rescue dogs

10 animals to see on Holiday in Sri Lanka.

10 Animals To See On Holiday In Sri Lanka at GlenMyu Estate.

10 Animals to see on holiday in Sri Lanka at GlenMyu Estate.

Not the usual elephants, leopards and crocodiles you see on safari. But they are a wonderful sight at Yala, Udawalawe, Minneriya, Wilpattu or one of the other parks. (I haven’t been lucky enough to see a leopard myself.
But the sun must have been shining on lots of our guests at GlenMyu Estate as they show me their great leopard photos!

Some you will definitely see, some you will maybe see and others you will be lucky to see!

Definitely.

Animals that you will definitely see at GlenMyu Estate.

1. Our rescue dogs.

We have several rescue dogs at GlenMyu Estate. 

Although we did not plan to have dogs, we appear to have gathered a few. My wife and I blame our first dog, Clove, for our collection. If Clove had not been such a nice, loving character then we may have been more reluctant to take on more rescue dogs.

I have finally put my foot down and we are at our maximum number of pups at GlenMyu Estate

2. Animals you will see on holiday in Sri Lanka - Our rescue chickens.

We have rescue dogs and now we have rescue chickens!

Again, we never planned to have chickens.

This situation changed when one of our acquaintances could not afford to feed his chickens when the financial crisis hot Sri Lanka. The cost of chicken layers feed was either not available or exorbitantly expensive. 

We decided to take them on.

The chickens were being kept in a shed and did not have the freedom to roam and forage.
At GlenMyu Estate we have five acres of land. 
We decided to buy the chickens and create a safe space for them to live. The plan was for the chickens to forage around the estate and we would not have the cost of feed. We were pleased that the chickens settled in well and although they had not been conditioned to forage, those instincts kicked in quite quickly. 

You live and learn and after we lost a few chickens to Mongoose and Eagles, we increased their security. They now have a bespoke house in which to live.  The coop is fenced off with chicken wire which helps fend off predators. We even have a fishing net above the coop to stop the eagles flying in.

One of our staff looks after the chickens when they are out of the coop foraging. It makes the eggs that we get very expensive, but they are delicious. Despite losing a few chickens the numbers have increased as we get new chicks every so often.

Despite the cost we are happy that we have provided these rescue chickens with a good place for them to live.

3. Ducks foraging around the five acre estate.

The ducks have been at GlenMyu Estate for a longer period than the chickens. Ru wanted to get some ducks as her birthday present, so off we went. 

The initial four ducks have multiplied up to around twenty. I was getting worried that they would keep on multiplying and we would have created a problem.

The duckling production has slowed so we appear to have a manageable number at this time. 

I really enjoy watching the ducks forage around the estate and swim in the various ponds and streams around the estate.

4. Maali, our rescue cow.

We have a rescue cow called Maali. She arrived at GlenMyu Estate in December 2022. She is an important part of life at GlenMyu Estate and has settled in well. Maali grazes in the land and provide good nutrition for our garden. She adds to the landscape and her character has developed since she has been at the estate and she provides us with lots of laughs and entertainment.

You can read more about Maali in our articles “We got a cow” and “The cow – a year on”.

Maybe/probably

Animals that you will probably see at GlenMyu Estate.

5. Monkeys - Toque Macaues or Tufted Grey Langurs.

Toque macaques are found only in Sri Lanka

They are regular visitors to the trees at GlenMyu Estate and forage on leaves and any fruits that they can get without being disturbed by our dogs.

You can read more about Toque macaques at NePrimate Conservacy.

Tufted Grey Langurs also visit the trees at the estate quite often, but less than the Macaques. 
They mainly eat the leaves on the trees and sometimes are seen bounding over the floor playing or getting to a new safe spot.  Read more about Tufted Grey Langurs here

6. Flameback Woodpeckers.

The Red-backed flameback, Lesser Sri Lanka flameback, Sri Lanka red-backed woodpecker or Ceylon red-backed woodpecker  are endemic to Sri Lanka.

They live to eat the ripe Jackfruit from our trees.

7. Black Eagles.

We regularly hear the screech of the Black eagle as it circles around the hills near GlenMyu Estate

Sometimes there are two or three in the air circling, searching for food. 

When we hear the screeches we run to protect our ducks and chickens.

Only if you are lucky!

Animals that you will might see, if you are lucky, at GlenMyu Estate.

8. Animals you may see on holiday in Sri Lanka - Porcupines.

We do have porcupines that come to the land and dig up some of our young coconut trees and other roots. You can read more about porcupines in the following Daily News article “Pangolins and Porcupines”.

