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Yala National Park
Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka

{ 155mm } – { f/5 } – { 1/640s exposure } – { ISO 400 }

A  Nature Safari in Sri Lanka

While on a nature safari in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka, I had the good fortune to come face to camera lens with several leopards, bears and elephants. This particular one seemed to have no fear as he walked right up next to our jeep, sniffed around and went about his business.

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My Original Travel Journal From Yala National Park

During my backpacking adventures, I keep extensive travel journals. What follows is an excerpt from Leopards, Elephants and Prisoners Two Feet From Our Face, written on April 30, 2009 in Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka.

The other jeeps began to drive away and no sooner than there was quiet again the leopard got up, walked right across the road in front of us and to the other side where a female leopard was waiting in the forest.

The two of them lay down facing each other and began to roar at each other and began the mating ritual. We sat there in the jeep, silent, snapping photos and waiting to see two leopards do it.Our tracker was pretty sure they would begin to mate as well until the roar of the other jeeps returning completely killed the mood for them. Frustrated at the voyeurs, they headed further into the forest away from our prying eyes to make little leopard babies…or at least that’s what I imagine happened…all we saw was them get up and walk away.

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Here’s the High-Resolution Photograph

It took a little while, but soon we were parked staring face to face with a beautiful male leopard. At one point he actually came within two feet of our jeep before walking back into the forest to take a rest on a sunny rock. By this time, three other jeeps had stopped alongside us so we moved on to give them time in our prime viewing spots.
It took a little while, but soon we were parked staring face to face with a beautiful male leopard. At one point he actually came within two feet of our jeep before walking back into the forest to take a rest on a sunny rock. By this time, three other jeeps had stopped alongside us so we moved on to give them time in our prime viewing spots.

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