National Zoological Garden Dehiwala
National Zoological Gardens
National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka (also called Colombo Zoo or Dehiwala Zoo) is a zoological garden in Dehiwala, Sri Lanka, founded in 1936. Its sprawling areas are host to a variety of animals and birds. The zoo exhibits animals but also places an emphasis on animal conservation and welfare, and education.
Sri Lanka has a history of collecting and keeping wild animals as pets by some Sinhalese kings as well as some British. What is known today as National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka was founded by John Hagenbeck in the late 1920s. It was closed at the beginning of World War II in 1939 because of the owner of that company was a German. After the liquidation of Zoological Garden Company in 1936, the government acquired much of the collection and added it to the Dehiwala Zoo (Zoological Garden of Ceylon) collection. Although Dehiwala Zoo officially began operating in 1939, an impressive animal collection already existed there as part of Hagenback company’s holding area, where the public could visit.