November 2016

Sri Lanka's unique animals
November 2016

Sri Lankan Elephant

  • The elephant is the largest land mammal in the world. 
  • The Sri Lankan elephant is a unique subspecies, which is the largest of Asian elephants.
  • The eldest (matriarch) in the herd must remember the route as they migrate across the Island during the drought. 
  • Elephants hug with their trunks to display affection and use it as a snorkel when swimming.

Sloth Bear

  • Sloth Bears have a shaggy black coat of fur.
  • They usually sleep in a cave during the day and wander at night.
  • They eat fruits, bugs, flowers and honey combs. They love yellow palu berries.
  • Baloo from The Jungle Book is an Indian sloth bear.

Blue Whale

  • The blue whale is the largest animal on earth with a tongue weighing as much as an elephant.
  • They have twin blowholes protected by a large plashguard.
  • They live alone or with just another whale and are usually followed by dolphins. 
  • Blue whales only eat small, shrimplike krill and males consume upto 36,000kg of krill a day.

(Monkey)Toque Macaque

  • The toque macaque is one of two monkeys unique to Sri Lanka.The other is called the purple-faced langur.
  • Toque macaques get their name from the swirl of hair on their heads, which looks like a hat. "Rilawa" is its Sinhalese name. 
  • Toque macaques are omnivorous and eat fruit, nuts, seeds, insects and bird eggs.
  • They are also called 'temple monkeys' because they are seen at ancient temples.


  • The peacock is the male peafowl. Peacocks are better-known than peahens (the female) due to their beautiful train of blue and green feathers. 
  • Peacocks fan out the train and dance to attract peahens.
  • The peafowl is native to Sri Lanka and India. 
  • The logo of SriLankan Airlines is a peacock and the uniform is the colour of its feathers.

Sri Lankan Leopard

  • The Sri Lankan leopard is endemic to the Island.
  • The biggest of all leopards, their coat is a rusty yellow marked with the dark spots.
  • They are carnivorous and eat prey such as deer, buffaloes and monkeys.
  • Except for females with cubs they hunt and live alone.