Spread over 11 ha, Dehiwala Zoo is a popular attraction with locals. The animals housed here include elephants, jaguars, leopards, sloth bears, porcupines and monkeys. In addition, a rich diversity of birdlife can be seen in the attractive walk-in aviary. There is also a butterfly house brimming with 30 species. The afternoon display of elephant acrobatics is popular among locals, although many visitors will find this uncomfortable to watch.
Owning to the damage it suffered during the Civil War, the zoo has been undergoing extensive renovation. Although the enclosures for the big cats and bears are somewhat crammed, the zoo is better than a number of its Asian counterparts.