Record number of visitors to country’s first open air zoo


A section of the crowd at the open air zoo in Pinnawala , watching a baby elephant.
Pic by Nishan S Priyantha

By Ifham Nizam

Nearly 100,000 people have visited the country’s first Open Air Zoological Gardens at Pinnawala within the first three days of its opening.  

 Zoological Gardens, Director General Anura de Silva told The Island there had been 29,500 visitors on April 18 and about 26,000 people had visited the place on the following day.

 However, he said that they didn’t have any records of the number of visitors on the opening day April 17.  

 He said between April 17 and April 30 entrance would be free to the new zoo and they expected large crowds during the weekends.

 The country’s biggest zoological gardens housed on a 47-acre property adjacent to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage would give top priority to endemic animals.

There are five leopards in the enclosure, three males and two females.  Three of the leopards were born at the Dehiwela Zoological Gardens, while other two were found in the wild.    "Unlike in the past, we have the luxury to give more space and proper environment to the animal to roam and breed," he added.

The zoo was opened by Tourism and Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake.

This second edition of the National Zoological Gardens at Dehiwela is Sri Lanka’s first Open Air especially designed for the benefit of the animals. .

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