Sunday, 24 November 2013

#481 In the field: Africa . . . the big cats: Leopard, part 2

Please start this series of posts with #477

Due to the proficiency and experience of our excellent guides, we had successful sightings of Leopards in both
the Serengeti and Tarangire.  The guides coached us to look in trees for the hanging tail of the elusive animal.

Below, the Leopard's tail hangs below a branch in the Tarangire.

Below, even though we knew to look for the cat's tail hanging vertical from a branch,
the guide always spotted the beautiful creature first!

Leopards have been ranked among the least visible and the most difficult to spot due to their hide and stalk hunting technique . . . typically in low-light conditions; and their camouflage; especially in sun-dappled trees.

When hunting, approximately one in four attacks is successful.  When a kill is made and as soon as the Leopard has satisfied its appetite, it drags its prey up a tree, out of the reach of scavengers.

Of all of the big cats, Leopards are the best at stalking prey.  They are silent,  move with stealth  and can get
within a few feet of their intended prey.  Below, is a drawing from my sketchbook.

Below, are more images of one of my favorite African species:  The Leopard!

Below, Leopard at ease on a termite mound.

Below, Leopard descending a termite mound.

Below, are drawings from my sketchbook.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott

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