It was a dry summer morning at Kabini. During the morning safari drive, we were quick to spot a leopard on the Sunkadakatte road, treed by a group of 7 wild dogs. The leopard looked restless and was already fidgeting on the tree-top. I anticipated that the leopard, instead of taking the normal route down the tree trunk, would either fight the dogs or run. The leopard did take a huge leap to avoid the dogs but did not succeed. In its second attempt, the leap of faith from almost 30 feet above the ground was something I have never witnessed in my three decades in forests. I was able to freeze the frame thanks to good anticipation and of course, knowing my camera well and implementing photographic techniques to lock focus. The moment the leopard was on the ground, the wild dogs chased it, but the gritty leopard survived.
What I took away from this encounter is not just the gripping moment of witnessing a flying leopard, but also the fact that life in the jungles is a great struggle for everyone.