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.
Share on Facebook

7 comments:

holdingmoments said...

Lovely captures of a beautiful animal Dev.
Must have been a great thrill to see them.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Keith. It was a great experience. I saw a number of other Leopards and will upload photographs of them in the near future.

lovetravel said...

Beautiful! How lucky you were to see them. I went for a day and did not see any leopard. I work for a luxury travel company and I have some customers going to Yala very soon, I hope they will see them too. I really admire your work btw. You are a great ambassador for Sri Lanka!

Chris said...

Excellent post Dev and gorgeous shots! I'd love to see such wildlife one day!

Gallicissa said...

Great stuff!

Dev Wijewardane said...

Chris, you are virtually guaranteed a sighting in Yala. So if you are up to it...

Amila, thanks.

Dev Wijewardane said...

lovetravel, Thanks for the compliment. Your clients are sure to see Leopard on their trip. The place seems to be full of them!