Wilpattu National Wildlife Park becoming a major tourist attraction

Monday, 25 October 2010 05:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The number of visitors to the Sri Lanka's oldest wild life sanctuary, Wilpattu National Wildlife Park has risen steadily after its opening following the end of war.

In September alone, 1673 local tourists, 80 foreigners, and 173 school children visited the Wilpattu Wildlife Park, said M.A.A.M. Jayarathna, the District Forest Officer of Anuradhapura.

The park has brought an income of Rs. 444,449 and it is increasing, the official says.

The 131,693-hectares wild life park that borders Anuradhapura, Puttalam, and Mannar Districts in northwestern Sri Lanka is a unique habitat for numerous wildlife species. Only 25 percent of the Park is currently opened to visitors due to lack of facilities.

Wilpattu is among the top national parks in the world renowned for its leopard population.

The Park has been closed since 1985 due to terrorist activities in the area as the Tiger rebels had used the Park for hiding. It was partially opened from the southern side to visitors in 2003.