Leopard Encounter in Sri Lanka

Stephen Christy

27 Sep 2012

A special leopard encounter at Darshana Wewa lake in Sri Lanka

Yala National park is known as one of the best spots in Sri Lanka to see wild leopards.

On arriving in the park we drove straight to my favourite lake (Darshana Wewa) and found the mugger crocodiles had killed a spotted deer. There was great commotion in the water as they rolled to tear pieces off it. In the middle of all that our guide suddenly noticed there was a large male leopard sitting under a tree. We moved along the embankment and kept it under observation from just before 4.00 p.m. It sat under a tree, jumped into the tree, sat under the tree again and then went to the lake for a drink. Miraculously just after I decided to fit the 1.4x extender to the 300mm lens on my camera, the leopard climbed a small, grassy hill overlooking the lake. A small group of unsuspecting spotted deer cautiously circled and approached the part of the lake near by. 

At just after 5pm the leopard launched its ambush and 16 seconds later killed a spotted deer right near, just below where we were sitting. We were lucky enough to photograph the stalking, the attack, the death of the deer and the dragging of the carcass. For the entire time we were the only jeep there.

Definitely a case of right place, right time!


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29/9/2012 2:00 AM

Fantastic sighting and what a treat to be the only ones there!

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