Leopard, Olive, Big Cat Diary
Although Leopards (Panthera pardus) are to be found throughout Africa and indeed much of India and Asia they are notoriously difficult to observe and photograph. This has much to do with their nocturnal habit, shyness and cryptic camouflage along with sitting perfectly still for hours on end.
This female leopard is Olive who featured in the BBC Big Cat Diary series several years ago. She could be heard vocalising or 'coughing' as it's sometimes called for many nights just outside of camp next to the Talek river. However it took 12 days of searching every morning and evening to actually find her.
Although she was used to be filmed by camera crews and took little interest in the Landrover (other than using it as cover to stalk Impala) it soon became apparent why she had stayed in deep cover for so long ..... for following behind her were two young cubs.
This image was taken at first light just as the Sun broke the horizon.
A year later I returned again to the Mara and was fortunate to see and photograph Olive once more, unfortunately a little while after I returned I received news that she had been found dead. It was thought that she had been killed by the resident pride of Lions.