Leopards of Wilpattu Photo Gallery

Leopards of Wilpattu
Leopards of Wilpattu
Leopards of Wilpattu
Leopards of Wilpattu
Leopards of Wilpattu
Leopards of Wilpattu

Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 - KSPF 1

Locations of sightings

Tala Wila, Tala Wila to Pomparippu, Kombansanchaipooval, Panikka Villu

First Sighting

25th June 2017 at 5.00pm

  • 20th December 2021 at 10.40am one leopard at Tala Wila. N 08.37932, E 079.94745

    Having driven from Pomparippu I turned on to the main road and spotted the leopard seated next to the concreate direction board.  It was a female and was quite relaxed. After a few minutes she got up and walked in the direction of Kombansanchaipooval. When she moved, I noticed that she had lost most of her tail and with it the characteristic elegant appearance which is unique to leopards.  I waited until she moved passed the large pool of water beyond the culvert and moved on to the main road. She was seated by the side of the road and was observing through the foliage the Spotted Deer grazing on the open fields.  After some time, she moved into the forest. I drove back on to the Tala Wila expecting the leopard to break cover but had no luck. The leopard was Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1). I have records of this female from January 2016. She is around 10 years and four months now and is usually seen between Panikkar Villu and Tala Wila. My last sighting of this leopard was in March 2021 at Tala Wila where she looked to be in good health. But in October the same year I received some disturbing images of her taken on the Galge Vihara road behind the Tala Wila bungalow from Nilushan Wijesinghe and Hashantha Lokugamage where she had lost most of her tail and did not appear to be in good health. The long tail is a very important part of a leopard’s anatomy as it helps the cat to maintain balance when making sudden changes in direction during a hunt. While an injury to the tail end is less life threatening any injury close to the body can be fatal due to septicemia and infection. Usually, a leopard can sustain such an injury during a hunt or during a fight with another leopard. I have observed Leopards hunting young Wild Boar on a few occasions. When the young are in a sounder the strategy is to ambush its prey and move up a tree with the prey before the adults launch their vicious attack. Any miscalculation can be very costly for the leopard. While we cannot conclude as how she came to lose her tail it is likely that it was during a Wild Boar hunt. However, I was relieved to observe that she had recovered well and appear to be in better health than in October despite her disability.

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 20th December 2021 at 10.40am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 20th December 2021 at 10.40am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 20th December 2021 at 10.40am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 20th December 2021 at 10.40am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 20th December 2021 at 10.40am
  • 28th March 2021 at 4.12pm one Leopard at Tala Wila. N 08.37969, E 079.94600
    I drove to the Pomparippu end of Tala Wila to photograph the 50+ Spotted Deer herd that was grazing. Upon my return spotted an adult female leopard walking across the open plains. The leopard turned and looked in my direction once but continued to walk until she moved into the forest. Later upon examination her spot pattern I identified it to be Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1).

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 28th March 2021 at 4.12pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 28th March 2021 at 4.12pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 28th March 2021 at 4.12pm
  • 20th June 2020 at 3.44am one Leopard at Tala Wila. N 08.37961, E 079.94435

    Having arrived at Tala Wila I observed two Indian peafowl in an agitated manner across the villu. Scanning the area with binoculars I was pleased to see a Leopard lying in the tall grass. The animal was hardly visible. After a few minutes the leopard stood up and moved to the edge of the water, lowered its body and was not visible again. As it was apparent that it was drinking I waited for it to move back in to the forest and when it did managed to get a few images. Later the study of its spot pattern confirmed that it was Kombansanchaipooval female 1 (KSPF 1). (with safari jeep driver Gayan)

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 20th June 2020 at 3.44am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 20th June 2020 at 3.44am
  • 8th March 2020 at 3.35pm one Leopard at Tala Wila. N 08.37915, E 079.94404

    We arrived at Tala Wila from Pomparippu and heard the alarm calls of Spotted Deer from the direction of the road to Kombansanchaipooval. We quickly drove down expecting to see a leopard on the road but the direction of the alarm calls shifted towards the villu. Upon returning to Tala Wila we spotted a Leopard close to the Pomparippu road. It was an adult female and she walked along the edge of the forest, crossed the road and continued to walk and mark the bushes along the forest edge across the villu. Upon examining the spot pattern I was happy to note that this is Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1). In late January this female was observed with two small cubs at Tala Wila. She appeared to have taken them across the villu as she walked across purposefully and moved in to the forest. ( with Tissa Ratnayake)

