The King of the Terrain
Leopards hold the formidable position of being the top predator in most terrestrial habitats in Sri Lanka. While a large number of national parks in the country are home to the Sri Lankan leopard, Yala and Wilpattu are considered to maintain to largest populations of the species. The open terrain that is habituated with grasslands and scrub jungle makes it an ideal home for leopards. Research done in Block 1 of the Yala National Park has indicated that the habitat has a staggering leopard diversity of one leopard per square kilometer.
The extensive grasslands and abundance of freshwater lakes in Yala National Park also makes it an ideal location for the spotted deer - the leopards prey. This in turn ensures the sustenance of the leopard population in Yala.
While a sighting of a leopard can never be guaranteed, the chance of seeing one in Sri Lanka is quite significant. It is sometimes even possible to sight a leopard during the day, especially younger cubs who walk fearlessly down open roads.