As the national day of the Sri Lankan leopard is marked once again tomorrow, experts say the economic crisis could raise the threat levels related to the big cats. Law enforcements against trappings and killings could diminish, and as people continue to lose their livelihoods, poaching could increase.
The leopard is the apex mammalian predator and the largest wild cat in the Sri Lankan wildernesses. Reports indicate that 109 leopards died during the past 12 years in Sri Lanka.
It is estimated that there fewer than 1,000 leopards left and this would be a worrying number, said Prof. Enoka Kudavidanage of the Sabaragamuwa University, who is also the co-chair of the wild cat subcommittee of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS).
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