Minneriya National Park is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka 182 kilometers from Colombo. It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. Minneriya forms one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Sri Lanka.
Flora & Fauna:
Terminalia arjuna, Manilkara hexandra, neem (Azadirachta indica), sacred fig (Ficus religiosa), and Piliostigma racemosum are commonly found flora in the area around the Minneriya tank.
The faunal species found include 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, 9 species of amphibians, 75 species of butterflies, and 26 species of fish.
The main attraction of the park is the huge gathering of elephants. During the dry season, the elephants migrate from Wasgamuwa National Park for food and shelter in the park’s forest. Around 150-200 elephants and sometimes even 700 elephants gather here.
Other animals found in the park are endemic monkeys, Sri Lankan Sambar deer, Sri Lankan axis deer, Sri Lankan leopards, Sri Lankan sloth bears, and a wide range of water birds.