Shravan Rao

Camera: Canon EOS R6

Lens: Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8

Aperture: f/2.8

Shutter speed: 0.3 seconds

ISO: 12800

Description: Leopard descends at night with a Thomson's gazelle

Story from behind the lens: Less than 30 seconds after a stop to check tyre pressure at night, George heard a fox and investigated. I saw two hyenas under a tree, but no foxes. One never knows with George if he is joking (he has great humour), and hence cannot say if there was ever a fox near the tree. There was a leopard on the tree trying to kill a young Thomson's gazelle. With hyenas circling the tree, the leopard stayed on the tree. We debated what it would do; whether it would take a risk and get its cub to the tree or take the gazelle to the cub. An hour later, it took the chance to go down the tree with the gazelle. Our second vehicle had been positioned to back light the leopard if it were to come down. The leopard strangely used its tail to hold on to the tree as it descended in a rush, making its jerky motion even harder to pan with the camera hunting in the low light. The back light bounced off the tree to envelope the leopard. The rest was just good fortune.