Ansala, Gayan, Didula, Indeera, and I had just got out of camping at Yala. Ansala’s goal was to snap a good leopard. My only hope was to see a sloth bear. We only saw one leopard cub for our entire trip. No, we did not see any sloth bears. Were we disappointed? Yes, we were. But we were definitely not leaving with bad memories. We had a lot of fun, and we made new friends. We learned to appreciate the beauty of the wilderness.
Just as we made it back to Kamesh’s place where we had left the car behind, Ansala got a call from a friend. He got a call to spend another day at Yala, which he gleefully accepted. Immediately, he took back all the camouflage t-shirts he had lent to us and gathered whatever he needed into one bag, and set off to meet his friend.
The four of us who remained piled up our bags to the car said our goodbyes and left. We dropped Gayan off at Matara since it was easier for him to catch a bus to Galle from there than for us to exit the highway at Galle just to drop him. The three of us who remained entered the highway and headed homewards. Yes, we were careful not to get any more tickets.
While we were on the way, Ansala sends us a photo on Whatsapp. It was of a leopard mom and her two cubs seen on the road to the campsite where we had just stayed. Had we stayed for one more session at Yala, that would have been an easy sighting for us. Sighting animals at Yala was truly a game of luck. I still haven’t seen a sloth bear, so I’m definitely headed back to Yala at some point. We had a lot of fun, and we made new friends. We learned to appreciate the beauty of the wilderness. But most of all, we learned that we need a lot of luck to spot a sloth bear. Maybe next time.
- Ansala Botheju (@wildclicks.by.ansala)
This is the end of a series of blogs about our search for a Sloth Bear at Yala. Start at the beginning by reading part 1 here