Learning about Leopards in Sri Lanka | RobbReport Malaysia

Learning about Leopards in Sri Lanka

Merrill J. Fernando — the Dilmah tea tycoon behind the luxurious Resplendent Ceylon hotel brand — has been one of Sri Lanka’s biggest philanthropists for decades. Now, the 87-year-old hotelier is hoping to engage his guests through a partnership with the Wilderness & Wildlife Conservation Trust that aims to teach local communities about the leopards in order to reduce fear and avoid conflict, while also reducing unnecessary interactions between humans and leopards. Guests can join Fernando’s mission with a stay at his five-bungalow resort Ceylon Tea Trails, set on a working tea plantation. There, they can accompany a team of conservationists as they monitor resident leopard behaviour via remote cameras and collect scat for diet analysis. Guests can also join naturalist Anuradha Ediriweera on a night hike to audit other nocturnal species, such as rusty-spotted cats, wild boar and a variety of snakes.

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Published September 16, 2017