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Mihintale, in Sri Lanka, was recorded as first wildlife park in Sri Lanka. This park was established by “King Devanampiyatissa” in 247 BC. King took this step, after the inspirational message he got from Arahant Mahinda. His belief towards Buddhism made him more conservative. An inscription which is inscribed on a stone slab in Anuradhapura, mentions about the same. This stone is located in Ruwanveli Dagobah that has been attributed to “King Kirthi Nissanka Malla” of Polonnaruwa. He was a 12th-century king, who completely banned killings of bird, fish, and animal, within the seven-kilometer radius of the city. In Mahavamsa, one can find deeper references for royal protection as well as the preservation of wildlife. This practice continues even today.

There are twenty-one wildlife parks in Sri Lanka, where the tourists, as well as wildlife enthusiasts, can visit. These parks are maintained by “Department of Wild Life conservation”. One can find the complete list below:

  • Angammedilla National Park
  • Bundala National Park
  • Flood plains national Park
  • Gal Oya National Park
  • Galway’s Land National Park
  • Hikkaduwa National Park
  • Horagolla National Park
  • Horton Plains National Park
  • Kaudulla National Park
  • Lahugala Kithulana National Park
  • Lunugamvehera National Park
  • Madura Oya National Park
  • Minneriya National Park
  • Pigeon Island National Park
  • Somawathiya Chaitya National Park
  • Udawalawe National Park
  • Ussangoda National Park
  • Wasgomuwa National Park
  • Wilpattu National Park
  • Yala East National Park – Kumana
  • Yala National Park

Park Ethics

There are general park ethics set by the Department of Wildlife Conservation, which has to be followed by the visitors.

A tourist should remember that the park is the home of the animal, and the tourist is only a visitor.
Guides are available at the entrance of each park, and one can avail them for excursions so that they can provide the necessary information.

One should not come out the vehicle while visiting the park, and should always remain on the track
Always maintain the proper distance between the vehicles, while you are inside the park.
One should stop the vehicle when animals are crossing the road. This also gives a chance to the visitors, to watch the animal in open.