Lens: Nikon 180-400mm f/4
Description: Shujaa successfully hunts a wildebeest
Story from behind the lens: Shujaa, a huge leopard easily identified by his injured left eye, was out hunting early one morning.
Unfortunately there were a lot of cars at the sighting and Shujaa eventually decided to disappear into a ditch where he lay down under a bush and went to sleep.
My friend and guide, James Lenjir from the Oltepesi Tented Safari Camp, told me that the ditch Shujaa was sleeping in was next to a trail that Wildebeest and Zebra often use to make their way to water and that we should wait to see what happens. So we waited. And waited. And waited.
After about 4 hours, when all but 2 other cars had gone, we saw a herd of about 80 Wildebeest on the horizon heading our way. Thye were running in single file.
As the first few ran past the ditch, we suddenly saw Shujaa make his move to the edge of the ditch where he crouched low. James told me to watch for the first young Wildebeest that came along as it would most likely be Shujaa's target. He was right. A young Wildebeest approached the ditch and Shujaa pounced.
It was incredibly fast,. The sequenc of images I took from the moment Shujaa exposed himself to the Wildebeest to when the Wildebeest was brought down to the ground was 25 images. At 20fps on the Z9, that's just over 1 second!
Amazing speed and agility, too fast to actually comprehend with the naked eye, but well captured with modern technology.