Bollywood stars endorse Cinnamon’s Project Leopard

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Bollywood superstars Ranbir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Karan Johar, Kay Kay Menon, Vikas Bahl, Vikram Aditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap and Vivek Aggrawal, who are currently in the island as part of the mega movie ‘Bombay Velvet’ joined hands with ‘Project Leopard’ of Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts. Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts were selected as host hotels for ‘Bombay Velvet’, taking into consideration the strategic locations, quality of service and understanding of the technicalities of making a movie. Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, one of the largest hotel chains in Sri Lanka, is not only focused on providing exceptional product and service offerings, but also pays tribute to its surroundings by way of its CSR initiatives and sustainable practices. ‘Project Leopard’ is one such key sustainability initiative that has been taken on by the brand as a conservation initiative at Cinnamon Wild Yala together with the Cinnamon Nature Trails naturalists. The steel pen concept pioneered by Dr. Ravi Samarasinghe has now been adopted by Cinnamon Wild as part of its responsibility in safeguarding this illusive cat, while restoring and uplifting the livelihoods of cattle farmers in the surrounding areas. ‘Project Leopard’ has distributed 33 steel pens already among the cattle farming community with the guidance of senior biologist Manori Gunawardane. With further funds raised by the John Keells Foundation, 75 pens will be donated by the end of this year (2013). Sporadic intrusions by leopards on the adjacent cattle farms have seen losses on both sides. Often, half-eaten cattle carcasses anger farmers and revenge attacks by the farmers leave leopards at great danger. Thus, this effort strives to assist the rural communities by safeguarding their livelihoods while conserving and protecting Yala’s leopards that live by the periphery of the national park. The world renowned Bollywood artists who are in the main cast of the movie have taken a fond approach to endorse ‘Project Leopard’ as they believe that this is a worthy cause and one that deserves much merit. “Today’s visitor is seeking more than just a tourist excursion. They want to always engage with the community and be a part of responsible tourism. It is our duty to provide such experiences for these travellers and we are ready to move a step further to help the community,” said Chitral Jayatilake, Head of Eco Tourism, Cinnamon Nature Trails. The Bollywood stars will witness this project firsthand when they commence filming at Cinnamon Wild Yala, one amongst the many other destinations they will visit, and at which Cinnamon resorts are strategically situated for their convenience.