Notoriously shy and elusive, the resident leopards of the Mashatu Game Reserve are hard to spot. But this time Skye was in luck. After tracking the leopards for a few hours, he came across Mathoja – a well-known female. In a fleeting moment, just before the leopard nodded off, Skye captured a peaceful portrait of this majestic creature.
Named by local guides, Mathoja means ‘the one that walks with a limp’ – a title given to her after a serious leg injury as a cub. Although her chances of survival were slim, Mathoja is now a healthy adult. She is one of the lucky ones – this species has been classed as vulnerable and many leopards are illegally hunted for their highly desirable skins.
Canon EOS-1D X + 500mm f4 lens; 1/80 sec at f4; ISO 1250
Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana
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Skye Meaker, South Africa
Skye grew up in a family with a passion for nature and photography. He was inspired to start taking pictures at the age of seven and has since had the opportunity to travel to incredible places all over the world. His love of sharing his memories and experiences pushes him to try and better himself and his photography.