Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leopard spotted?

A guide radioed that he had seen a leopard asleep on some rocks on a hillock not far from the road. When we arrived, the beautiful cat awoke, stretched, jumped down, hid in some tall grass for a bit and then, amazingly enough, crossed the road in front of us, intent on giving the gawking tourists the slip. We followed him slinking away through high grass using high-powered binoculars for quite along time until he disappeared entirely from view. The driver theorized the leopard had a lone tree about a 1/2 mile in the distance as his goal and decided that we should have a look. We drove off the jeep trail and proceeded to roll slowly across the grassland.

The second photo shows that we found our "friend" asleep on a high branch, pooped from his long walk, sheltered from the heat, and resting, before an evening of work. He opened his eyes for a moment, flicked his tail, and ignored our presence.

I chose to include the third photo to give you a sense of the vast open space of the Serengeti. Please look carefully at the third branch above the bend. That stick you see is the leopard's tail. From this vantage point, prey can be spotted for miles. Of course there is so much wildlife, especially gazelles and impalas, that I am sure the leopard does not go often hungry. In fact any number of animals might seek the shade under this tree. By the way, don't you think it might be a nice place to have a picnic?


  1. And we complain about having ants join a picnic. Amazing shots Lee.

  2. Fantastic! As I've said before, it has been so wonderful to share this adventure through your photos! And they are terrific! Look forward to the next ones!!


  3. These are wonderful pictures! The first thing I noticed in the top picture was the spot pattern on the leopard's coat, and I've already gone back and studied it several times. I'd never want to wear it, though--it looks a lot better on him than it would on me!

    The bottom picture: Because you pointed it out, I found the "stick" of the leopard's tail hanging below the third branch, and I also thought I could see the silhouette of the rest of his body on the branch. I think it's wonderful that your guide was so knowledgeable about the creatures of the Serengeti and their lifestyles, so he was able to correctly interpret their behavior for you. For example: He knew the leopard probably had a lone tree where he took his afternoon naps--and he was right!

  4. A nice place for a picnic yes, a little dangerous maybe? :-)
    I love the hanging paws, the whole attitude. The last photo is a beauty.

  5. What an experience to have the leopard walk right in front of the car. This is a fantastic series. The tree and setting in the last shot - wonderful. You really get a feeling of "leopardness" from these - at least leopard not feeling like eating tourists today.