This close-up portrait of a leopard made recently in Botswana’s Okavango Delta would have been very difficult to do 30 years ago when I first started looking for leopards in Africa. Back then, they were elusive and nearly invisible. When I did my coverage for @natgeo in Botswana in the late 80s, I rarely saw any leopards at all. They were ghost cats. Today sightings of leopards are common. The difference is better protection and especially, lack of hunting pressure. Botswana banned trophy hunting in 2014 and leopards like this one are beneficiaries. It is ever more important to recognize that every wild animal has its own life and that every one of them deserves our respect. Follow me @FransLanting for more tales of leopards and other big cats.
@thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeocreative #Leopard #Botswana #BigCats #Panthera #Respect #wildlifephotography