It was a hot afternoon at the Jungle of Jhalana, Jaipur where temperature was hitting close to 45*C. Its a quite dry jungle with not a lot of vegetation or greenery. The survivors are the most extreme and tuff animals. 2 hours in the safari, but no success other than few peacocks and the massive Indian Blue Bull a.k.a ‘Neel Gaye’.
We planned to halt at one of the numerous man-made water hole and patiently awaited for an alarm call or some movement around. Suddenly I hear my safari driver calling out in excitement “Leopard”. There I saw this beautiful leopard, sliding down the rocks like melted wax, coming upto the water hole we were stationed at. We sat with excitement with cameras pointed towards the direction of the leopard. She came towards us like magic, with the beautiful yellow ochre coat and started to quench her thirst. While looking straight in our eyes she drank water for the next 5 minutes.
Just few minutes later, we saw one huge hyena walking towards the waterhole, unaware of the existence of the leopard. 15 seconds of great suspense and they both came face to face at the water hole. Both getting the surprise of their lifetime, paused for a second and then the hyena went after the leopard. The easiest escape for the leopard would have been the dry tree nearby. It took her less than few leaps to reach the top of the tree, her safe house. Hyena tried his level best to get hold of her which made her very aggressive and she kept growling. They gave us some of the most iconic and stunning digital images.
Jungles can get you the most dramatic scenes, it changes every second and the possibility of what you see is absolutely a mystery. I am happy to capture this incident by the lens of my camera and my eye.
Special thanks to - Jai Rawat, Isha Talwalkar Rawat & Tanvi Nigam their company