The rare Indian snow leopard might be right in front of you, and you won’t even see it. Be thankful you’re not a wild sheep!
Few animals can blend into their environment like an Indian snow leopard.
Wildlife photographer Inger Vandyke proved this when she and companion Mark Beaman spent time in the mountains of northern India photographing the animals.
Can you find the leopard?
There she is!
The Australian photographer spent 17 days in parts of the Himalayas with her expedition. Many people think of India’s climate as hot, but this region is extremely cold.
“Friends bought us a liter bottle of water to drink at 1:00 p.m. By 2:30 p.m., in the broad sunlight, that water had completely frozen over,” said Vandyke.
Obviously, the chance to capture these endangered animals on film was worth it.
Throughout the expedition, they encountered five snow leopards who could vanish right before their eyes.
Vandyke said the leopards blended in so well, they could turn their backs to the observers and disappear into the background.
Vandyke and Beaman are now part of an elite group of photographers who can say they photographed the endangered Indian snow leopards.
In one picture, you can see an attack on a bharal, or blue sheep. It is one of the few pictures ever taken of a snow leopard attack, and possibly the first ever by a woman photographer.
Vandyke credits the local Ladakhi people for getting them so close to the rare leopards.