The WNPS very strongly condemns the brutal and unconscionable killing of a Leopard in Uwawalawe along with the horrific mutilation of the animal for its claws and Teeth etc. “Acts of such horrific nature are not even seen in the Animal world and we demand that the Police and the Wildlife Officials immediately take all steps possible to investigate and bring the culprits to justice. The criminals should be handed out the maximum possible sentences to send very strong signals for others to refrain from such activities” said Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, President, WNPS. Wildcats including Lions, Tigers and Leopards are being slaughtered all over the world for their teeth and claws, at times even to the brink of extinction in some locations.
There is a rapid rise in such killings worldwide, where in all cases the teeth and claws have been removed and are being smuggled out to cater to the lucrative Jewellery market such as for pendants and amulets, largely in China and South East Asia. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates the global wildlife trade, prohibits commercial trade of such parts. Sri Lanka simply cannot let this trend gain a foothold in our small paradise. “The WNPS is also quite concerned about the rising tide in food outlets which are selling different meats including monitor lizards, snakes and birds etc and catering to demands which clearly violate the Environmental laws of this country and threaten our species. We hope that this sad death will give rise to rapid action on the part of authorities all over Sri Lanka to work harder to protect our Wildlife. This is not the time for complacency” said the WNPS Official.