lets you witness hundreds of elephants congregate in one area annually! Not only do they gather, but they eat, drink, swim and socialise – think of it as an elephant rave lasting months! The reason for this is that during the dry season – July to September – water and food supply reduce drastically in the region. To cope with this, the elephants congregate around the Minneriya reservoir, inside Minneriya National Park, where grasses are rich and fertile, and water and shade is abundant.

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Untamed Udawalawe

Untamed Udawalawe

History and Geography

Lying like a tear drop in the Indian Ocean, the island of Sri Lanka defies convention – this tiny island is packed with an enormous population of wildlife! Udawalawe National Park is the sixth largest National Park on the island. The Park is situated just south of the Central Highlands, on the boundary of Sri Lanka’s wet and dry zones, with the Udawalawe Reservoir nestled in the centre. Established in 1972, the Park was created with the objective of protecting the catchment area of the Udawalawe reservoir, which provides water for agriculture and hydro-power generation. This is spread over an area of 30,821 hectares, closely resembling an African game park!

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Blacksheep of Diving Birds

Blacksheep of Diving Birds

Indian Darter aka the snakebird (Anhinga melanogaster)is a common sight you see in and around the villu’s in the Yala National Park.

It stands out from its “friends”; the Commorns for not having the oil glands to give a wax effect to his wings.

This beautiful bird landed on the branch with open wings to sun dry their wings after a dive into the waters. [ As he doesn’t have the luxury of having an oily wax coat ] They are always observing disturbances in the water with their long flexible neck which works like a spear darting into the waters in a blink of an eye at the sight of a fish.

This beautiful picture of an Indian Darter was captured by Chris Ang, an award winning photographer from new york on a Safari to the national park with Mahoora tented safari camps Yala in February 2019.

THE SRI LANKAN FISHING CAT

THE SRI LANKAN FISHING CAT

It is common knowledge that cats don’t like water and prefer to stay away from it all costs. Larger animals of the species such as the Tiger and the Jaguar defeat this notion by adapting to the surrounding wetlands of their habitat. In Sri Lanka however we are home to the Sri Lankan Fishing Cat a very unique creature that has adopted to not only live in wetlands, but thrive in it.  Read more

The Photogenic Sri Lankan Sloth Bear

In a real “messy hair don’t care” angle, the Sri Lankan sloth bear looks like it just got out of bed after a night out in the jungle; it ambles around Sri Lanka’s dry zone wooded areas in a shaggy coat, in search of food. They usually keep to themselves, often found grunting and snorting nosily, with its nose to the ground, while walking in search of food. The sloth bears’ main diet consists of termites and ants, however, being omnivores, they feed on almost anything from plants and animals, to fruit and insects.

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