The rare Sri Lankan black leopard which succumbed to injuries resulting from a hunter’s trap on a tea estate in Nallathanniya in Hatton a few months ago is being preserved by the Department of National Museums. The stately creature is soon to join its other ‘friends from the wilds’ sheltered at the Museum of Natural History, Colombo.
by Randima Attygalle
Igniting the outrage of animal lovers, a black leopard that was snared at a tea estate in Nallathanniya, Hatton in late May this year, succumbed to its injuries a few days later. A rare subspecies unique to the island, Sri Lankan black leopard is a melanistic colour variant of the Sri Lankan leopard zoologically termed- Panthera pardus kotiya. Although leopards are commonly associated with a yellow coloured skin and dark spots, mutation known as melanism, as in the case of the ill-fated leopard, renders it distinct all black colour. It was the third black leopard to have been reported in the past decade adding to the ill-fated list of over 40 recorded leopard deaths in the country during the period.
In a bid to enable fu
ture research on this rare giant cat, the Department of National Museums is in the process of preserving both its skin and the skeleton. This taxidermy process (preserving of an animal’s body for display purposes) which is now nearing completion is one of the most challenging exercises the Zoology Division of the Department of the National Museum has embarked recently, Assistant Director (Zoology), Department of National Museums, Lankani Somarathna told the Sunday Island.
“Since the animal had suffered severe neck injuries and had gone through a post-mortem process as well, preserving its skin required a lot of effort. Moreover unlike in the case of an elephant or any other commonly sighted animal, understanding its habitat, positioning requires extra effort,” says Somarathna who was responsible for the supervision of the project.
On a request made by the Department of National Museums, the body of the black leopard was handed over to it by the Department of Wildlife Conservation last month. “After the postmortem on the animal was performed by the Peradeniya Veterinary Faculty and following the proper legal process, we were handed the body on July 13 and since then the taxidermy process has been in place,” says Somarathna.
A well-built young male about eight ft in length and four ft tall, was killed by human cruelty robbing the majestic creature of many more years in the highlands and the country of the very few known black leopards.
“Since the death of the last Sri Lankan black leopard eight years ago whose body is preserved at the Wildlife Museum in Giritale, (managed by the Department of Wildlife Conservation), the animal was believed to be extinct in the country and no trace of it could be found until this recent tragedy in Nallathanniya,” says the Zoologist who notes that sightings of the animal have been very rare for several reasons. Its low population, its habitat in the dark
er regions enabling camouflage and its solitary nature are cited by her as reasons for rare sightings.
In the study of mammals, their skeleton and skull features are fundamental, notes t
he Zoologist, expl
aining the rationale behind the preservation of the leopard’s skin and the mounting of its skeleton. Both these will soon be displayed at the Osteology Gallery of the Natural History Museum which exhibits the skeleton of the iconic blue whale, Heiyanthuduwe Raja, Lechchami the female tusker and many more four legged creatures and reptiles.
The taxidermy project was carried out by a team from the Department of National Museums comprising the Taxidermist Chamalka Kotelawala and conservationists Ravindra Wickramanayake, P. Gunasiri, Susantha Balasooriya and Ashan Sandaruwan. Counting 30 years of experience, Ravindra Wickramanayake who had played a significant role in ‘resurrecting’ many a wild creature says that the chief challenge in the latest exercise was cleaning of the leopard’s skin for conservation.
“This was largely because the animal had suffered severe neck injuries in its trap and skin trauma following the post mortem,” says Wickramanayake who also cites the moulding of its ‘artificial skull’ as another hurdle which had to be overcome. “Since the skull (and the skeleton) was removed for mounting, we had to substitute it with a fibre base and also its teeth retaining its original character as far as possible.”
A base made out of wire mesh on which plaster and gunny material are placed holds the preserved skin of the black leopard- the biggest of the cats he had helped conserve so far he says. “Unlike in the past, now the use of plaster of Paris is minimal to avoid the hassle in moving the exhibits due to its weight and also possible damage,” says Wickramanayake. An assortment of chemicals is used to conserve animal carcasses he says. These chemicals differ from animal to animal.
Thanking the Department of Wildlife and all other relevant authorities who facilitated the move of the black leopard to the Department of National Museums and applauding its skilled team of conservationists for a job well done, the Director General of Department of National Museums, Sanuja Kasthuriarachchi says, “sadly this Sri Lankan black leopard which ideally should have been part of our ‘live heritage’ is no more. By conserving it and displaying it at our Museum of Natural History, what we envisage is to enable research on this stately creature as means of contributing towards its future conservation in its natural habitat.”
The Boss Up Story
Boss Up isn’t merely a brand name. It’s a manifestation of resilience and inner power in the form of a branding and social media marketing agency. Hafsa Killru, the Founder of Boss Up has a personal story and determination to ‘boss up’ that propelled her to launch her own venture to empower entrepreneurship, especially among small businesses.
