Animal section is the lifeline of the Zoo. It looks after the animals in the zoo. The staff is responsible for cleanliness and security of the animal enclosures, supply rations and water to the animals, monitor health of the animals and report any change in their health to the veterinary surgeons, carry out enrichment programmes and inside enclosure landscaping. It is also responsible on keeping records of animals on their behavioral patterns including mating, new births, deaths, new arrivals, enclosure relocations, mixing of animal species etc.
The Zoo comprises of around 350 species of animals approximately 3500 in numbers. Because of the free living colony of birds and breeding fish, the number varied from hundreds. The rough figures of species and numbers of animals are listed below.
Aquarium section is responsible for all aquatic animals including Fish, Marine Invertebrates, Sea Lions and Amphibians. Thus responsibilities of the Animal section has limited to mammals, birds, reptiles and butterflies. As shown in the above figures there is a vast diversity among mammals and birds. Our animal section is rich with endemic, indigenous and exotic animals including some of the endangered species like Black Rhinoceros, Arabian Oryx, etc. Animal section conducts breading programmes for almost all animal species with special attention in endemic and endangered species including Sri Lankan cats (Rusty spotted cat, Fishing cat and Wild cat). Arabian Oryx, one of the endangered species in the world gave birth to two calves within past four years is one of the occasions that indicates our contribution in animal conservation. Presently we have enhanced facilities for breeding of Black Rhinoceros and Pigmy Hippopotamus. Simultaneously to enhance natural breeding of most of other animals, animal section responsible for keep calm and unstressed environment, supply nutrients and provide nesting materials especially for birds.