(The following is an extract from the blog published by Arabella Lakin, on her tour around Sri Lanka. Lakin is the Sales Manager for Natural World Safaris. The extract focuses on her experience with the Loris, spotted at Jetwing Vil Uyana Loris Conservation Site. Follow link to access full article: http://www.naturalworldsafaris.com/blog/2015/04/sri-lanka-trip-report.aspx)
My highlight of the cultural area was seeing a loris. These silver grey, primitive primates used to be hunted as the local people saw these nocturnal and solitary creatures as a bad omen. It is classified as endangered, mainly due to habitat loss. Jetwing Vil Uyana arrange night walks to see it which are conducted by their resident naturalist Chaminda Jayesekara who kindly took me on a privately guided tour in their grounds . He found lorises in the hotel grounds back in 2010 in an area which was ear marked for building work. Having reported his findings, the building work was cancelled and under the Jetwing research initiative he was encouraged to do more research on these creatures and has recently published a book about them. He is now recognised as one of the leading experts on the loris. National Geographic recently spent two weeks here under his guidance filming them.
I was lucky to see a male highland grey slender loris. Very small, with no tail, they can’t jump from tree to tree and we spent 5 memorable minutes with him as he went about marking his territory. I felt privileged to not only see one, but also be with Chaminda, who is so humble and simply said, “I am lucky that I get to do my hobby for work.” The above image is a still from one of his videos taken at Jetwing Vil Uyana, courtesy of Jetwing Hotels.
Tomorrow I am off to Anuradhapura to complete my cultural experience and then onto Wilpattu National Park to track leopards and hopefully sloth bears too.