Sportsmen, while after game in high forest in the low-country, are often startled by the sudden scurrying away of huge lizard-like creatures commonly called iguanas. The Sinhalese call them talagoya and the Tamils ddmbu.

They grow to a length of four feet or more, and are hunted with dogs by the villagers, who are fond of their flesh. It has often been tasted by Europeans and pronounced to be something like chicken. They are extraordinarily strong creatures. It requires a strong man to drag one out of a narrow hole into which it has got its head and fore-legs.


The hare found in Ceylon is the " black-necked hare " lepus nigricollis. The Sinhalese name is hw, and the Tamil musai. They are found almost everywhere but are most common in the sandy coast-forests. In some places in the northern parts they can be kicked out of almost every bush. They also swarm round the tanks and open places and in abandoned over-grown fields in the interior. The best time to go after them is at dusk. The weight of a well-grown one will be from 5 to 8 lb.

Flying Foxes

At certain seasons of the year when most of the trees are in fruit, some amusement may be had in shooting flying foxes, a large kind of fruit-eating bat. It must be done by moonlight while they are fluttering about some tree feeding. Though heavy fliers and broad-winged it requires some knack to bring them down in the uncertain light. The fur of these creatures is soft and thick and of a dark red colour and makes pretty purses, pouches, etc. The flesh is much esteemed by natives. It has been tried by Europeans with many misgivings and found sweet and tender.