The leopard is really hard to see in Yala National Park. It is estimated they only have 50 of these big predators. It is a huge area. This is when the National Park Safari guide that has to accompany your vehicle earns his wage. He knows where to look and what their feeding habits are.
The Sri Lankan leopard is really hard to see in Yala National Park
The best place to spot them is in a tree. Some take their kill up into the branches. Most eat their meal on the ground as unlike Africa they normally do not get bothered by other carnivores. After a good meal they fall asleep on a lofty perch.
The trees also make good lookout towers where they can spot their next meal. Be prepared to go on an all day safari trip and not see a Leopard. Those that do manage to catch a glimpse of this tree climbing spotted killing machine must count themselves very lucky.
Look up in the trees if you want to spot a Sri Lankan leopard in Yala National Park
If you are on a 4x4 safari with your children just be a bit careful what you expose them to witness. 'Mummy why is that leopard eating that monkeys head?' Some of the screams of the kill can be terrifying and upsetting. The sight of a leopard opening up the intestines of a spotted deer can be very disturbing.
The Sri Lankan Leopard is a subspecies of the larger Indian Leopard. It is under threat from poaching for its skin and being destroyed after a leopard human conflict that turned fatal. It is considered to be endangered but Yala National Park has the greatest density of the animal. They are normally solitary hunters. If you see two hunting together it is normally mother and her cub. They mainly hunt Spotted or Axis deer but also prey on wild boar, small mammals, reptiles, birds, very young baby elephants, monkeys, Sambar and Barking deer.