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National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka

The National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka, also known as the Dehiwala Zoo, is a popular tourist attraction located in Dehiwala, a suburb of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. It is the largest and oldest zoo in the country, spanning over 30 acres of land.

The history of the zoo dates back to 1936 when it was established during the British colonial period. Initially, it was used as a place to exhibit animals for the enjoyment of the British elite. However, over the years, it has evolved into a conservation center and a place for educational purposes.

The zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, including mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish. You can find elephants, lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, snakes, and numerous species of birds among others. The collection of animals is quite diverse, showcasing both local and international species.

Apart from the animal exhibits, the zoo also features a walk-through aviary, a butterfly garden, and a reptile house. There is a special section dedicated to endemic and endangered species of Sri Lanka, allowing visitors to learn about the country's unique wildlife.

While visiting the Dehiwala Zoo, it is recommended to allocate at least half a day to explore the entire premises. The zoo can get crowded during weekends and public holidays, so it is advisable to visit on weekdays if possible. The best time to visit is early in the morning when the animals are most active.

It is important to note that the zoo has been criticized in the past for the conditions in which some animals are kept. Efforts have been made to improve the facilities and provide better living conditions for the animals, but it is still a matter of concern for some visitors.

Overall, the National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka offers a unique opportunity to observe and learn about various animal species. It is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists who have an interest in wildlife conservation and education.