WILPATTU NATIONAL PARK – SRI LANKA
Wilpattu National Park is located close to the archeological site of Anuradhapura and is one of the largest and oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Due to the war, it closed in 1988 and opened to the public again in 2003. It is still relatively out of common tourist itineraries and one of the best places on the island where to observe wild leopards and bears and many, many birds.
Mostly nocturnal and jungle dweller, the Asian elephant is Asia’s largest terrestrial animal and the subspecies E. m. maximus of Sri Lanka is the largest of the Asian elephant subspecies. It can weight up to 3,000 kg and reach 1,2 mt of height.Once distributed all over the country, the Asian elephant can now be found only in the mid-hills and in the dry lowlands. Asian elephants are vegetarian and they can consume up to 150kg of vegetable matter in a day.
Similar to the crested serpent eagle, the crested eagle [Spizaetus cirrhatus] is recognizable by the bright coloured breast and brown upper parts. Juveniles change colour as they grow and they typically display a lighter colour of plumage than adults, which plumage can assume all shades of dark grey. Their call is similar to a klee, klek sound in adults, while juveniles sound more like ki ki ki ki ki.