Sri Lanka’s diverse wildlife has been blowing up on the big screen recently. There was National Geographic’s Wild Sri Lanka series that captivated us all and then Disney’s Nature Documentary Monkey Kingdom, which melted a little piece of our hearts. It doesn’t end here.

Last month, Steve Winter, a National Geographic wildlife photojournalist, filmmaker and speaker visited Sri Lanka to shoot a story on the panthera pardus kotiya – the Sri Lankan leopards. Steve has been taking photos for National Geographic for the past 24 years and much of his time there has been dedicated to his passion of wildlife photography, particularly his pursuit of the world’s elusive big cats.

His most recent project has seen him spend the past year chasing and photographing leopards, from the wilds of South Africa to the heart of India and Sri Lanka. The project is part of the ‘Big Cats’ initiative launched by National Geographic that aims to raise awareness and implement change to the dire situation facing big cats.  You can visit www.CauseAnUproar.org for ways to become involved in saving big cats and get more information on this project.

In the meantime, enjoy these brilliant photos taken during Steve’s trip to Sri Lanka:

“Temperatures are very hot in Sri Lanka, making watering holes very important to all the area’s wildlife. This one is evaporating quickly, so Zach and I return to the site of this trap to move the camera to a new position as the water recedes. We had captured images of two leopards drinking here, so we know they frequent the location and we want the gear to be ready for action.” – @SteveWinterPhoto is an acclaimed conservation photographer for the National Geographic Society. Zach Mason was hired for the #BestFirstJobEver, a one month adventure as Steve Winter’s photo assistant. Steve, Zach, and team were in Sri Lanka filming an upcoming special for Nat Geo Wild. Photo credit: ©Steve Winter/Nat Geo Creative #SriLanka #Wildlife #OnAssignment #Nature #Photography #Adventure #NationalGeographic #NatGeo

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“One of my assistants on this project – Zach Mason, who I found through Indeed – is making sure that the camera will not get wet in this watering hole. We placed an old tree found in the forest across the water hole and secured the camera and lights on it – so it faces the leopard when it comes down to drink. Hard physical work and creativity merge everyday while we work in the field.” – @SteveWinterPhoto is an acclaimed conservation photographer for the National Geographic Society. Zach Mason was hired for the #BestFirstJobEver, a one month adventure as Steve Winter’s photo assistant. Steve, Zach, and team were in Sri Lanka filming an upcoming special for Nat Geo Wild. Photo credit: ©Steve Winter/Nat Geo Creative #SriLanka #Wildlife #OnAssignment #Nature #Photography #Adventure #NationalGeographic #NatGeo

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#Singapore, I’m bringing my National Geographic Live! talk “My Nine Lives” to the Esplanade Concert Hall on August 25th. I will be taking you “in the field”, sharing stories about working with the Big Cats of the world. Tickets are still available so come join me! Tickets at http://www.sistic.com.sg/events/neosteve0815 I’ve just finished shooting my worldwide #leopard story, for @natgeo showcasing the world’s most adaptable, but persecuted, big cat, as well as a Nat Geo Wild show. I covered leopards from the wilds of #SouthAfrica to the heart of #Mumbai and most recently Sir Lanka. The sun has set – the moon is up and I see a leopard – not much light – but with the 1DX I am able to get a unique shot with the moonlight in Sri Lanka Yala National Park. One of my goals with my photography is to help raise awareness about the plights facing these beautiful animals. National Geographic Big Cats Initiative goal is to also raise awareness and implement change to the dire situation facing them. So take the time and visit CauseAnUproar.org for ways to become involved in saving big cats! Visit the link in my bio for a direct link to CauseAnUproar.org @stevewinterphoto @natgeo @bertiegregory @nglive #nglive #ngwild @ngwild @natgeowild #[email protected] @zacuto @cameracorps @syrp_ @sachtler @leefilters @KEEN @pteclights @thephotosociety #NGcreative #onassignment#bebright #pantheracats #fursforlife #UNEEK#iamUNEEK #wildlifeconservation #inthefield#wildlifephotojournalism #BCI #bigcatsintiative#kulusafaris #harithasl @andbeyondrangers @andbeyondsafari #zambi_wildlife_retreat#Cameratraps #remotecamera #leopard #cub#babyleopard #5forbigcats www.kulusafaris.com

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Had a full house last night at the Sydney Opera House for my NG Live presentation – #Sydney thanks for coming out, giving #5forbigcats and all the great feedback! I photographed this #baby #elephant with her mother in Sri Lanka while #onassignment for my upcoming @NatGeo story on #leopards, due out in the December issue. Every 15 minutes an #elephant is killed for its ivory. We need to make owning ivory an act unbecoming of a civilized people. We need to all become people who respect the lives of elephants and their right to walk this earth as they have for 1000’s of years – free and safe from harm by humans. Please check out the new @natgeo TRACKING IVORY cover story – incredible and important reporting by Bryan Christy with exceptional images by #BrentStirton. Here are some organizations that are making strides in protecting elephants: The Nature Conservancy in Africa (@nature_africa), The Nature Conservancy (@nature_org), The Northern Rangelands Trust (@nrt_kenya) Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (@lewa_wildlife) http://wildnet.org/elephant-crisis-fund http://www.wildaid.org/elephants I’ve been touring with NatGeo Live, presenting my My Nine Lives talk about my experiences photographing #BigCats, many of which are endangered. National Geographic launched the Big Cats Initiative to raise awareness and implement change to the dire situation facing big cats. Please visit CauseAnUproar.org to find out more ways to become involved to save big cats! The link in my bio will take you right there. #5forbigcats @bertiegregory @nglive #nglive #ngwild @ngwild d #natgeowild @canonuk @zacuto @cameracorps @syrp_ @sachtler @leefilters @KEEN @pteclights @thephotosociety #NGcreative #onassignment #bebright #UNEEK #iamUNEEK #wildlifeconservation #inthefield #wildlifephotojournalism #BCI #bigcatsintiative #kulusafaris #harithasl @andbeyondrangers @andbeyondsafari #zambi_wildlife_retreat #photooftheday #beauty www.kulusafaris.com @thebenbritton

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I'm currently traveling between #Auckland and #Wellington on my #NatGeoLive tour and thinking back to the time I spent in #SriLanka photographing #Leopards for my @NatGeo assignment. A lot of times the teams you're with can make or break a trip and the assignment, and that includes the guides and drivers you chose. We couldn't have made a better choice with the folks at @kulu_safaris. They provided transportation, lodging and the wildlife knowledge to insure that my team and I got the shots we needed during the short time were there. I can't thank them enough! Check them out at www.kulusafaris.com @canonuk @leefilters @thephotosociety #NGcreative #onassignment #wildlifeconservation #inthefield #wildlifephotojournalism #BCI #bigcatsintiative #kulusafaris #harithasl ##Leopards #catsagram #instacat #catlovers #photooftheday #love #tagsta_nature #travel #thisisthelife #Animallover #instagood #catsofinstagram #sweet #life #loveit #kitty #bigcatsforever

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