This is an oldie, but definitely a goodie!

These six camera trap photographs seem pretty normal. There were about 15 more, prior to this, showing this porcupine just going about its business with a friend. They shuffled through the leaf litter, nibbled at a twig here, cronched on a pond apple there, and plodded about in their dopey porcupine way.

It was all very routine, until I noticed something odd in the background. Two glowing orbs floating just above the surface of the water way at the back. They were faint. They could have been two dancing fireflies. But each time I pressed the forward arrow key on my keyboard, they seemed to drift closer and closer, barely creating a ripple on the waters surface.

The porcupine seemed unfazed. Nothing out of the ordinary. It was just another night of searching for food for them. I on the other hand froze in terror. This reminded me of the scene from IT (2017), when Pennywise emerged from the flooded basement in Bill’s house – it doesn’t help that clowns just scare the crapola out of me.

I must admit that at first, I thought it was a fishing cat. But no, it was too slow. Maybe some fishermen using two flashlights? Mmm still no, they are way too aligned and moved in such a streamlines way.

Then it hit me! It was one of the saltwater crocodiles stalking the porcupines! There was no dramatic capture, as the porcupine disappeared – unaware of the fact that it almost ended up as a midnight snack – but just seeing the chilling way in which that croc calmly floated over, was enough to make me think twice before working at the edge of the water in the future.

/shudders

I had just finished a pleasant—no, horrible—5k on the most hated machine of any oarswoman/man, the erg, when my phone started lighting up like a malfunctioning Christmas light.

It was fellow GWC associate conservation scientist and Small Cat Advocacy & Research (SCAR) co-founder Ashan on the other end, informing me about a kitten that was found by someone in Colombo, and that the individual in question was asking the Facebook community for advice. Oh, God! He said that judging by the photographs posted online, it seemed to be a Fishing Cat kitten.

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Guest writer: Shanelle Wikramanayake

Recently I visited the wetlands in Thalawathugoda, by Diyatha Uyana to do some photography. In all honesty, I was not expecting to see much. The wetland lies adjacent to bustling road, and with it comes the fumes and incessant sounds of revving and impatient horning. I was pleasantly surprised to find, however, that the wetland was brimming with many different species of birds, butterflies and a new favorite of mine, dragonflies. I didn’t know where to look and I was rather dizzy and disoriented from turning about and running around, following blurred images darting dragonflies and butterflies. It was quite the exciting event for me, and even if you are not as invested in these things, you may have a change of heart if you grace the Thalawathugoda Biodiversity Study Park.

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