Leopards in light: Nat Geo photographer gives Mumbaikars a rare glimpse of their feline neighbour

It's a lovely reminder of the space we share with wildlife that's right at our doorstep.

FP Staff November 20, 2015 15:59:42 IST
Leopards in light: Nat Geo photographer gives Mumbaikars a rare glimpse of their feline neighbour

We all know there are leopards right at our doorstep in Mumbai, but very rarely do we acknowledge it.

Leopards in light Nat Geo photographer gives Mumbaikars a rare glimpse of their feline neighbour

Instagram/NatGeo

National Geographic photographer Steve Winter as a part of his "Leopard Story" shot a series of pictures featuring the big cats.

On his Instagram page he says, "The residents of Mumbai use the park during the day - kids playing cricket, couples walking after work or school - others just walking in nature hearing the symphony of the park - the bird calls - leaving the bustling city of over 21 million people."

According to a survey by the Wildlife Institute of India (WWI), there are about 35 leopards in the 140 sq km area, including the national park and Aarey colony.

It's a lovely reminder of the space we share with wildlife within city limits.

@natgeo @stevewinterphoto Here is more proof that we humans live with majestic animals in urban areas without even knowing they are there - AND without major problems - if we let them be. Leopards are the most adaptable and the most persecuted cat on our planet. Shot for my @natgeo Leopard story - 2 leopard cubs are walking up stairs to go drink at a waterhole where the caretaker of a local shrine lives. The man has goats and chickens that drink the water during the day - at night he puts the livestock in his house for safety and the leopards come to drink - in Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai India. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/12/leopards-moving-to-cities-text The residents of Mumbai use the park during the day - kids playing cricket, couples walking after work or school - others just walking in nature hearing the symphony of the park - the bird calls - leaving the bustling city of over 21 million people. But at night the leopards come out - in the core of the park they have a substantial food source of deer and other species - but they walk silently on the trails at night close to apartment buildings. In one instance I met a man who had lived in this building for 10 years and did not know there were leopards here! I saw him every night walking with friends getting some exercise - two weeks later he tells me he was up at 3:30AM and looks out his window and sees a leopard for the first time! Our natural world is simply perfect and incredibly amazing. And without it we as humans cannot survive - we need to wake up and save the nature that we depend on for our oxygen, water and food - life itself. If we save big cats we can save ourselves. National Geographic launched the Big Cats Initiative to raise awareness and implement change to the dire situation facing big cats. Please visit CauseAnUproar.org to find out more about Build a Boma and other ways to become involved to save big cats! Give a High 5 for big cats! #5forbigcats @ #follow me @stevewinterphoto to see other images, thanks! @natgeo @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #bigcatsforever #ivoryfree #wildaid #bigcatsforever #beauty #me #follow #love #leopards @wildaid

A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

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