Daniela Di Lillo

Camera: Sony ILCE-7RM3

Lens: 400 mm

Aperture: f2.8

Shutter speed: 1/800

ISO: 1250

Description: Leopard mum looking up a nearby tree, contemplating how much strength it will take to carry up her kill.

Story from behind the lens: We first found the impala carcass and heard from others there was a leopard mum with her cub not far away, but hiding in dense bush. We figured we rather wait here, in the hope she would eventually come out and move the carcass as it was quite openly visible and still had a lot of meat on it. Hours went by and I was about to give up hope but my guide & driver kept on reassuring me we should wait. As the sun was about to go down and we should head back to camp, the elusive leopard made her appearance and moved the impala carcass closer to some nearby trees. She took a break and scanned them up and down, hesitant which one to go for, if any, as the first forks were really high up. I have always loved the moment of cats looking up at trees, as in this moment their face and eyes catch a lot of light and the look reveals more of their intention & thoughts. After this moment she took the prey to the bottom of one of the trees, which was quite skew, looked it further up and down, seemingly unsure of her next steps. We waited a few more minutes but then had to leave her behind as it got dark. The next early morning we didn't find either the kill nor the leopard with her cub. Once again a short moment with an elusive leopard, which it was well worth waiting for.