Sunday, January 22, 2012

Leopards - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

A Leopard photographed in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
Leopard - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

On our last trip to Sri Lanka we were able to visit Wipattu while we were staying in Anuradhapura. Due to time constraints we were able to do just one drive in the park. However, we were quite lucky as we atually managed to see 3 Leopards in the park.

More photographs after the jump.

A Leopard photographed in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
 Leopard - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

The first sighting was just five minutes after we entered the park. We had just picked up the tracker from the office and headed into the park when we saw the first Leopard just off the road. We had actually driven past him before we realised and had to reverse back to where he was. He wasn't too bothered with us and was happy to sit in the shade and be photographed. We had been there for about five minutes when a tractor approached and spooked the Leopard.

A Leopard photographed in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
Leopard - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

The second sighting was a mother and a cub who were playing on the road when we saw them. Unfortunately they were some distance away and we had to be cautious when we approached. Our driver wasn't very experienced and he stopped a relatively long way from the Leopards making photography almost impossible. By the time we were close enough to the Leopards to photograph them, the cub had moved away.

A Leopard photographed in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
Leopard - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

A few minutes later the mother moved off to the right hand side of the road. The cub saw her move and followed her. It was still in a playful mood and I was fortunate to photograph it running across the road and jumping on its mothers back. The two moved into the undergrowth and were there for sometime before they disappeared into the jungle.

A Leopard photographed in Wilpattu, Sri Lanka
Leopard - Wilpattu, Sri Lanka

The photograph above is of the mother when she was about 10 meters away.

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



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