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Have you seen this leopard?

A famous Sri Lankan Leopard goes missing

Welcome back, wildlife conspiracy fans! Today we are examining the story of Mr. J. He fights elephants! He can fly through the air! He is actually a demon in leopard form! Many legendary stories, but who really is or was this mysterious Mr. J? Here’s what we know: Mr. J was no doubt the King of Yala National Park. He earned his reputation by defeating rival male after rival male over the years. He hunted prey such as Barking Deer and Monkeys on a whim, swatted away charging Wild Boars with a single swipe of his mighty paw and fearlessly took down huge Sambar when he truly wanted to feast. But well into his 10th year, this ruler with an iron fist and undisputed romancer of the ladies… vanished!

Mysterious facts

Some have reported that he was seen badly wounded. But who in Yala is brave enough to take on the huge and mighty Mr. J? It’s been 2 weeks since that “sighting” and Mr. J has not been seen since. Did he actually lose a fight to another male over territory? Or did he win, but at a terrible cost? Or did he get bored of Yala and grow the size of all his black rosettes on his fur so that he turned black-as-night and is secretly the Black Leopard that has been spotted elsewhere in the country? The only thing we know, is that we may never know!

 

  

Story of the Photo

Whilst staying at the Mahoora Tented Safari Camp in Yala last year, Dilum was out on a morning safari when he spotted the mighty Mr. J and got this great shot of the fearsome leopard. Although the fight was never witnessed, the stories of his injuries have been corroborated by reliable sources. Some are expecting the worst, but many still hope that this majestic beast will recover soon and once again be spotted doing his slow prowl through the jungle.

 

WILDERNESS UPDATES

Prowling in tea country to save the leopard

Mother and cub on tea estate at base of ridgeStunning, sleek and spectacular, yet powerful and graceful, are these tawny and spotted creatures as they stride along the mountain ridges, masters of all they survey.

Let them live………protect their territory, will be the earnest and fervent plea to tea companies in the Central Highlands on behalf of Sri Lanka’s biggest predator – our very own Big Cat, the leopard.

Panthera pardus kotiya which is a sub-species unique to the country, not found anywhere else in the world, is tragically an endangered species.

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National Parks of Sri Lanka

National Park of SLSituated in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is renowned for its array of untouched habitats and its thriving biodiversity. It has become one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Asia owing to its exciting big game wildlife tours and its many national parks, some of which are recognised as World Heritage Sites.

Sri Lanka’s 26 national parks are filled with exotic animals and plant life, some of which are endemic to the island. The Sri Lankan leopard, elephant, and sloth bear are endemic to the country while, together with the Blue Whale and Sperm Whale, they make up the country’s Big Five mammals that attract hordes of tourists each year.

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The wildlife of Sri Lanka

Wildlife of SL

Sri Lanka is second to none in terms of its biodiversity and can be considered the best for big game safaris outside the African continent. As bold a statement as that may be, Sri Lanka’s wildlife credentials speak for itself.

Sri Lanka’s Big Five – leopard, elephant, sloth bear, blue whale, and sperm whale – are known as the country’s great wildlife attractions. These species are just some of the country’s plethora of wild species of fauna. It is also renowned as a birder’s paradise with an array of endemic, migratory, and resident avifauna found in its 70 Important Bird Areas strewn across its diverse landscape. Sri Lanka is also famous for its abundance of exotic flora.

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Much more than just a great place to stay

"Thanks to our guide Avinka we had five great safaris staying four nights just after reopening this February. The staff made us feel so very welcome during the entire stay.

The safaries are just wonderful, and having a great guide in your vehicle makes a big difference. Avinka can spot animals you would never see and we were even lucky enough to sight leopards on the trees, close to our vehicle, and also running through the field. The wildlife is so exciting that you will have a great experience even if you don‘t see any leopards. We also had a great driver, which is essential if you drive through difficult territory. You are being taken care of the entire time, so even for those who do safaris for the first time, you will always feel safe.

The camp itself is very comfortable, you get everything you can think of, and on top of the great food being served with so much attention and friendliness. You also get wonderful vegetarian and vegan options. They put on bonfires at night, which makes it unforgettable.
When booking and making plans, you get great support from the headquarters, even if it gets difficult since you have to change your plans.
The best thing what can happen to you at the end of a vacation is when you are a bit sad to leave the place, having experienced something to remember forever, and the team does everything for this to happen. Thank you so much"

Axel S wrote, Traveled with family
January 2021

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