Colombo is the busiest town of holiday island of Sri Lanka. This crowded but small city is full of treasures that most tourists shun. The Colombo zoo is a major attraction among the local people but very few foreign holidaymakers in Sri Lanka are visiting it. Most Sri Lanka trips planned for local travellers include the Zoo. I thought of dedicating this article to attract the attention of my readers to this beautiful spot in the town.
Did you know Colombo zoo is one of the oldest in the world? This mega-menagerie opened in early 19’s by an animal exporter called John Hagenbeck. He bought a part of the present zoo (5 acres) in order to collect and keep the animals. Later in 1936 the animal collection centre was taken over by the government and entrusted the management of the zoo under the zoological department. Today it is expanding over 23 acres with a collection of animals from all around the world. This beautiful place is located in dense foliage and it is a place to experience fascinating animals of Mother Nature.
The zoo has evolved into an animal research and breeding centre to this day and even conducts molecular biology researchers. Other than educating people on animal world and exhibiting various animals from around the world, the zoo is functioning as an animal welfare, animal conservation and breeding ground with the systematical and scientific process. It conducts a breeding program on animal and special attention is directed to increasing the number of endangered and endemic animals through the in-house breeding process.
Colombo zoo has a collection of about 3500 animals from around 350 animal species. The number of animals varies in large due to the free-living colony of bird and breeding fish. It is an aquatic fish section, the first section of the zoo visitor encounter just after the zoo. It has a large collection of aquatic animal collection including fish, amphibians, Sea Lions, Marine Invertebrates.
Animals section is the most attractive section of the zoo and every visitor spend a considerable amount of time a here. It has a collection of animals covering mammals, reptiles, birds, and butterflies. The diversity of the birds and mammals is a very high degree and the zoo has collection mammals from 100 species while a number of species of the birds are 110. In the animal section, visitors can see a large number of indigenous animals. It also has a collection of animals from other countries and some of them are cortically endangered animals such as Arabian Oryx, Black Rhino etc.
All sections of the zoo are set up in a manner it gives close contact with nature to the animals as well as the visitors. The environment at the zoo is very calm and quiet in order to maintain a stress-free atmosphere for the animals.
There are several animal performances such as elephant performance, Chimpanzee performance and sea lion performance, which attracts the attention of all visitors to the zoo. The performance is showcased in selected venues at selected times. The newest addition to the zoo is the zoo museum. It is open to the general public on 26th June 2013. Zoo hospital is another important part of the zoo, which helps to maintain a healthiness of the animals. It is under the purview of the veterinary team that includes veterinaries, Education Assistants, Research Assistants and other support staff.