Wilpattu National Park
Wilpattu national park– is situated 30 km west of Anuradhapura, 26 Km North of Puttalam and 180 km North of Colombo with an extent of 1317 square kilometers at an elevation of between 0- 152 meters above sea level. It is recognised as one of the oldest and largest National parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu National park is listed as one of the top national parks and world famous for the leopard population. The Wilpattu National park which was closed during the 3 decades of war from 1988 to 2003, was re-opened for the public after 16 years and currently access is limited to only 25% of the park, with the leopards penetrating deeper into the dense forest and difficult to spot them. Wilpattu National Park is home for the Sri Lanka elephant, Sloth bear, Sri Lanka Leopard, water buffalo, Sambhur, mongoose etc. Numerous species of Birds which includes the painted stork, Sri Lankan jungle fowl, owls and eagles were found in Wilpattu. Among the reptiles, it included the Monitor lizard, mugger crocodiles, cobra, Indian python, a few varieties of pond turtles. Currently tourists are encouraged to visit Wilpatttu national park and other national parks in Minneriya, Kaudulla, Wasgamuwa in the North Central province to avoid the congestion caused in Yala.