By Jamie Smith
Jazz hands! This beautiful snow leopard was captured right in the middle of a jump – resulting in a rather comical picture.
Ron Conigilaro, 47, a photographer from Detroit, Michigan, USA was visiting the Glacier National Park to photograph the wildlife and was lucky enough to capture the right moment.
The impressive snow leopard is called ‘Mystique’ and is part of a zoological snow leopard breeding program to ensure healthy management of the species.
Ron said: “Mystique is gorgeous, healthy, fun loving cat that is treated like royalty at her home in Montana.
“It’s my favourite capture because I believe it shows this animal’s behaviour in a way that is not typically captured.
“In this photo, she was running and playing in a large mountainous area- snow Leopards have longer tails than most cats, to use for stabilization in the high heights of the mountains.
“She would scale the nearly sheer rock faces and then occasionally jump from the top.
“Because of their remote locations and shyness, it’s very difficult to get snow leopard photos, let alone one like this.
“I feel this photo is important to show this behaviour and their technique for jumping – almost like a flying squirrel.
“As an animal lover, who seeks and promotes the well being of all animals, I feel it’s important to educate people about our wildlife wonders.
“The more people learn about these animals, I feel the less inclined they are to hurt them.
“Seeing this cat move effortlessly in the snowy rocks was quite a joy.”
Ron’s photo has now had over 40,000 shares on his personal Facebook, and he hopes to gain more.