Limpopo, Botswana, Africa

An elusive African Leopard stalks down a big tree trunk. Coming down the tree, the predator has its eyes fixed on its prey. Meanwhile, the secretive Leopard has its tongue and claws out.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 6 April, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark III and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Exposure time: 1/400s
  • ISO: 640
  • Focal Length: 600mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 3749 by 2500 pixels (WxH).

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Background

The secretive African Leopard stalks down the tree with luscious green foliage in the background. Once a Leopard makes a kill, it feeds on it for up to four days. Therefore, they do not have to hunt every single day. They are dragging their kill up into trees to keep it away from other predators. That allows for a few days of undisturbed feasting. However, female Leopards with cubs will hunt twice as much to make sure her cubs get enough food to be healthy.

The elusive Leopard stalks its prey, or it will ambush it. The tactic is to try and get as close to its prey as possible before the predator pounce. Every one out of five hunts is thriving, according to their statistics. They are mainly nocturnal hunters. However, they are known to be opportunistic hunters. If they see a hunting opportunity during the day, they will go for it. Picky eaters they are, they only eat a variety of animals, but not all. It is often plucking the feathers and plumage from birds first before consuming them. Researchers believe that each Leopard accounts for approximately 20 kills a year.

This photograph of an ‘African leopard stalks down tree’ shows the prime hunting position and determination locked in their gaze.

The Leopard, Panthera pardus, is in category vulnerable on the IUCN red list.

Explore more photographs like this, see our leopard photos. You might want to meet Anette.

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