Wilpattu National Park
Influenced by Buddhist respect for all living beings, Sri Lanka has a strong conservation ethic. There are 12 National Parks and 52 Sanctuaries, covering 13% of Sri Lanka’s total land area.
Wilpattu was first declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1905, and became a National Park in 1947. It is Sri Lanka’s largest wildlife sanctuary, covering 131,693 hectares. Situated in the dry zone, it offers a unique complex of wetlands. Its variety of natural habitats from open grasslands to dense forests provide for numerous species of animals including: leopards, the kings of the Sri Lankan jungle; sloth bears, shaggy, shambling denizens of the dry zone forests, elephants, deer, wild pig, water buffalo, crocodiles and many smaller species as well as a great variety of birds and butterflies.