Dehiwala zoo is considered as the National zoological garden of Sri Lanka and opened for the public in 1936. Dehiwala is a very busy city of Colombo and the National zoo is located there, as easy as access by public transport service. The zoo covers an area of ten hectares to display its collection.
John Hagenbeck who owned a zoological garden is known as the founder of National zoological garden of Sri Lanka. After the abolishment of his zoological garden due to the World War 2, the Sri Lankan government used his zoology collection to display in the Dehiwala National zoo. From1960s to 1980s, the zoo underwent many developments such as infrastructure improvements, import new species from local and foreign and conducting programmes. Over 3000 animals including mammals, birds, fishes, amphibians, butterflies and marine invertebrates are displayed here in their respective sections. During the past years the existing collection of animals increased with the help of many foreign species conservation centres. The zoo consists of water ponds and plants to provide the natural environment to the zoology collections.
Tourists from all over the world arrive to enjoy the garden. But educational institutes like schools from all over the island visit the zoo with their students for their educational purpose. The animal performances are the highlight in the Dehiwala National zoo. The visitors can enjoy the pony ride, elephant ride and boat ride also.
Restaurants, snacks shop and souvenir shops also available within the premises of zoology garden. One of the oldest zoological gardens in Asia, the Dehiwala zoo is a good tourist spot of Sri Lanka and influences the annual income of the nation well.