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WILD LIFE



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The Gray Langur The gray langur, with the jet black face (shown here) and the macaque, or the red monkey are seen scattered in pockets of jungle habitats in Sri Lanka and sometimes even in the small villages. The larger of the two species, the langur, lives in large groups among the trees and is usually pacific in nature. Groups of these monkeys are a common sight at some of the Buddhist temples in the dry region, and most often seen begging for give-aways, or if un-successful, stealing, from the unsuspecting visitor.

The red monkey, with a brown colored coat and a pinkish  face, is rather aggressive, and quick tempered. This species, if provoked, have known to attack humans occasionally. There are several other species of monkey in the Sri Lanka jungles, but they are confined to the hilly and mostly inaccessible areas and for this reason are rarely seen by the average visitor to the island.

 

The Gray Langur



The Peacock

The peacock, largest of the pheasants, is native to Sri Lanka and India. It is often the male of the species that is shown in photographs, showing the beautiful plumage. This bright coloured plumage is a way of attracting the females of the species. Hence the simile "proud as a peacock". The female (pea hen) lacks the beautiful ornamental feathers or the bright coloring.

Although native to Sri Lanka, the peacock population has decreased considerably, for, at one time it was considered a delicacy and peafowl were hunted down indiscriminately. Pea fowl are easily and readily tamed, and sometimes can be seen in the lawns of some of the hotels, and bigger private residences.

For Hindus in Sri Lanka, peacock holds a special place too, for Skanda the God of Katharagama sits with his wives astride a peacock. Lord Vishnu, one of the major Gods, also is often shown with a peacock in the background.

 

The Peacock


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Spotted Deer

There are four species of deer in the plains and jungles of Sri Lanka. Spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer and the Sambhur (elk). The Sambhur is somewhat darker than the others, and is the biggest, about five feet at the shoulders, and perhaps the most handsome. The "spotted deer" shown here is by far, the most common, and can be seen in large herds in some of the national parks and most of the open plains, specially in the northern dry sector.

 

Spotted Deer



Once wild, but now tamed and working for a living

Elephant is the 'beast of burden, or the "tractor" of the jungle. It can easily haul twenty foot sections of hard-wood from the middle of the jungle to the road, generally finds its own food, and only demands loyalty and a good word from it's trainer, the mahout. For, if the mahout ill-treats or mistreats the elephant, there are numerous recorded cases, where the elephant will take revenge, and in most cases fatal to the mahout.

It is estimated that there are about 2,500 to 3000 elephants in Sri Lanka, and about 500 of them are tame, and are used for work. In rural areas it is fairly common to see an elephant on the side of the road, with a big bundle of coconut leaves in it's mouth, coming home for the night with the mahout riding on its' back.

 

Once wild, but now a working elephant


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Common Heron

The common heron, that is seen everywhere in the island, apart from being a sight to behold when in flight in a large group, also serves as a pest controller in the rice fields. It's primary food source, the crabs that live in the fields, could raise havoc in the terraced rice paddies, if not controlled. An occasional fish or a baby snake that may wonder into it's path is sure to be made into heron poop too!.

 

Heron


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Another working elephant

Throughout history elephants have played a major role in Sri Lanka's affairs. The kings of Sri Lanka rode to war on elephants back. The elephants guarded the palaces and temples, as evident from the many carvings on granite at the ancient temples, in cities like Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa. Even today the most treasured item for the Buddhists in Sri Lanka, the "tooth relic" of Lord Buddha is carried on the back of an elephant during the Kandy Esala Perahara.

 

Another working elephant



Elephant Orphanage at Pinnawela

Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage, deep in the tropical hill country, the motherless calves are raised by dedicated human foster parents who ply them with bottled milk five times a day, and an occasional swig of beer, in an effort to help preserve Asia's dwindling wild-elephant population.

The orphans arrive here from across the country, rescued from remote areas where they have lost their mothers to accidents, to poachers, and most often to land mines left by the warring factions in the northern part of the country.

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage


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Bath time at Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

Bath time is especially treasured by all elephants, young and old alike. And for humans it is a very good time to closely observe their tightly knit family structure. The young elephants are protected, and cared for, by the older ones in the group and the leader of the group is respected by all.

 

Bath time at the Orphanage at Pinnawela



Bee Eater

One of the three bee-eaters found in the island (one a migrant) this resident bird is widly distributed both in the wet and dry zones. It feeds on insects, the favourite being the dragon files which it catches on the wing performing aerial acrobatics that will make the finest air ace blush. This super specimen was seen at Diganwala in the Yala National Park.

 

Bee Eater



A leopard perched on the branch of a tree
Leopard is certainly an endangered species in Sri Lanka, and to see one perched on the branch of a tree is a unique and fascinating sight.

For more pictures........
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Back to Images of Sri Lanka


 

Click here for a Welcome To Sunny Sri Lanka Click here to explore the Land of Beautiful Sri Lanka Click here for info on the People of Sri Lanka Click here for a safari of the Places to Visit in Sri Lanka Click here for a visual bonanza of Images and Pictures of Sri Lanka
Click here for The Story of Ceylon Tea as never been told before. Click here for a brief study on Buddhism, the main religion of Sri Lanka Click here for a survey of the relationship between Buddhism and Sri Lanka Click here for the best and the most essential Links to Sri Lanka Click here to return to my HOME page
welcome introduction paradise profile fact file land people places history buddhism LINKS
wildlife beaches scenery images anuradhapura sigiriya kandy tea terrorism update HOME

 

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Click here for a Welcome To Sunny Sri Lanka Click here to explore the Land of Beautiful Sri Lanka Click here for info on the People of Sri Lanka Click here for a safari of the Places to Visit in Sri Lanka Click here for a visual bonanza of Images and Pictures of Sri Lanka
Click here for The Story of Ceylon Tea as never been told before. Click here for a brief study on Buddhism, the main religion of Sri Lanka Click here for a survey of the relationship between Buddhism and Sri Lanka Click here for the best and the most essential Links to Sri Lanka Click here to return to my HOME page

Click here for a clickable tour map of Sri Lanka   CLICK HERE FOR A TOUR MAP OF SRI LANKA
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