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 8th March 2020 at 3.35pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 8th March 2020 at 3.35pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 8th March 2020 at 3.35pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 8th March 2020 at 3.35pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 8th March 2020 at 3.35pm
  • 2nd February 2020 at 3.43pm one Leopard at Tala Wila. N 08.37965, E 079.94736

    The leopard was stalking a Peahen and had its body lowered to the ground with its ears flat. It was on a patch of shade and was observing the movements of the bird intently. While I was photographing all at once she charged but was not successful. The Peahen flew off with a series of loud alarm calls. With the arrival of another two vehicles the Leopard moved in to the forest. I was pleased to note that this is Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1), the mother of the two small cubs seen at this location. Unfortunately for me the two cubs were not with her, as she appear to have left them behind to go on a hunt. (with guide Hashan Madushanka)

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 2nd February 2020 at 3.43pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 2nd February 2020 at 3.43pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 2nd February 2020 at 3.43pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 2nd February 2020 at 3.43pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 2nd February 2020 at 3.43pm
  • 16th December 2019 at 10.08am a Leopard at Kombansanchaipooval. N 08.38798, E 079.95086

    The female Leopard was stalking some prey and was seated a few feet inside the jungle. After a few minutes she lowered her body to the ground and leapt further in to the forest causing a Spotted Deer to bark an alarm call. Her hunt was not successful as the Spotted Deer sprang out of the forest patch and ran in to the forest. Having checked the spot pattern of her back I noted that this is Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1). We waited for more than half an hour expecting the leopard to move out of the forest patch but had no luck. (with guide Tissa Ratnayake)

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 16th December 2019 at 10.08am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 16th December 2019 at 10.08am
  • 30th December 2017 at 9.35am 1 Leopard, Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1) at Kombansanchaipooval. N 08.38566, E 079.95050

    The leopard was seated on the road facing the opposite direction. I stopped the vehicle at an angle and turned off the engine. I managed to get a few images before the leopard moved in to the forest due to an on coming vehicle. Having approached the location where the leopard moved in we spotted it through the forest seated on a log at the edge glade. Expecting it to move out we drove ahead and parked. Within 5 minutes the leopard broke cover and sat at the edge of the forest.  She was interested in some activity across the small glade. After a few minutes she started to stalk some prey and moved across the glade and disappeared in to the forest. Upon examining the images I was able to identify this leopard as the Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1). My friend was thrilled as this was his first sighting of a Leopard in the wild. (with guide D.M. Wasantha)

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 30th December 2017 at 9.35am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 30th December 2017 at 9.35am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 30th December 2017 at 9.35am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 30th December 2017 at 9.35am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 30th December 2017 at 9.35am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 30th December 2017 at 9.35am Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 30th December 2017 at 9.35am
  • 19th August 2017 at 5.27pm one Leopard at Panikkar Villu.  N 08.39491, E 079.95237

    We drove in to Panikkar Villu from Aalam Villu and noticed the Spotted Deer barking out alarm calls while looking in one direction. The Leopard had been drinking and as we spotted it started to walk back to the forest. As the water level of the villu has reduced the leopard had to walk a longer distance to reach the edge of the water and back.  I managed to get a few images of the animal as it walked back to the forest ignoring the frantic alarm calls of the Deer and the Grey Langurs. Later upon examination of the spot and rosette patter of its left flank I was able to identify it as the Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1). ( with guide D.M.Wasantha)

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 19th August 2017 at 5.27pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 19th August 2017 at 5.27pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 19th August 2017 at 5.27pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 19th August 2017 at 5.27pm
  • 25th June 2017 at 5.00pm a leopard seated on the road at Kombansanchaipooval. N 08.38691, E 079.95142

    It was an adult female leopard. She was facing the opposite direction from the waterhole. I knocked off the engine and started to photograph the Leopard. A sound emanating from the water hole caught her attention and she moved instantly in that direction. I drove forward permitting the vehicle behind me to observe the leopard. In less than a minute noticed a terrified Wild Boar running away from the water hole. Having examined the images I identified this female as the Tala Wila Leopard 1 listed under the heading “Leopards of Wilpattu – Guest” on my site.  I named it Kombansanchaipooval Female 1 (KSPF 1). ( with guide D.M.Wasantha)

  • Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 25th June 2017 at 5.00pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 25th June 2017 at 5.00pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 25th June 2017 at 5.00pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 25th June 2017 at 5.00pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 25th June 2017 at 5.00pm Kombansanchaipooval Female 1-KSPF 1 - 25th June 2017 at 5.00pm