The alley cat
With growing human-leopard conflict grabbing the headlines, Nayan was determined to show things could be different. Positioning his camera trap so a passing cat would not dominate the frame, the wait began. After four months, he finally captured this unique human-leopard co-existence as this big cat weaves its way silently through the alley.
The remarkably versatile leopard is probably the most persecuted big cat in the world. But for the Warli people of this Mumbai suburb, their ghost-like neighbours deserve respect. The cats are an accepted part of their lives and culture, and are even depicted in the traditional paintings that decorate their homes.
Nikon D7000; 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 lens at 21mm; 1/20 sec at f7.1; three Nikon flashes; Trailmaster infrared triggers; custom-made housing.
Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai, India
Love this image?
Choose your favourite from this year's collection. You can only choose once.
Nayan Khanolkar, India
Nayan has been documenting India's wildlife for over a decade. He has worked as a Research Fellow with the Bombay Natural History Society and is currently a biology teacher. This aids his understanding of flora, fauna and animal behaviour. He is currently focused on photographing big cats in urban areas to raise awareness of the conservation of India's rich wildlife heritage.