The environment one grows up in has a remarkable effect on a young child’s mind. Watching two strong women in the family redefine the role of feminine power, a young Hafsa grew up ambitious too. Although brimming with the desire to create a change, her childhood was fraught with challenges that plague many children today – bullying. She was subject to severe bullying since the tender age of 10 at her places of education, which affected both her mental and physical health.
“I never fit in anywhere. I was never welcome among the cliques. But I didn’t let it affect my confidence. Keeping my circle small helped me stay focused on my studies. I’d spend this time alone in school libraries, often reading encyclopedias,” says Hafsa. “The bullying worsened in my teenage years. I was lonely but it worked out in my favour because I was never, and still not, someone who worries about ‘what will others say’ — a key obstacle in many people’s lives. Not having many friends meant I was not under peer pressure. This allowed me to be my authentic self.”
Hafsa’s writing career began quite unexpectedly when she was 17. Not only is she a content writer but also a poet who writes evocatively about mental health, healing and empowerment. But this didn’t come by easily either.
During her higher studies, those she considered to be her friends tried to crush her growth mindset, which eventually took a toll on her. It was only when she managed to remove herself from such environments did she become more self-aware and regain her confidence, thanks to the solitude it brought into her life.Yet again, a new set of obstacles awaited her in her early 20s. In 2019, she was turned down by over 20 companies within three months alone, which led to deep frustration and self-doubt. Although she had freelancing opportunities, the lockdown only added to her troubles.
But that’s when something clicked into place – an idea so obvious, so big and so right for her that Hafsa knew it was what all these adversities were pushing her towards. She realised the lockdown was putting undue pressure on businesses and it needed a solution. Especially small businesses were struggling to go online and create a sustainable brand, and that too at an affordable rate. How could they compete with incumbent brands with massive budgets and breakthrough technologies? She sought to give them the edge they needed and thus, Boss Up was born in October 2020.
“Inviting change, taking charge of the situation and choosing to do something on my own has to be, although scary, the most liberating decision I have ever made,” admits Hafsa. “The lockdown wasn’t the time for businesses to go silent. They needed business and marketing solutions that would help them overcome the situation.”
In today’s contemporary business world, a business of any size will only be running a losing race if it hasn’t developed a strong social media presence or a clear brand strategy. Hence, Boss Up ensures equal opportunities are given to entrepreneurs from all walks of life.
One and a half years into the business, Boss up is now global with its wings spread across countries like the UK, Canada, Dubai, Qatar, the Maldives and Australia, and is backed by a strong team of young and passionate minds.
Boss Up’s primary goal is to uplift entrepreneurs. The brand is also a strong advocate for inner power, confidence and resilience — the three main driving forces of ambition. It intends to help people who hail from struggling backgrounds; the ones who are inundated with a lack of support, seek self-sufficiency and are hungry to design a unique identity for themselves.The brand also strives to treat everyone at work with compassion and empathy whilst leading with kindness as it is crucial to reform work cultures that are hazardous to oneself.
Reach out to HAfsa via Instagram @hafsa_killru @bossup_srilanka or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Switch of Trend in Fashion After the Pandemic 2022
There has been an immense change in the Industry of Fashion after the pandemic struck us all hard. Currently, the trends of fashion have also taken a big turn towards affordable fashion trending styles and outfits. The Fashion boom has grown to become steadily slow for the seasonal styles and basic needs of clothing as well.
The current scenario of fashion life is always at a peak, and even after the Covid-19 pandemic, we have still seen slow growth in the need for fashion. There are of course certain aspects that have affected the industry and declined surplus. However, fashion and clothing have become a BASIC need for humans across the globe.
From shopping high-end couture to higher brand apparel, the trend has shifted to move on to sustainable clothing and organic clothing pieces. For example, we have become more aware of locally produced clothing brands and organic fabrics of our country. Made in India clothing and brands are emerging at a higher graph.Let’s take a look at the Current Change in Fashion Trends due to Pandemic 2022
Sustainable Outfits After the Pandemic
This is something most have been finding a basic need in clothing. Spending over and over again on the same kinds of clothing has and will reduce in the future. Buying clothing and fashion pieces that last for longer is the key to saving more than before. Buying pieces like basic Tees, Pants which may be styled over and over again is what the trend is shifting towards.
Budget Range of Fashion Brands are Accepted higher
Since the ban of Rowme and Shein-like brands and online websites in India, other national brands have started to make affordable fashion pieces for their customers. Styles and trends of fashion in the budget are what the people will be looking out for since the economic growth of people has dropped. Investing in fashion will never end until there will be a supply, the only difference is the budget range brands have a huge change of acceptance now since the pandemic.
