02 March 2009
Landlord in the Forests of Hill Country
This is a popular sight in many wildlife reserves in Sri Lanka like Horton and Knuckles. Those who travel through Horton by vehicles can see them most of the time, but there is a better chance for a hiker to see them in closer proximity.
These larger members of the deer family are known as Sambhurs or Elk ('Gona' in Sinhala) and can be seen in herds of 5-6 or even bigger number on open grassy plains and also in thick forests. Usually there is a better possibilty of seeing them early in the morning or later in the evening.
They are inherently very innocent and can be rattled even with the slightest of noise but nowadays they are quite used to humans and can be seen roaming in Farr Inn area even while there are lots of people.
These animals like to eat coarse grass and leaves. Try to refrain from feeding them as what we eat may not be very healthy for them!