Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation
Department of National Zoological Gardens
Dehiwala Zoological Gardens was started by Mr. John Hargenbergin early 1920’s as a private collection in 11 acres. It was officially taken over by the Government on the 1stof July 1936. It was established as an independent public department in1946 and later administrative and management functions were subjected to National Zoological Gardens act no41 of 1982. At present, the Department of National Zoological Gardens is having 5 operational units; Dehiwala Zoo, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, Pinnawala Zoo, Ridiyagama Safari Park and Gonapola Farm.
To maintain a diversified native and exotic collection of animals in near natural habitats.
To assure the survival, well-being and natural behavioral characteristics captive animals.
To ensure ex-situ conservation of wild fauna species with special emphasis to threatened, endangered and endemic species of the country.
To preserve the animals that is on the brink of extinction.
To conduct conservation breeding programs.
To conduct research to widen the knowledge base on animals and on other zoological disciplines.
To exhibit captive animals with minimal disturbance to their lifestyle for knowledge gain and amusement.
To conduct education and outreach programs to assist informal education especially of school children.
To cater to the tourism industry through innovative concepts of display and by promoting ecotourism.
To formulate policies, plans and guidelines for administration and management of the zoological establishments and aquariums in the country.
To provide safe and satisfying environment to workers and visitors.
To collate and participate actively in international associations and networks of zoological gardens and animal exchange programs.
To encourage zoo based special interest organizations, foreign and local volunteers, external researchers, students and groups of interested parties to work with the department.
To develop supportive facilities such as feed farms, audio visual units, equipped auditoriums, modern laboratories, animal hospitals, separation units, museums, libraries, etc.
To adhere to proper environmental safety measures.
To operate uninterrupted maintenance and upgrading programs.
To launch mutually beneficial management programs with general public and schools.
Animal care and wellbeing
Conservation and Breeding
Exhibition and outreach
Entertainment and recreation
The National Zoo in Dehiwala
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Safari Park in Hambanthota
‘‘ To become an institution which maintains the best zoological gardens in the world”
“Being concurred with the new zoological gardens concepts, while adopting attractive techniques and proficiencies, providing habitats under accepted rules and regulations as well as with maximum protection exhibiting a healthy collection of animals”