Face to face with a mother leopard: When wildlife photographer Madan stood 12 mt from big cat

"We waited for a long, long time and at one point we even thought of leaving the place but suddenly we heard a sound of something running," says Madan. Lo and behold! There she stood, the mother leopard just 12 metres away from them on the road.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  19 March 2022 3:26 AM GMT
Face to face with a mother leopard: When wildlife photographer Madan stood 12 mt from big cat

Hyderabad: Wildlife photographer Madan Reddy along with a forest watcher went to the forest of Amrabad Tiger Reserve at around 8 a.m in the morning. They were traveling on a forest department motorbike as jeeps were not allowed into the interiors of the forest. Suddenly, they noticed a small yellow thing disappear into the bushes. In a fraction of a second, it was not to be seen. Madan said to the watcher that it might be a tiger cub. But the watcher said it was not possible because the place is too close to a tribal village.

They proceeded further into the forest and spotted the pug marks of a leopard. They carefully observed the area and found pug marks of cubs near the bush. They waited at a safe distance – 50 metres away from the pug marks – but no leopard came that way. Madan and the watcher waited patiently for over three hours expecting the mother leopard to come out.

"We waited for a long, long time and at one point we even thought of leaving the place but suddenly we heard a sound of something running," says Madan. Lo and behold! There she stood, the mother leopard just 12 metres away from them on the road.


"I could not think of anything else at that point. The leopard was staring at me, threatening me. I kept calm and didn't move. I asked the watcher not to move," says Madan. He was scared but was determined to take some photos of this rare opportunity.

With a racing heart and shaking hands, Madan stealthily lifted his camera to click photographs. "The will to capture the moment helped me overcome my fear," he says.

After clicking the photos, they took four or five steps and slowly moved backward. Soon, the leopard relaxed and vanished into the bushes.

Madan describes it as one of the fascinating moments of his career.As a person who has encountered similar experiences before and has taken several beautiful wildlife photographs, Madan says that this photograph is unique and is very special. "There is a direct interaction between me and the leopard in the photo. If a person looks at it for 10 seconds, they will feel like the animal is trying to express or convey something. Also, it was a super close encounter. It was the first time I was seeing an animal this close," he explains.

Madan is a wildlife photographer who also takes photos for the Telangana forest department.

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