Yala is probably the most famous and one of the largest national parks in Sri Lanka, known for its wild elephants and highest concentration of leopards in the world (apparently).
More than the biodiversity, the concentration of wildlife was incredible. Peacocks, boar, deer, water buffalo, storks, antelope (even elephants) were common…like robins and raccoons. But when you think about it, it shouldn’t be that striking. This is the way it should be, the natural way. Even with Sri Lanka’s large number of national parks and protected areas, they say only 18% of the original forests remain. It’s not for nothing. Much of the land is used for agriculture and feeding the population, which it does well at 85% sufficiency in rice and other produce. But maybe 18% is a lot considering that in Iowa, less than 1% of the original forests remain. The rest of the land is used to grow corn, which is used to feed cattle for beef production…sad.