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Want a Wild life?

Want a Wild life?

By Juliet Coombe

Want a Wild life?

Juliet Coombe discovers from Gehan De Silva Wijeyeratne (Wildlife Populariser) why you do not have to Look any further than Jetwing Colombo 7 this wednesday for a wildly fascinating Evening of Wildlife. An exciting event is being held designed to showcase that Sri Lanka is not only rich in biodiversity but it is equally rich in wildlife personalities. This event uses a panel format more typical of a Literary Festival to create a novel wildlife event for a high end and influential audience. A classy event is being used as a vehicle to deliver important messages on the state of some of the wildlife research being conducted in Sri Lanka by resident researchers as well as to draw attention to the stunning new city hotel of Jetwing with its birds eye view bar and pool. A perfect spot for city bird watchers and this Wednesday it will also be a chance to get an over view of one of the countries greatest assets wildlife. The first panel has five researchers covering marine and land wildlife. The second panel of four speakers offers insights into the process of story telling be it in oral form or in print as books or newspaper journalism.

The event will bring in people who will not normally attend a lecture on wildlife and I hope they go away excited at the work being done by people who are passionate about field work. The second panel on story telling will offer practical advice on branding and marketing and more specifically on monetising wildlife. The lessons Gehan De Silva learnt in monetising Leopard Safaris and the Elephant Gathering was what led to the successful media blitz in May 2008 on Sri Lanka being Best for Blue Whale. This has resulted in a continuing influx of film crews wanting to profile these incredible wildlife stories.


The panels include a number of well known ‘Sri Lankan’ personalities (some of overseas origin) with the panels moderated by experienced Lit Fest moderator and author Ashok Ferrey. The research panelists include Chaminda Jayasekera (Lorises and Fishing Cats), Andrew Kittle (Leopards), Prithiviraj Fernando (Elephants), Howard Martenstyn (Whales) and Devaka Fernano (Birds). The story telling panellists are Wicky Wickremesekera (Wildlife Tour Guide), Malaka Fernando (environmental journalist) Juliet Coombe (Author, Photographer and Publisher) and Gehan De Silva Wijeyeratne (Wildlife Populariser).