Akhil Vinayak Balachandra Menon
Camera: Sony A1 ILCE-1
Lens: Sony FE 400 2.8 GM
Shutter speed: 1/2500
Description: This is an image of a mother-daughter duo at a topi kill. This image was shot as the daughter joined the mother to feast on the kill. A unique moment from the masai mara at a typical leopard habitat..
Story from behind the lens: It was late in the evening in the masai mara. We were returning after a long day of safari back to the camp and noticed a few vehicles reluctantly leaving a ravine. The ravines are typical hideout for the leopards and we knew that perhaps they had seen a leopard and leaving as it was closing time at the park. My driver suggested that we may have a couple of minutes before we had to rush back as well. As we drove around the ravine, within a few minutes, we spotted a dead topi with its head in the water and a female leopard eating away on its rear. The leopard paused momentarily while eating to make a call. My guide was quick to point out that she is perhaps calling out to her daughter. I asked the driver to position the car sideways for a better angle to be ready for when the young leopard arrived. Within minutes, we saw movement in the bush on the other side of the ravine. I noticed that there was a gap from that side of the shoreline to the kill. I expected the young leopard to make the jump to join the mother. Since we were at a slightly higher level to the where the kill was, my guide/driver quickly adjusted the vehicle and I position myself as low as possible from the vehicle to get the shot. Within a matter of couple of minutes, the young leopard was on the other side of the kill and she made a swooping jump onto the dead Topi's belly before joining her mother on the other side. We watched them take turns to feed momentarily and then returned back to camp. I was happy to get a few shots of this beautiful moment in the wild. It was just like a cherry on the cake for a wonderful day in the beautiful masai mara.