Sri Lanka is a tiny paradise island which is rich of nature resources and wildlife adventures. Sri Lanka has become the second best destination for wildlife and the best for big game safaris outside of Africa.
Here in this article, we bring you the iconic Big Five Facts on ‘Sri Lanka’s Big Five’ in the order of land to the Ocean.
1. Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera Pardus Kotiya)
This big cat is endemic to Sri Lanka and considered as the “King of the jungle” in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan leopard is the biggest leopard in the world. The Sri Lankan leopard has a yellowish brown or rusty yellow coat with dark spots and close set rosettes. The large male leopard reach almost 220lb (100kg). The best places to see Sri Lankan leopard are Yala National Park, Wilpattu National Park, Kumana National Park and Horton Plains National Park. Yala National park is very special among others as it is considered as the best National park to spots leopards in the world. Yala National Park has the highest density of leopard population in the world.
2. Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximum maximum)
Sri Lanka is one of the best destinations in the world to spot wild elephants. These big fellas are known to be the darkest & the biggest of all the Asian elephants. Comparing to the African elephants, Asian elephants are smaller and have the highest body point on the head. Female elephants are smaller than male elephants and some males have tusks. Sri Lankan elephants are reaching shoulder height of between 2 and 3.5 meters (6.6 ft and 11.5 ft), weight between 2,000 Kilogram (4,400 lb) and 5,600 kilogram (12,100 lb). The best places to spot Sri Lankan wild elephants are Minneriya National Park, Kawudulla National Park, Udawalawe National Park, Gal Oya National Park and Yala National Park. Among all parks “Minneriya National Park” is considered as the place for the world’s largest wild elephant gathering land.
3. Sri Lankan Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus inornatus)
The Sri Lankan Sloth Bear is a subspecies of the Sloth Bear which is found mainly in lowland dry forests in the island of Sri Lanka. The weight between 54 Kilograms (120 lb) to 141 kilograms ( 310 lb) and has thick shaggy black colored fur. The paws of Sri Lankan sloth bear are equipped with well-developed sharply curved claws that enable them to climb trees and dig for termites. The head and body grows up to 6 feet in length. Sloth bear is considered as the most dangerous animal is found in Sri Lankan jungles. The best places to spot Sri Lankan sloth bear are Wilpattu National Park, Yala National Park and Wasgamuwa National Park.
4.Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Blue whale is the largest living mammal on Earth. The largest blue whale ever reported was 100 feet ( 30.5 m) in length. Sri Lanka has become one of the best blue whale watching destinations in the world. The coastal fishing town of the Southern province of Sri Lanka -“Mirissa ‘ is the Whale watching paradise and the season is from November to April. The Boat journey to spot whales is approximately 3-5 hours and the starting time of the journey is at 06.00am from the Mirissa fishing harbor.
5.Sperm Whale (Physeter microcephalus)
Sperm Whale is the world’s largest toothed whale. A Mature male average 16 meters (52 ft) in length but some may reach 20.7 meters (68 ft), with the head representing up to one-third of the animal’s length. Plunging to 2,250 meters (7,382 ft). Mirissa is the hotspot for spotting Sperm Whales during the season of November to April.