The Sri Lankan Leopard
Panthera pardus kotiya
The first villu (water body) that you encounter when entering the Wipattu National Park has royalty of its own. A majestic Sri Lankan leopard cub who is merely one and a half years old sits proudly on the sandy track leading into the park around five in the evening. Still a young predator, the Prince of Persibeniwewa will soon claim his territory as King. Even though he appears brave and poised in this capture he has to defeat the mature leopard that currently reigns in the territory to become the true King. The cycle of leopards claiming territory, having cubs of their own and witnessing their cubs grow up to become mature predators themselves is quite commonly seen in these eco systems.