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Photographer of the Year 2021

Written by: Pedro Segura

While on a safari in Samburu National Reserve in Kenya we came across a tragic incident: a killed leopard was hung out in the branches of an acacia tree – looking much like its own prey. The leopard had been partially devoured by another leopard – and had been the loser of a territorial dispute in an area north of the Ewaso Ngiro River.

leopard-kills-leopard

We came across the ‘crime scene’ while enjoying an early morning safari, and our guide told us all about the terrible incident that had happened during the night.

dead-leopard-tree

When we arrived at the area we saw the killed leopard, hanging in the tree about four or five metres above the ground.

dead-leopard-in-tree dead-leopard

Meanwhile, his killer was resting in the branch of a nearby acacia.

leopard-in-tree leopard-samburu

I took these images with a mixture of feelings: disbelief, sadness, astonishment… it was a disconcerting and tragic image but also a unique and unusual sighting that I had never before had the privilege of seeing, even in books, magazines and wildlife documentaries.

Alive leopards taken the previous day in the same area - possibly 'the hunter' or 'the hunted'
Living leopards taken the previous day in the same area – possibly ‘the hunter’ or ‘the hunted’
Alive leopards taken the previous day in the same area - possibly 'the hunter' or 'the hunted'
Living leopards taken the previous day in the same area – possibly ‘the hunter’ or ‘the hunted’
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