We have seen they in our vegetable garden occasionally but they scatter away too fast t get a photo.

9. A Giant squirrel.

A don’t have a good photo of a giant squirrel just yet, however you can see what they look like in the following link to Animal Bio.

They normally like to spend their time in more wooded areas and we do not have sufficient tree cover at the moment.  Our neighbours have created a forest and they have plenty of visits from Giant Squirrels.

Our neighbours have difficulty in getting a harvest from the crops that they plant because of the Giant Squirrels, so we are happy that it is only an occasional visitor.

10. Barking Deer.

You will be lucky to spot a Barking Deer or Mouse Deer at GlenMyu Estate.

This picture was taken on  a long lens as it was eating grass at the far end of the estate. As soon as the dogs are aware that the deer is on the land, they bark, and the deer runs off to safety.

And too many more to mention!

Of course, there are may more animals to see on holiday in Sri Lanka.

I could have mentioned the snakes. Occasionally we see a Cobra when it come out to bathe in the sun or forage for food.
However we regularly see the rat snake. (don’t worry, it’s not venomous).

Hopefully we don’t see the Mongoose. They have been successful in having some of our ducks for lunch!

There is a vast array of birds that visit the estate and too many for a list of ten. We regularly have birdwatching sessions with our neighbours and are ticking off the birds that we spot. 

Bats fly around the estate when the sun goes down.

We have lots of insects coming to the estate. The Christmas Fly is a pain when it comes but the frogs, geckos and birds have a feast. 

10 Animals to see on holiday in Sri Lanka at GlenMyu Estate -Summary

  1. Our rescue dogs.
  2. Our rescue chickens.
  3. Ducks foraging around the five acre estate.
  4. Maali, our rescue cow.
  5. Monkeys – Toque Macaues or Tufted Grey Langurs.
  6. Flameback Woodpeckers.
  7. Black Eagles.
  8. Porcupines.
  9. A giant squirrel.
  10. Barking Deer.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate and see the animals that visit the land.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

10 animals to see on Holiday in Sri Lanka. Read More »

Malli our Cow

The cow – a year on (almost)

The Cow - a year on (well almost!)

The cow – a year on – well almost! Here is an update on our cow Maali who has lived at GlenMyu Estate since December 2022. .

If you have read our previous article “We got a cow!”, then perhaps you will be interested in an update on how we have got on so far.

Maali is now part of the family

After my initial hesitation and worry about having a cow on the estate, Maali is now ensconced into our family at GlenMyu Estate. Maali is very comfortable living on the estate and her character has really developed since December 2022. 

All the other animals are used to Maali going about her business although the dogs still make a fuss when she comes back from her day grazing.

Some of the issue with the dogs have been brought about by Maali herself. We think that, as she is a herd animal, she really needs some company of her own.

I need a friend!

Her substitute for a friend appears to be chasing the dogs, chickens and ducks when she is let loose. Of course, this winds up the dogs who are happy to play. I must admit that I do laugh when some of our more recent puppies grab hold of her rope and pull it as Maali walks back towards her enclosure to see if any food has been left for her by the chickens.

Character building

She is a real character and quite determined in what she wants to do. 

Sometimes it takes a bit of encouragement to get her to do what you want. It’s as if she is a petulant child!

In the morning, Maali sometimes decides that she wants to be taken to a different part of the estate to graze. She stops dead and refuses to move!

It takes some effort to get her on her way again. Fortunately years playing rugby in the front row means that I have technique that can even move a bast of this tonnage. A tug of war ensues and after a while Maali realises that she is on the move.
I am trying to lose a bit of weight and perhaps in the future Maali will win this battle. But for now it’s an unexpected addition to my strength exercises when she decides to be stubborn!

The reaction from our guests.

Maali features in our Instagram, YouTube and Facebook photos and videos every so often. Many of our guests know about Maali before they come and are keen to meet her. We had two Indian Lawyers stay with us and as soon as they got out of the car they were looking for Maali. Several of our guests grew up in the country or on a family farm and like that there is cow on the estate. I guess that it brings back memories and is a comforting feeling.

We nearly lost her - twice!

Over the past ten months we have learned that we can’t allow Maali to roam free. Evidence of this is that we used to have a nice border of flowers and plants on the border of the lawn. Maali decided that this was a delicious buffet and therefore we no longer have beautiful flowers at the edge of the lawn!

We now tend to tie her in one area in the mornings so she can work on one particular area of grass and plants. Later on, once she is quite full, we release her to roam around the land (watching that she doesn’t eat any more flowers!).

