House Cat

Nayan Khanolkar's Image

This porch was on a route regularly taken by leopards, so Nayan asked the family who lived there if he could shoot some photographs. Having secured permission, he set up his camera trap, taking advantage of the artificial light percolating through the latticed wall. His picture conveys the versatility of a remarkable predator, as well as hope for our future coexistence.

The Warli people, based near Mumbai, have learnt to live alongside leopards. The cats come in at night from the nearby national park. Food thrown away on the streets attracts dogs, which are easier pickings for the leopards than the deer in the woods. Attacks on humans do happen, but are rare.

Behind the lens

Nayan Khanolkar

Nayan Khanolkar


After a decade-and-a-half-long career in bird photography, Nayan had the opportunity to work on documenting big cats in urban areas. Urban leopards have since been the sole focus of his photography. His primary role as a biology teacher has enhanced his work. Through his images he aims to sensitise people to animal behaviours and the conservation of India's rich wildlife heritage.

Image details

  • Nikon D7000
  • 18–105mm f3.5–5.6 lens at 18mm
  • 1/200 at f7.1  •   ISO 800  •   Nikon flashes  •   Trailmaster infrared  •   triggers  •   custom-made housing
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