Sri Lanka has opened the world‘s first Leopard Information Center at the country’s most famous wildlife park, the Yala National Park, in southeastern Sri Lanka which will also be opened to park visitors, local media reported here Tuesday.
According to a statement from the Wildlife Ministry, the Leopard Information Center will provide the Department of Wildlife Conservation staff, Yala safari jeep drivers, visitors to the park and researchers with ample knowledge about leopards and in particular, the Sri Lankan leopard called Panthera Pardus Kotiya which can be spotted at the Yala National Park.
The center also has a state of the art information touch panel which gives comprehensive information of over 100 identified leopards of the Yala National Park, such as photos, family trees where applicable, frequently seen areas and many more.
Government Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa in a statement on social media said he hopes the center will serve to protect and preserve this predator as Sri Lanka reopens following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sri Lanka recently recorded three leopard deaths after the animals were caught in snares, leading to authorities warning to take legal action against anyone caught harming the predators.
Wildlife officials said the survival of the Sri Lankan leopard is threatened due to habitat loss and fragmentation primarily with some levels of poaching and human-related leopard deaths.