Faced with the boom in tourist resorts in Sri Lanka, they have been counted out and subjected to the whims of the locals, who often begin shoot and dash on sight. In 2017, two female leopards were shot while trying to cross the road in front of the Resorts World Hotel. The hotel owners handed over a 14-page dossier on the incident to The Guardian, detailing how someone brought a “garden hose” to the leopard’s head, which meant the leopard would not know what was happening.
“Today their situation is worse,” the owners said, “not only is it unimaginable to kill a wild animal for the ‘not-so-crazy dream of holidaymakers who visit [our] hotel,’ but it is also very difficult to convince the Government to work with us.”
Many consider a leopard’s life in Sri Lanka’s tourist hotspots a “life and death” decision. But it is unlikely that the state is any more responsible than the private interests that threaten them. The leopards that entered the resort are thought to have started by following tourists and visitors’ pets, and theres no shortage of reports of tourists playing dead next to a dying leopard to try to get the crowd of amused onlookers to stop the tiger from attacking.
One luxury resort is considering installing camera trap bait traps to keep the leopards away from its fairydust.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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