Leopard Enjoying Evening Sun – Wilpattu National Park, Sri Lanka

We were traveling in a safari jeep inside Wilpattu National Park in Sri Lanka on a sunny day in February 2013. Wilpattu is the largest national park in Sri Lanka covering over 1300 sq. km. and its located in North Central Province, approximately 180 km from capital, Colombo.

It was an uneventful day until we came across this juvenile Sri Lankan Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) enjoying an evening nap around 4.30pm.

It was resting on a low hanging branch of a tree right next to the jeep track. At times we were able to get as close as 10 metres and did not even acknowledge our presence for the entire period of half an hour we were there. Animals in National Parks are so used to humans and it was completely absorbed in enjoying its nap other than yawning at times. It never looked at us directly and the eyes were never fully open. Evening sun was not so camera friendly but the strong light was partially covered from the surrounding tree leaves so the image was not affected much.

RAW file Exposure was adjusted in Canon Camera RAW and cropped to improve image quality.

Wilpattu National Park, North Central Province, Sri Lanka, 9th February 2013 4.44pm
Canon EOS 50D | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM at 400mm| Manual Exposure|Hand held at 1/800 sec| f 7.1| ISO 1250| RAW

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