21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
The Big Stretch

A young female leopard climbing up a tree with a stretched jump holding its fresh kill of a Malabar giant squirrel. A Malabar giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) was running for its life while being chased by the leopard. It took less than 10 seconds for the leopard to make the kill. We were below the tree in our safari vehicle. With my 300mm lens I could photograph the big stretch to safety. Leopards prefer to bring their kills high above a tree to ensure no risk of losing their hard-earned food from scavenging or from muscle play by a stronger cat. Their spotted coat camouflages them, making them blend in with the leaves of the tree.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: India
Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Copyright: © Mainak Ray