Pinnawala gets female leopard for injured animal

By Ifham Nizam

A young female leopard that was caught on an estate in Nuwara Eliya few years ago and housed at the Dehiwela Zoological Gardens would be brought to the leopard enclosure at the Pinnawala Open Air Zoo.  

Zoological Gardens Director, Anura de Silva told The Island that she would be introduced to Pinnawala as a female leopard there got injured recently.

He said that the injury, a fracture was not serious and such things were common when animals were released into a bigger enclosure. The injured animal would be released to Pinnawala once the injury healed, he added.

At present 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 can give animals more space to roam and breed," he added.

Speaking about the Pinnawala zoo, he said they were in the process of completing the bear enclosure and would soon start on the crocodile enclosure.

However, he stressed that visitors shouldn’t expect it to be another zoological gardens like Dehiwela.

The income of the newly opened Pinnawela Open Air Zoo topped Rs. 3.5 million during Vesak holidays (May 1-4). Insiders expressed confidence that during Poson Poya, too, there would be large crowds visiting the nature facility.

Tourism and Sports Ministry said the higher income was a result of increased number of local tourists visiting the zoo.

The 44-acre zoo is located adjacent to the famous Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle and was built at a cost of Rs. 862 million.

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