Alex Roldan

Camera: Nikon Z9

Lens: Nikon 400mm f/2.8

Aperture: f/4

Shutter speed: 1/1000

ISO: 450

Description: A female leopard in the Mara defends her territory from an intruding spotted hyena

Story from behind the lens: Whilst on assignment with Alex Walker's Serian in August 2022, I came across a female leopard on a morning patrol not far from the OffBeat Mara camp. Not giving up the opportunity to follow the relaxed cat from a respectful distance

Usually the leopard would give the hyena a very wide berth but she had a young cub somewhere in the area and if it was in close proximity, the leopard was going to get very protective. By anticipating the direction of both animals I positioned my vehicle close to where their paths might meet and waited to see if luck was on my side. Fortunately, favour smiled on me and I captured a few fleeting moments of the interaction with one of my favourites being where the leopard gave the hyena a warning snarl. Perhaps luckily for the leopard, the hyena seemed to be more interested in the remnants of an old wildebeest carcass rather than picking a fight.