August 01, 2022 2 min read
We are a small company, but we are completely authentic and Sri Lanka, despite its current challenges is one of the most amazing places on earth. A great example of this is this video which was shot last week by one of the team who are working hard to navigate the economic challenges to produce our tea and supply to the UK.
Sri Lanka's premier predator is the leopard and the best place to spot them is in the Yala National Park in the south of the island. They are quite often seen lying by the side of the road which can be a little unnerving. However, they are still an endangered species due to the tensions with humans. In 2019 a Leopard had been spotted on a motion camera in Nallathaniya, a town established by my grandfather back in the 1950’s. Sadly a snare set up by the residents to trap wild boar to prevent them from ruining their vegetable crop ended up killing the leopard.
In the hill country, Leopards are concentrated in certain areas. Our spiritual home of Maskeliya and Peak Wilderness is concentrated with Leopards. When I trained on Laxapana Estate which sits next to the town and borders the Peak Wilderness, we always knew when a leopard was visiting; tea pickers dogs would go missing. Shortly after I left the estate the then Planter of Laxapana Asanka, De Tissera, found a Leopard and her cubs feeding on a Samba deer carcass 50 meters from his bungalow!
I have always joked that if I didn't come back from a run on the estates or from a jungle wander, I have probably been taken by a Leopard. On my last visit I had been planning a 10k run around Horton Plains National Park. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to do this, but I promised myself to do it on my next visit. Last week this video was forwarded to me from the same area where a Samba deer is in full flight and is being chased by a Leopard. Click on this link to see this rare sighting.
It reminds us of the challenging tensions between humans and nature. Theses natural surroundings were, and still are, home to the amazing leopards long before tea plantations were established. We need to remember this and be always sensitive to nature and its amazing creatures. We at PMD Tea always work hard to be sustainable and be sensitive to the local ecology and biodiversity.
If you don't hear from me when I am on my next visit, it's most likely that I haven't come back from my run. Send help.
Click on the picture below to see a Leopard in action.