One day my wife an I were in Colombo picking up some supplies for GlenMyu Estate and we received a phone call from a neighbour asking whether our cow was at the estate. We were confident that she was but decided to check with one of the staff. 

He was confident as well …..until he had a look at the area he thought she was. Of course, she wasn’t there and had escaped. 

Fortunately she was returned to us by our neighbour. 

How did she escape my Dear Watson?

We have fencing around GlenMyu Estate so we were perplexed on how Maali had escaped. It turned out that the gate that the staff use was left open and Maali found her escape!

Now the staff ensure that the gate is closed!

The second time was more scary

Maali started developing lumps on her skin and started losing weight. A home visit by the vet diagnosed the problem as “Lump Skin Disease”. The vet gave her an injection and told us that there was not medicine in Sri Lanka to treat the problem. However there was hope that may get through this and survive, but no guarantee.

We were extremely worried. A search on the internet didn’t help (which can often happen).

Fortunately we have some good friends that suggested that we try to treat Maali with a herbal remedy and they gave us the recipe to the potion.

Maali didn’t look great for several days and her appetite was low. Her favourite foods of Jackfruit and Bananas were of little or no interest. She was mainly kept indoors during this period as it was a colder and wetter part of the year and we needed to keep her warm. We continued with the medication over a few weeks and we were delighted to see that Maali started to want to eat again.

My wife and I had an important trip back to the UK when Maali was recovering and we were still unsure that she would make it. Daily updates were provided by Ruwanthi’s mother or the staff. She was continuing to make progress with the medication and the food that we brought in for her. 

Whilst we were away she had been showing that she wanted to go outside and start grazing again.

We returned to Sri Lanka in the later part of October and we were really pleased to see that Maali had put on a fair bit of weight. She had some open wounds, as a result of the disease which were continuously being treated

Relief

A few days after we returned Maali was let out to graze for part of the day.  She has put on weight and really looks so good compared to when we left for the UK.

Her character is coming back and she is now harassing the dogs again. Maali has not fully recovered however we have confidence that she will be back to her old self soon

Ready to meet guests again.

Maali is now accepting guests. Our most recent visitors have two delightful daughters who helped Ruwanthi feed Maali some bananas as soon as they got out of the car.

Being the petulant child, she of course didn’t eat them and I have no doubt that they will be saved for later for an evening snack without onlookers!

Visit GlenMyu Estate and meet Maali and her friends.

GlenMyu Estate is a boutique hotel located in five acres of the Sri Lankan countryside. We only have three bedrooms for guests and we are within an hours drive of many superb tourist sites. The tallest and second tallest Waterfalls in Sri Lanka are less than an hour away. Ella, the busy tourist town, is just over an hours drive and great for a day trip to see Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Rock, Ravana Falls and more. Our guests love to visit Horton Plains National Park and see the Tea gardens from Lipton’s Seat.

Where does the money go!

Your stay helps us pay for the maintenance of the estate, care for the animals and provide much needed employment for local people.

We are listed on booking.com and Airbnb where you can see our reviews and what our guests think of GlenMyu Estate.

For direct booking rates please contact us directly by pressing the WhatsApp button on our website.

The cow – a year on (almost) Read More »

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

Rescue Dogs of GlenMyu Estate

Rescue Dogs of GlenMyu Estate

Since we moved to the Sri Lankan Hill Country we have adopted many rescue dogs at GlenMyu Estate. Some have been kept on the 5 acre estate, some have been re-homed and unfortunately we expect to have to continue to do this work.

We try to give these orphans a good start in life by providing them with nutritious food, added vitamins & minerals and the necessary vaccinations to protect them against diseases. 

It was not part of our plan and we did not really expect to have dogs on the estate. We thought that it might deter some people from booking a stay with us in the Hill Country.

A few people have booked and cancelled when they find out that we have dogs – which is fine with us. We would not want anyone to feel uncomfortable staying here at GlenMyu Estate.

We have however, been surprised that, often the dogs are the star of the show. Our welcome message includes a small commentary about the dogs and we have had lots of people really excited about meeting them. 

As it is a little dangerous interacting with dogs in Sri Lanka due to the risk of rabies, guests are delighted that they are able to pet the animals at GlenMyu Estate. They know that the dogs are all vaccinated and there will be no issues.

Also, our dogs are so used to meeting new guests sometimes they are quite blasé about the situation. We find that when the vehicle carrying our guest arrive they just want to have a sniff and then they get on with their daily lives. If however, guests make a fuss of them, they know that the guests are dog lovers and that they will get plenty of attention when they are here.

