Zoological Gardens

Zoological Garden of Sri Lanka is situated in 11 km from the Fort - Colombo, the zoo has a fine collection of animals, birds, reptiles and fish from all over the world. The aquarium is the only one of its kind in Asia and displays over 500 varieties of aquatic life. Also walk through Aviary, Reptilian, and Butterfly Park to see another amazing world of wild animals. There are daily elephant performance at 5.15 p.m. Open daily between 8.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.

The National Zoological Gardens, popularly known as the Zoo, is a beautifully landscaped 30 acres in which a rich collection of mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes live in harmony with Nature. Although it was begun as a menagerie in the late nineteen twenties by John Hagenbeck a member of the famous show-business family from Hamburg, Germany, the Zoo was officially recognized as such only in July 1936 when the Government purchased it. John Hargenberg, who initially started the Dehiwala Zoo, belongs to a family engaged in animal circuses. He collected and kept the animals in this premises for trade. Mr. Hargenberg exported wild animals to Europe to his brother Carl Hargenberg who was one of the biggest animal dealer in Europe at that time. It was then a mere 9 acres in extent but has steadily grown into a beautiful Zoological Garden exhibiting animals in naturalistic setting using modern methods of husbandry. Over 1.2 million visitors pass through the Zoo’s gates every year for it caters to young and old alike and is a source of healthy recreation to the average citizen especially those who come in family groups. To all its visitors the Zoo is quiet tranquil haven into which they could withdraw from the bustle of urban life. To hold the animals before exporting them to Europe he bought 05 acres of land at Dehiwala at the beginning of the century. This became quite popular among the residents of the area. The total area of the collection centre was increased to 11 acres to hold the animals received. Subsequently the centre was taken over by the government in 1936. The extent of the land was increased gradually to present status of 25 acres.