Parts of Kumana National Park out of bounds | Sunday Observer

Parts of Kumana National Park out of bounds

Certain parts of the Kumana National Park were out of bounds for tourists and others until further notice, following the leopard attack last Wednesday at Baagure, seven kilometres from the main gate of the National Park.

A labourer of the park was killed following a sudden attack by a leopard while he was having lunch with his fellow workers who were engaged in road construction work in the area.

According to eyewitnesses, the leopard had taken the victim into the jungle even before other labourers could save him from the leopard’s grip. When the Wildlife Department was informed wildlife officers were sent in a jeep along with the labourers to rescue the victim.

The rescue group followed the blood marks and the victim was found dead in the jungle.

The leopard had attacked the rescue group and had bitten the driver of the safari jeep who was taking pictures of the leopard.

The wildlife officers had promptly fired at the leopard with rubber bullets and the leopard fled into the jungle. The driver who sustained serious injuries was rushed to the Potuvil Base Hospital and then transferred to the Ampara General Hospital as his condition was critical. According to hospital sources, he underwent surgery.

The deceased was later identified as Selladurai Ravichandrana, a 45-year-old, resident of Thirukkovil and a father of four. The Wildlife Department deployed vehicle patrol to ensure the safety of tourists and labourers in the park.

Leopards are a protected species under Sri Lanka’s Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance. According to environmentalists, there are over 1,000 leopards in the country but a proper count or census is yet to be carried out.