Image: Chaitanya Rawat // "A hot day in Jhalana, #Jaipur, temperatures touching 45 degree Celsius is not unusual. Given its arid landscape, this makes for a tough day outdoors.
Two hours of driving around Jhalana was beginning to take its toll. We saw magnificent peafowl and one of the largest nilgai I had ever seen.
But, no #leopard.
We decided to sweat it out a bit longer under the shade of a tree near one of the several man-made waterholes. That’s when the whisper, “Leopard!” shook me from my somnambulance.
There it was. The leopard that had eluded us. Slip-sliding down the rocks like melted wax, walking gracefully toward the waterhole. Cameras ready, we were barely able to take our eyes off her fine-looking, spotted, ochre and black coat.
Five minutes passed by as though in a dream. She drank her fill. Then, suddenly, the calm turned electric.
From nowhere, a lone striped #hyaena walked towards the waterhole, blissfully unaware of the spotted cat’s presence. I expected the hyaena to slink away, but to my great surprise it did the opposite. Going on the offensive, it literally chased the leopard up the dry tree you see on this page. Taken aback, the leopard growled its discontent as the hyaena pawed the trunk of the tree and then moved away after drinking its fill.
That’s all that happened. It was just another day in #Jhalana… one of the most interesting city #forests in #India,", writes #photographer Chaitanya Rawat.
This image featured in the October 2018 issue of #SanctuaryAsia.