Will the ‘Dandu Lena’ lose its status as national animal?

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation has said that it has been proposed to replace the Grizzled giant squirrel (known as the ‘Dandu Lena’ by locals) with an endangered species that is endemic to Sri Lanka.

According to a senior official at the ministry, there are no records which explain why or who had named the Grizzled giant squirrel as the national animal of the country.

A discussion held at the ministry yesterday (10) has revealed that it is the Peacock and the Grizzled giant squirrel that cause the most damage to crops. The Grizzled giant squirrel in particular, is harmful to coconut and cocoa crops, the ministry official added.

As the Grizzled giant squirrel is the designated national animal, nothing can be done against this and the aforementioned proposal had been raised, he further noted.

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