We didn’t plan to have dogs however Clove was delivered to us and we have never looked back. You can read about Clove’s story on the following BlogPost.

Donie is the mother of Patch and Biscuit

Here is Donie with Patch and Fleur in the background. 

Patch is Donie’s son and was born at GlenMyu Estate.

Donie (and Kahlu) were owned by the caretaker to the construction company who built the main structure and roadway into GlenMyu Estate. The contractors were here for about one and a half years and both Donie (and Kahlu) were supposed to go with their owner onto the next site.

Donie had a litter whilst living at GlenMyu Estate and her son and daughter, Patch and Biscuit, survived. 

We decided that we would keep Patch and Biscuit as we brought them up on the estate and it was their home. 

The caretaker was happy for Donie to stay and Kahlu was to go with the contractors to the next construction site…..however….(read about Kahlu’s story here).

Patch and Biscuit - brother and sister!

Patch and Biscuit have different colourings however, they certainly act like brother and sister.

Like most siblings, sometimes they get on well together and sometimes they don’t. Patch acts like a guardian to both Donie and Biscuit and will run and protect them if there is any disturbance. 

However, Patch has a large appetite (being the boy!) and he will try to take food off Donie or Biscuit once he has gobbled up his breakfast or lunch. Motherly Donie is happy to share her food but Biscuit will snarl at him warning him to keep away.

Donie is a great mother and she still, after almost 4 years, cleans Patch’s eyes and ears almost on a daily basis. Sometimes Patch looks a little embarrassed when this happens, however we have also seen him offer his ears and eyes to his mother to clean!

Clove and Roti

We made a mistake!
Being new to having dogs were foolishly missed the time when Clove was on heat and were not able to stop her mating (with half the neighbourhood!)

Oh No! Puppies!

We have realised that when you give a puppy a really good start in life, giving them a wholesome diet supplemented by vitamins and minerals, that they will be very healthy. In turn this appears to have made Clove very productive when it came to having her first litter. Fro  our discussions with neighbours they would expect a litter of perhaps three, four or five.

Can you imagine our horror when Clove had her litter and produced nine puppies over a very long night.

Unfortunately two of the puppies did not survive the next day and we were left with seven healthy and hungry little ones. 

Support or work with the rescue dogs by staying at GlenMyu Estate

I think of GlenMyu Estate as more of a social enterprise than a “proper” business. By opening the house and grounds to paying guests we certainly benefit by being able to live in a nice environment whilst meeting really interesting people. 

By holidaying at GlenMyu Estate you also support the staff that we have by effectively contributing to their wages so that they can support their families.

You also are providing money so that we can support the work we do with rescue dogs, providing them with a good start in life prior to being rehoused into loving homes,

We have lost count of the number of abandoned puppies that we have taken in that have been dropped close to our gate or brought to us by our staff.

At the Estate we have decided that we can only have  a maximum of seven dogs. This is still too many however we got to seven and decided that must be the limit. The puppies that we take in are given a good healthy start and then we make sure that they go to good, loving homes. 

We ensure that the puppies get all the relevant vaccinations and also have committed to pay for neutering and spaying in the future if the owner wants to go down that route and doesn’t have the funds to meet the costs.

In conjunction with a local vet we have also supported the funding of sterilisation of dogs owned by poor villagers who cannot afford to pay the vet bills.

We support these costs due to, as you will see from your travels around this Paradise Island, that there are too many street dogs that are in really poor conditions. By reducing the number of litters. Most females can have litters two or three times a year. Even if a mother has three puppies twice a year the number of dogs increases by six, so you can understand the problem if there is no control.

If you want to find out more about a stay at GlenMyu Estate please click on the following link to our website.

You can also see some videos on our YouTube Channel for the dogs on the following link.

Here are some pics of some of the puppies we have re-homed.

Rescue Dogs of GlenMyu Estate Read More »

The dog looking upon the swimming pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Our Rescue Dogs

Our Rescue Dogs - making GlenMyu Estate a special place.

We have seven rescue dogs here at GlenMyu Estate.

Dogs were not in our plan!

Ruwanthi and I didn’t intend to have any dogs, they just found us.

We ended up with Seven!

How we ended up here.

In 2018 we were living in our temporary abode whilst we develop the land at Beragala in our “Garage” at the top part of the land – a 1,000 sq ft building with one bedroom, attached bathroom and internal garage.

Ruwanthi had started planting various fruits and vegetables in the kitchen garden new the garage and we were losing produce on a regular basis to various raiders during the day and night which included a wide variety of birds, monkeys and wild boar. 

