Wildlife photographer Leighton Lum, 32, snapped the cute scenes when he noticed the cub starting to annoy its mom after a sudden downpour woke the little leopard from its slumber.
“The trip to Kenya was amazing. Due to the pandemic, sightings were much better because there were fewer vehicles and fewer people,” said Lum. “Although it is bad for the tourism industry it is great for photographers.”
The photographer had gotten a call that a mother leopard and cub were sighted in the morning down in a gulch taking a nap.
“By the time we arrived at the spot they were still sleeping, so all we could do was wait and hope they came out,” Lum shared.
Luckily for the photographer, a huge rain shower passed through which disturbed the cub from his nap.
Added Lum: “That’s when things got interesting. The cub woke up and got really playful and curious, he would climb trees and try to wake his mom up.
Eventually, the cub wandered near their vehicle, and the mother followed. The pair settled down not more than 50 feet from the vehicle. And then the horseplay began. “It was incredible,” he said.
“We had been sat there waiting for the cub to come out for almost two hours. So when they eventually came out everyone was so relieved.
“They played for at least an hour so everyone was able to get good shots.”
Generally, leopards are very hard to locate, the photographer said, let alone a mother together with her cub.
“So, this was really quite rare,” Lum added.
“They are very secretive and difficult to spot, so this was a real treat.
“I was so excited when we got the news that a mom and cub were in the area. I didn’t think we’d actually get that great of a look and for that long.
“I really enjoyed watching this tender moment between mother and cub. It’s a behavior not often seen and it’s rare to see them like this out in the open and at close range.”