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The final show! For a change my friend and I decided to head out to shoot some big cats. Just a couple of days before the Christmas we finalized a place, a reserve forest in Karnataka. It was my first safari and was bit excited!<br />
<br />
We started of with the morning safari. It was around 7 AM. It was damn cold, i was shivering and my fingers went numb within minutes of the starting the safari. After a while I wasn&#039;t even able to press the shutter properly!!<br />
<br />
As we traveled through the forest, i could feel the purity of the forest, the smell, the cold air, the morning calls of the birds, it was just amazing!!  It was 8:00 AM and still the light was low, the sun rays were no where to be seen!!<br />
<br />
We came across a barking deer, grazing peacefully without being disturbed by our presence. Never seen a shy animal in open, grazing in presence of humans!! The next 1 hr went without any sightings.Then a huge male Sambar deer, in its prime form crossing the road. And that&#039;s it, we were nearing the end of our safari and then at last about 10 minutes towards the end of the safari we found a beautiful leopard walking on the road. As the leopard saw us it jumped to the side, took a look at us for about 5 seconds or so and disappeared into the forest. Due to some hiccups we were not able to take a single image :(<br />
<br />
We came out of the reserve with some disappointment. We decided to take the evening safari as well. This time we came across a herd of about 5-6 Elephants grazing peacefully, a cute little fawn, and herds of Gaurs and then again no sight of big cats,the safari was about to end. <br />
<br />
It was getting dark and the chance of spotting any other animal was slim. We were 15 minutes away from the exit, and suddenly my friend altered softly &quot;stop the jeep!, stop the jeep!, a leopard, a leopard!!&quot;, i turned back saw the leopard resting peacefully. We requested the driver to driver back slowly, stopped straight in front of the leopard, we were about 40 feet from him. He was resting like a king so majestic, his gaze fixed at us, he didnt even move his eyelids nor flick his tail, he just twitched his left ear a bit. He had a cut on his left side of his neck, he probably might have fought with a rival male! It was getting darker and after about 10 minutes, he got up(his gaze still fixed at us) and turned back and disappeared in to the thicket.<br />
 Indian leopard,Panthera pardus fusca,big cat,india,mammal,panthera,predator,spotted cat,western ghats Click/tap to enlarge

The final show!

For a change my friend and I decided to head out to shoot some big cats. Just a couple of days before the Christmas we finalized a place, a reserve forest in Karnataka. It was my first safari and was bit excited!

We started of with the morning safari. It was around 7 AM. It was damn cold, i was shivering and my fingers went numb within minutes of the starting the safari. After a while I wasn't even able to press the shutter properly!!

As we traveled through the forest, i could feel the purity of the forest, the smell, the cold air, the morning calls of the birds, it was just amazing!! It was 8:00 AM and still the light was low, the sun rays were no where to be seen!!

We came across a barking deer, grazing peacefully without being disturbed by our presence. Never seen a shy animal in open, grazing in presence of humans!! The next 1 hr went without any sightings.Then a huge male Sambar deer, in its prime form crossing the road. And that's it, we were nearing the end of our safari and then at last about 10 minutes towards the end of the safari we found a beautiful leopard walking on the road. As the leopard saw us it jumped to the side, took a look at us for about 5 seconds or so and disappeared into the forest. Due to some hiccups we were not able to take a single image :(

We came out of the reserve with some disappointment. We decided to take the evening safari as well. This time we came across a herd of about 5-6 Elephants grazing peacefully, a cute little fawn, and herds of Gaurs and then again no sight of big cats,the safari was about to end.

It was getting dark and the chance of spotting any other animal was slim. We were 15 minutes away from the exit, and suddenly my friend altered softly "stop the jeep!, stop the jeep!, a leopard, a leopard!!", i turned back saw the leopard resting peacefully. We requested the driver to driver back slowly, stopped straight in front of the leopard, we were about 40 feet from him. He was resting like a king so majestic, his gaze fixed at us, he didnt even move his eyelids nor flick his tail, he just twitched his left ear a bit. He had a cut on his left side of his neck, he probably might have fought with a rival male! It was getting darker and after about 10 minutes, he got up(his gaze still fixed at us) and turned back and disappeared in to the thicket.

    comments (3)

  1. Great shot and story! Which park was this? It looks like Nagarhole/Kabini to me...

    Posted 7 years ago
    1. Thank you John. This was not in either of the places, but from Bhadra :) Posted 7 years ago
  2. How fantastic is this !!!! A supreme shot of a super animal. Karthik ... I love your writing skills. Please join the new forum "Wildlife Stories" ... I think it is perfect for you with such wonderful descriptions.

    By the way, with over 20 years African Leopard experience behind me, this leopard "tom" (male) is in clear threat display, with ears flattened and expression focused. He wants to attack ... with ears flattened. You were invading his space. At least, that is what I would say if I saw this animal with its behavior over here in Africa. Great male. Great shot. My congratulations for you taking the shot ... and surviving.
    Posted 7 years ago

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The Indian leopard is a leopard subspecies widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent and classified as ''Near Threatened'' by IUCN since 2008. The species ''Panthera pardus'' may soon qualify for the ''Vulnerable'' status due to habitat loss and fragmentation, heavy poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts in Asia, and persecution due to conflict situations. They are becoming increasingly rare outside protected areas. The trend of the population is decreasing.

The Indian.. more

Similar species: Carnivorans
Species identified by karthik_ak
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By karthik_ak

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Uploaded Feb 7, 2015. Captured Dec 26, 2014 17:20.
  • NIKON D5100
  • f/5.6
  • 1/50s
  • ISO500
  • 420mm