The onsite caretaker for the construction company had two dogs, a male and female called Kahlu and Donnie and we were regularly disturbed at night by the barking warning us of predators looking for a midnight snack or two. 

Some of the construction workers alerted us that there were three puppies that had been dropped off at the top of our road which they had been feeding as they arrived and left for the evening. 

We were to subsequently find out that dropping off unwanted dogs, especially females, was a regular event in Sri Lanka. It is particularly prevalent around the monthly Poya day and puppies are dropped near temples with the expectation that a worshipper would take on the problem.

Ruwanthi went with one of our workers to investigate and found that the male puppy had died and there were the remaining undernourished female puppies remaining. Despite not being a dog lover the natural instinct was to take the two orphans and provide some sustenance and shelter as you would with any animal in need.

We fell in love

We named them Clove and Cinnamon as they were dark with some flecks of white and brown on them. It was a steep learning curve for us both with lots of searching on the internet finding out what we needed to do.

We didn’t want the dogs inside the garage and their quarters was a box outside with a towel to provide the warmth that they would have gotten from their mother.

At the time Donie was due to have some puppies so we were going to have more animals on the premises than expected however we did think they would all be found new homes and Kahlu and Donie would move on to the next project with their owner.

Donies pups were born and the dog numbers were raised by three. We were feeding Clove and Cinnamon and Kahlu and Donie were mainly fed from our spare rice with their main meals being provided by the unwanted leftovers from the construction workers.

Disaster Strikes and we are heartbroken

Clove and Cinnamon were very sweet and we unexpectedly had gotten quite attached very quickly. A few trips to the vet for advice and the relevant injections they started to grow and get stronger with their regular feeding of rice and curry several times a day.

Cinnamon was the more adventurous of the two and they both provided us with lots of entertainment watching them grow and develop. 

One evening we didn’t have too much food available left over for Donie and her pups however they were fed by their owner. Perhaps there was little provided there as some of the workers had gone home for a few days.

In the middle of the night I was awoken by Ruwanthi shouting at the dogs as there was some racquet going on outside. It took us a minute or two to get the garage door open and find out what was going on in the pitch black of the night. 

Ruwanthi had seen Donie with one of our puppies hanging from her mouth and she went searching outsides soon as able. Eventually, after what appeared to be an age she returned with the limp body of Cinnamon cradled in her arms. Within a few minutes Cinnamon stopped breathing and was gone.

The Grief Cycle

An event like this never leaves you and I do think about our Cinnamon quite often and wonder what type of character she would have grown into. Early on Clove had attached herself to Ruwanthi and Cinnamon to me.

It was very traumatic for us to think what Cinnamon must have gone through and we were confused and bewildered in trying o work out why this had happened. We felt guilt and sorrow for what Cinnamon must have endured as a shocking end to her short life.

We went through the established emotions of grief and my anger towards Donie was difficult to abate.

We had really become attached to the dogs and were distraught by the events that had taken place.

We came to the conclusion that Donie had not had sufficient food to eat as she was providing for three suckling puppies and perhaps had seen Clove and Cinnamon as threats to her food source. Cinnamon, being adventurous may have been disturbed during the night by the new puppies and went to investigate and Donie decided to protect her pups. 

A change or lifestyle

We now changed our outlook to protect Clove until she had grown to a size where she would be able to defend herself. Our reticence to have a dog inside the garage abated and Cloves home was over into the Garage part of the building.

Prior to her moving inside we did not have to worry about midnight trips for the dogs to relieve herself or investigate any potential nocturnal predators at our vegetable garden. 

Sleep depravation was now to follow with the garage door being raised and lowered regularly during the night. Clove took some time to work out that the garage was not her toilet and we were regularly met with presents for us to avoid in the morning.

It was all worth it in the end.

Our first dog that we named Clove.

It turns out that Clove was not going to be the last of the dogs that came to us at GlenMyu Estate, however that story will have to wait for another Blog post.

To be continued - the story of our rescue dogs.

We now have Seven dogs. It has not been our maximum number as we have taken in a rehoused lots of puppies over the short time we have been at GlenMyu Estate.

At the time of writing another female puppy has just forced her way into the estate! 

Pictures to follow.

See our Dogs YouTube Channel at this link.

A stay at GlenMyu Estate to meet the rescue dogs and so much more.

At GlenMyu Estate we have 3 guest bedrooms nestled in the 5 acres of land.

If you are looking for a different holiday and to meet our rescue dogs please contact us by WhatsApp for our best rates 00 94 752 999 272.

Contact details are also on our website.

Our Rescue Dogs Read More »

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