Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Rukvilla Cubs - Yala, Sri Lanka

One of the Leopard cubs from Rukvilla - Yala, Sri Lanka
One of the Rukvilla Cubs - Yala, Sri Lanka
 
The Rukvilla cubs are the current stars of Yala. Born around a year or so ago, they have grown up surrounded by noisy safari jeeps and don't seem to be too bothered by them anymore. Due to this fact they offer lengthy sightings and are one of the first stops made by most jeep drivers. We actually experienced a number of traffic jams, caused by the cubs, in the Rukvilla area during our 2.5 days in the park.

More shots after the jump.

One of the Leopard cubs from Rukvilla - Yala, Sri Lanka
One of the Rukvilla Cubs - Yala, Sri Lanka
  
Yala has changed a lot over the years. I remember going to the park as a child and spending five days in the park and not seeing a single Leopard. This trip we stayed outside the park and were able to see Leopard on every single drive into the park (No, we didn't see the Rukvilla cubs over and over again!).  From what I have heard this is the norm.

One of the Leopard cubs from Rukvilla - Yala, Sri Lanka

One of the Rukvilla Cubs - Yala, Sri Lanka

The mortality rate for cubs during the first year is around 41% - 50%. Thankfully these cubs seem to be doing well. Although they are able to fend for themselves from now on, they will remain with the mother for another 6 - 12 months before moving off on their own.

One of the Leopard cubs from Rukvilla - Yala, Sri Lanka
One of the Rukvilla Cubs - Yala, Sri Lanka

The photographs on this post were taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 100-400mm lens.
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