20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) decided to proclaim 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
Sri Lanka as world famous destination for wild life lovers, below are the top rated sceneries where one can ever experience in Sri Lanka.
Elephants gathering in Minneriya.
Minneriya National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular wildlife parks, second only to Yala National Park located in North Central province. Termed as one of the greatest wildlife spectacles of the world, the elephant gathering at the Minneriya National Park is a sight that should never be missed when embarking on safari during the months of July to October. There is only one place in the world and only one time of year when you could meet up with not just one but more than 300 wild elephants in one place.
The Asian elephant is the largest land animal inhabiting the Asian Continent. Its young are nourished with milk and therefore they are classified as mammals. Presently they are native to only 13 countries in Asia. Due to the rapid reduction in their distribution and population size, elephants are listed as an endangered species.
- Type: Mammal
- Weight: 2000 kg to 5400 kg (sex dependent)
- Size: 2.4 to 2.7m height
- Average life span: 60 to 80 years
- Diet: Herbivore
- Size Relative: The size of a small bus
Sri Lankan Leopards
The Leopard (Panthera pardus, Linnaeus, 1758) is the most secretive and elusive of the large carnivores, and also the shrewdest. Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is one of the eight recognized subspecies of Leopard in the world which is endemic only to Sri Lanka. Leopards are found across the mountainous ranges, rainforests and the dry-zone jungles in Sri Lanka, especially Wilpattu national park and Yala National Parks enabling good sightings of the big cats throughout the year. Due to the lack of other large carnivores such as lions, hyenas and tigers which are found across Africa and India for example, the Sri Lankan Leopard is the country’s top terrestrial carnivore making them much bolder and more active during daylight hours enabling good opportunities for sightings.
- Type: Mammal
- Average life span: Up to 20 years
- Diet: Carnivorous
- Size Relative: well-grown large dog
Whale Watching Sri Lanka.
The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest animal documented so far to ever have existed on earth. The seas around Sri Lanka offer the chance to see Blue Whales in concentrations not seen elsewhere in the world. Blue Whales do not move in groups like Sperm Whales for example. However, off the south coast they gather for feeding, with mothers often seen with calves. A concentration of blue whales of this nature is something which whale watchers can only dream about.
- Fast Facts
- Type: Mammal
- Weight: as much as 40 African elephants
- Average life span: over 70 years
- Diet: Krill
- Size Relative: long as three buses parked end to end
This is not strange theory in today’s tourism but still we are far away from our responsibilities. Be responsible for the environment and the community, wherever you travel across the world. Make sure to keep only your footprint everyplace you travel and don’t take anything as granted.
The World Tourism Organization also reminds that, when travelling to another country, you have to take into consideration three very important things:
Make optimal use of environmental resources, as they constitute a key element in tourism development, maintaining essential ecological processes and helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.
Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, and contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance.
Ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.