Wildlife - carlos Antunes
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The Climber

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania - Jul 2017

After a few hours waiting for this sleepy leopard to get up from his comfortable bed in that tree, three Thomson´s Gazelles passed under the tree, and as the French expression says - opportunity makes a thief - so they caught his attention.
Remember that the Thomson´s Gazelles is one of the leopard´s favorite food on the plains of Serengeti.

I was blessed to watch, a so well-known and wonderful spectacle, of a majestic descent of a leopard, staying immobilized for a brief moment in this peculiar position, while watching them from above.

Weighing 59 kg (on average), the leopard is the smallest of the four Big Cats, but is probably the most powerful Kg-for-Kg. It´s climbing ability distinguish them from the other big cats.
Their body structure are built for tree climbing - The Back legs are very powerful and muscular giving great impulses and muscular backs also assist in climbing, allied to the lower centre of gravity that also helps with stability.
Their amazing retractable claws dig easily into the bark, with a little of help of their relatively small body size and weight.

To sum, Leopards are natural climbers and wonderful animals.