Torie Hilley

Camera: Canon R5

Lens: Canon RF 400mm f/2.8

Aperture: f/2.8

Shutter speed: 1/400

ISO: ISO 500

Description: Romi's shy leopard cub peeks through the bushes for a brief moment before disappearing.

Story from behind the lens: While in the Mara, we got word that there was a leopard kill on the far side of the park – she had a cub with her. We took a chance and drove the distance to see the cub, but we heard the cub was shy. By the time we got to the location, which was thick bush, we saw at least half a dozen cars. We knew we were in the right spot. Wilson masterfully maneuvered the vehicle into the bushes where another vehicle was already parked. After 30 minutes, we saw the mother, Romi, move amongst the bushes. We were all standing up and squished in the front of our vehicle trying to get a glimpse of the cub between the bushes and the vehicle in front of us. I was super lucky. I by chance was pointing my camera in the right direction and saw Romi grooming her cub through my lens. I started to fire off my camera and whispered with excitement “the cub!” - the other photographers scrambled to see her, albeit without luck. Then Romi moved away to take a rest while her cub stared right down my lens, with a look of uncertainty. I continued to keep firing off my camera but in a matter of seconds, the cub disappeared into the bushes, never to be seen again. I counted my blessings to be the only one in our group to have seen and photographed the cub.