Spotted a spotted big catLeopard in Masai Mara

Spotted a spotted big cat

Leopards are relatively rarer to spot even in Africa where people who haven’t been to often think the will spot a cat once in ten minutes. In our last few trips to Kenya, we have noticed a great dip in the Leopard encounters in the Maasai Mara. But there used to be a time when we would toss a coin on such photography trips to decide if we will go for the leopard on the tree we know is resting or to the Cheetah family nearby.

More often than not – on this particular trip, we had to cross this tree where she had been spotted on every game drive as it was on the main track. So even if it was a “tail” in the toss and we were going for the Cheetah, we would stop by her and get carried away and spend a few minutes before someone got fed up of this individual.

This afternoon, we arrived at this tree and were slightly disappointed not to find her. We looked around every branch and after a moments minutes we spotted her on another branch where we hadn’t expected her to be. The Guineafowl constantly kept alarming as they knew her highness was having a nap on the tree.

Just as we thought she was busy snoring, she heard something in the bush and gave us this stare. She almost seemed like wanting to jump on us from the tree but I realised I was looking at her from a 600mm super-telephoto lens and she was actually interested in a Pumba wandering around the grass.

Even after feeding on a big Bush Buck and being in a position unable to move around for nearly two days, the hunter’s instinct is still the same.

Around 15 months after this extravagant time I spent with this female Leopard, I took some people to this tree to show them the spot while narrating plenty of her antics, to my surprise we found a Wildebeest carcass hanging on the same branch.

Must be her favorite hangout. She gave me at least 32 high quality completely different pictures over these three days I spent with her.

#Leopard #Masai_Mara #Jayanth_Sharma #TOEHOLD #Africa_Photo_Tour #Big_Cats #Wildlife_Photography

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6 Responses to “Spotted a spotted big cat”

  1. Zhayynn James - Now this is why ´context´ is so important to photography. Had Jayanth not provided the background story it would have still been a lovely photograph, but it would have been devoid of rich history of interaction between the photographer and the animal. The narrative gives us depth, an insight to the animal´s quirks, a peek into the choices of photographers in a season of plenty, the leopard´s prey base and so much more. Thanks Jayanth Sharma for providing what I would describe as the background score to a visual treat.
    June 10, 2014 Reply
  2. Ravi Kumar - Jayanth , somehow I have developed a passion for ur narration .Gr8
    June 10, 2014 Reply
  3. Suman Desarker - Superb Jayanth.... Nice read too.... TFS
    June 10, 2014 Reply
  4. ChandraShekhar Ganesh - Superb.. Ur a genius.
    June 10, 2014 Reply
  5. Rayees Eijaz - What a pose .... !!!
    June 10, 2014 Reply
  6. Jayanth Sharma - Apart from some countries in Africa, only in India and Sri Lanka we enjoy the privilege of spotting these magnificent animals up close and so frequently. Going to Yala in Sri Lanka for the Leopards was a good option to avoid Africa until Kabini arrived on the scene and changed the way Leopard images were made in India. My colleague Giri Cavale - is a shameless ´Leopard Lover´ and one thing he will surely get you addicted is to is Kabini if you ever get a chance to travel with him to this magical land. (This is one such opportunity to get addicted)
    June 10, 2014 Reply