Change of Styles worn to Work or Office Fashion after the Pandemic
Since the depression, people may have just stopped feeling happier may want to take the effort to dress like before. Styles of fashion in a simple and classy fashion will emerge largely than before. Choosing Plains or Solids overprints and pattern or neutrals over new trending colors and the print patterns is being seen for workwear fashion.
Change of Trends and Styles for Indian Festival Wear after the Pandemic
In the same way as the above point mentions, dressing special occasions will take a shift. Looking at the financial conditions currently, customers will be buying lesser for Festive wear than before. Styling the same pieces with a change of new additions of budget festive wear will be trending. Sarees and salwar suits in silks, choosing cotton, and linen kurta sets over the designer trends are to be seen this year during Indian festivals.
Choosing Budget Wedding Wear Over Designer Wedding Wear
When it comes to weddings, the cost goes to the highest for any customer. But the pandemic has changed how weddings will be taking place. The cost of weddings has declined drastically and shopping for Indian weddings has grown to choose mid-range wedding wear over high-end designer wear. Saving more during weddings, styles of lehengas, sarees, shalwar suits, or sherwanis for weddings that are in mid-range is a new trend.
From styling men’s kurta suits styles for the basic function of weddings to choosing classic or budget range sarees and suits for the bride’s ceremonies will take up a new fashion trend look. Making a choice of ONE heavy wear Lehenga and Sherwani may be what the soon-to-wed couples be looking for.Designer wear which can be restyled or reused and worn for other occasions and weddings is also a trend to grow rapidly. Saving much more for the bridal and groom’s outfit looks.
Shopping Online Increased for clothing after the Pandemic
The safer way to buy clothing has become a focus for all customers going towards online shopping. The percentage of online buyers has rapidly increased for clothes after the pandemic. From casual wear shopping online to fashion shopping for festivals and weddings, all have become much easier and more convenient for consumers.
Websites and businesses are working to grow even wider with Online Shopping. Connecting with customers personally for their shopping experiences to taking a new addition in budget clothing varieties for the customers is what’s taking place.
Online shopping has become a trend We have set an all-new trend for our customers It brings more trust and safety to customers. Shopping for wedding wear online only gets comfortable for all when sitting back home and shopping Fashion Shopping after the Pandemic via on-line shooping is what keeps all customers happier.
Captivating streetwear for today’s fashionable girls
The latest street fashion brand Girls by Dillys under the umbrella of Dilly’s was launched recently introducing trending new pieces to help girls carry the distinct personality and style to be the fashionable girl of today.
Girl by Dilly’s is a creative street fashion brand that focuses on vibrant colors, textures, and prints to bring out the youthful exuberance of today’s girls. The brand has emphasized on contrasting color combinations. The ethos of this brand is creativity and having fun. Girl by Dilly’s is dedicated to the free-spirited girls who have their own super powers and a bold attitude. Girls are encouraged to mix and create unique styles to introduce their own identity in a creative and playful way.
This brand is the new lifestyle for confident girls who love to enjoy freedom, youth and individuality. The brand has different style combinations from casual to evening wear to make the overall look fashionable and completely their own. The brand tagline ‘All about a Girl’ is a reminder to every girl that she is unique and beautiful.
To ensure glam and comfort, all Girl by Dilly’s products are crafted using quality fabrics and technical know-how. The brand offers a wide range of stylish ready-to-wear pieces, from tops, skirts, pants, shorts, dresses, rompers, jump suits, crop tops, and t-shirts. The brand has introduced batik into the collection with a fabulous finishing touch to elevate its signature styles. The brand is also introducing a comfortable t-shirt collection with inspirational slogans and line art to share a positive message with society.
Dilani Wijeyesekera – Director of Girl by Dilly’s stated, “We became aware of a notable gap in today’s market for fashionable streetwear clothing for girls. Today’s new generation of girls have a different youthful energy about them. They are fun, bold, carefree and energetic and they want the whole world to see that. Girl by Dilly’s is perfect for such girls as it helps them find their own identity through our collection of vibrant colours and creative styles that they can mix and match to come up with eye-catching outfits. Every piece of Girl by Dilly’s has the look and feel of fun and vibrancy.”
With the launch, Girl by Dilly’s is providing an introductory offer to all loyalty customers where they can avail themselves to a 15% discount on all products until 7th August 2022, both on online and at the flagship store. A selection of special giveaways has also been lined up in the coming weeks for all social media followers.
For the latest Girl by Dilly’s updates and new releases, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok using @dillyandcarlo. The latest Girl by Dilly’s collections are available at the Flagship Store on the website www.dillyandcarlo.com.
Dilly’s was established in 1987 to cater to Colombo’s desire for high-end designer wear with a local twist. As the company grew, Dilly’s introduced its second brand to the market, this time to cater to menswear. Carlo was established in 2007 and exemplified stylish men’s clothing for all ages. The brand is housing its distinct designer ranges to cater to the entire wardrobe requirement of modern men and women.
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