The Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) is a leopard subspecies endemic to Sri Lanka. Listed as
Endangered by IUCN. It is believed that their population is threatened due to deforestation, poaching and many other damages to their natural habitats. Yala park is among the places with worlds highest leopard population densities and in fact leopards are in the top of attractions of Yala park.Colloquially known as Kotiya (කොටියා) in Sinhala, the leopard is called Chiruththai (சிறுத்தை) in Tamil.The Sri Lankan leopard has a tawny / rusty yellow coat and dark spots withclose-set rosettes, somehwat different to Indian leopards.
Researchers say that Sri Lankan leopards are not anymore social than other leopard subspecies with observations they have done in Yala National Park. Sri Lankan Leopards are solitary hunters. Both male and female leopards have their territories overlapping. Males’ territories are often seen overlapping territories of several females’ territories. Also it can be seen that males’ territories are overlapped with other males’ territories. Leopards prefer to hunt at night though they are also active in dawn and dusk and occasionally in day time. Unlike in most other leopard populations around world, this one rarely haul their kills in to trees.That is obviously due to lack of competition and because they are apex predators.The Sri Lankan leopard is the country’s top predator.
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