Dehiwala Zoo- Colombo
Commonly known as Colombo Zoo or Dehiwala Zoo. This Colombo zoo was founded in 1936. The Colombo zoo is one of the oldest zoological gardens in Asia.
It is host to a variety of animals and birds. The zoo has a very impressive 3000 animals and 350 species. There are 100 species of mammal, 110 different bird types, 65 species of fish, 3 species of amphibians and 10 marine invertebrates. This was as at 2005. There is a huge diversity of animals including also housing a butterfly farm, reptile house, and an aquarium walk through aviary. It has many cages and enclosures. Tourists are spoilt for choice.
The zoo regularly replenishes the zoo with new animals so to expand their animal collection. In 2008, a 3 month old seal was bought to Sri Lanka from Krefeld Zoo in Germany.
Several years ago a green anaconda was bought to Sri Lanka along with a male of the species. An impressive 23 anacondas have been born in the zoo, with 20 of them surviving. This was rare for the animal to give birth in an unknown place to them and especially being in captivity.
A cheetah was also brought from Tiergarten Schonbruun zoo in Austria, but unfortunately died after an infection a few years after arrival.
The zoo is always trying to expand the animal population with breeding the animals as it is very important for conservation of endangered species.
The zoo is very popular amongst tourists and this is proven in the income of LKR 40 million.
This is not just a zoo for caring after animals but education and animal conservation place a big part in this zoo.
The butterfly garden is small but beautiful. It is decorated with small shrubs, trees, creepers and small streams. The temperature and humidity is controlled by artificially created mist. The butterfly garden has 30 species of butterflies. All stages of their life are measured for educational purposes.
The zoo has been designed into a beautiful landscape filled with colourful flowers and water fountains. Visitors are taken into another world as they marvel these different varieties of flowers that blend with the animal life present at the zoo.
The zoo puts on a number of performances including the elephant show. It is held at the elephant arena at certain times of the day. Visitors can refer to the timetable for actual times. Tricks include wiggling their backs to music, hopping on one foot and standing up on their hind legs. Fully enjoyed by both adults and children.
Watching the sea lions perform is another memorable experience. They perform at the sea lions pool, again according to the time table which can be viewed upon visiting. It is lovely to see them being fed by their keepers.
As well as visiting the animals and birds, visitors have access to a souvenir shop so they can buy an item to help them remember their experience at the zoo. Elephant rides and pony rides are available also and very popular by tourists.