There is no way of knowing the actual numbers of animals dying at Dehiwala Zoo, but a brief search online, revealed the following

April 2001
A female black rhino named Momella was found dead with its horn missing.

July 2009
A Lioness dies at Dehiwala Zoo

Deaths of Spotted Deer, Penguins, 2 baby Meerkats, a Pony, Hippopotamus, Macaw and a Tapier.

March 2012
A female Camel dies at Dehiwala Zoo.

December 2013
Female Anaconda eats male Anaconda due to starvation and unsuitable mating conditions.

May 2014
Several animals taken from the Zoo during CHOGM are found dead.

12th June 2014
A Lion and a Hippo die at Dehiwala Zoo.

January 2014
An Albino Turtle dies at Dehiwala Zoo.

December 2015
A Lion dies at Hambantota Safari Park.

As published in The Nation, 22/11/2009:
“There was a four kilogramme ball of polythene inside the baby river hippo that died last Sunday,” said Dr. Jagath Jayasekara,
who performed the post-mortem.

Death List 2

The Case of the Missing Orangutan Babies?

We’re no detectives, but every time we try to clarify a story on Dehiwala, we stumble upon more unanswered questions. Then we came across this, and LT are wondering, where did all the babies go?

Orangutan Baby 1:

Sunday Observer 19/12/2010 article titled: “Sukeefo attracts large crowds to Dehiwala Zoo” states: The new orangutan baby was a pleasant surprise to all those who visited the Dehiwala Zoo last Thursday. Today ‘Sukeefo’ is one and a half months old and growing up steadily and people can see him with the mother daily from 8.30 a.m. till noon.”

Orangutan Baby 2:

Sunday Leader 16/03/2014 article titled “The Brutes at the Dehiwala Zoo” published the testimony of Zoologist Dilan Pieris, who was visiting the Zoo as a tourist:

“When I went to the area where two adult orang-utans were kept, a zookeeper walked up to me and asked whether I would like to see the baby animal…I tipped him and went to see the baby orang-utan. I was able to hold it for a while and took its photograph. Although I am thankful to this zookeeper for taking me to see this animal, as a zoologist, I have to ask authorities the reason to confine this baby animal. According to the zookeeper, it will be kept separately for few months because of … safety concerns (by) the Zoo authority.” said Peiris.

Orangutan Baby 3:

May 2015, A reliable source gives LT a photo of a newborn Orangutan, safe in the arms of its mother.

23rd March 2016, Dehiwala Zoo. Three babies later, the same male and female orang-utan sit quietly, alone in their cages.

Where did these rare, expensive Orangutan babies go?

Orangutan 1

Orangutan 2

Orangutan 3

Orangutan 4