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Leopard Spotting –Spot Nature’s Most Magnificent Creation

The most visited national park in Sri Lanka, the Yala National Park is home to a vast number of species. However, attracting enthusiastic nature lovers, amidst its verdant greenery, lives the magnificent leopard, endemic to Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lankan Leopard

flickr / Via Flickr: jenufa

A native species, the Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) was entered into the list of endangered species on the IUCN Red List in 2008. It has a rusty yellow coat marked with dark spots identical to the Indian Leopard and on average weighs around 29kg.

How to locate the leopards

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The Yala National Park is divided into five different blocks, some of which cannot be easily accessed by visitors. Those on a leopard safari are usually advised to visit Block One which is home to around 40 leopards. However, a leopard sighting can be a rare occurrence. If you are seriously determined to spot a leopard, basing yourself in nearby hotels such as Chena Huts is an ideal choice.

Usual Habitats

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Other than in Yala National Park, leopards have been spotted in other parts of the island too; these include the evergreen monsoon forest, upper highland forest, wet zone intermediate forest and several other terrains.

Behaviour / Via

Sri Lankan Leopards just like the other subspecies of leopards are solitary hunters. However, the females are usually accompanied by young cubs. The leopards visit the hunting grounds in the nights and rarely drag their prey into trees unless due to rivalry with other leopards.

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