Oldest zoo in Sri Lanka struggling to feed its 3000 animals

Wooden sign with zoo written in white with blue sky, animal news
Sign above entrance of zoo, photo: Filo via Canva

Zoo animals are running out of food in Sri Lanka, officials of the Department of National Zoological Gardens said on Tuesday. The financial crisis in the country is affecting the animals in Dehiwala Zoo, the oldest zoo in Asia.

The zoo informed the wildlife ministry that it is struggling to pay animal feeding and maintenance costs. The decline of foreign and local tourists, shortages in fuel and increase in food prices are why the zoo is struggling financially.

The news that the zoo can’t feed its animals caused public outrage on social media, and netizens accused the Sri Lankan government of corruption and lack of interest in taking proper care of this burning problem the country is facing.

“Release our local species into the wild and arrange for other animals to safety to overseas sanctuaries and close this archaic medieval hell for animals,” animal rights activist Champa Fernando said on Facebook.

The wildlife ministry said it would look into a solution for the zoo. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis; the country has huge debts, and the government has recently asked neighbouring countries for help.

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