Animals

By Lucy Harvey

 

These dramatic photos capture the adorable moment a playful leopard cub pesters its mum after waking from a nap.

Leighton Lum, 32, snapped the cute scenes after noticing the cub starting to annoy its mum in Kenya.

The wildlife photographer said a sudden downpour woke the little leopard from its slumber.

Leighton added: “The trip to Kenya was amazing. Due to the pandemic, sightings were much better because there were fewer vehicles and fewer people.

“Although it is bad for the tourism industry it is great for photographers.

“We got a call that a mother leopard with a cub was spotted in the morning but they were 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.”

Luckily for the photographer, a huge rain shower passed through which disturbed the cub from his nap.

Leighton added: “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 mum up.

“Eventually he wondered near our vehicle and the mother followed. They settled in not more than a 50ft away from the vehicle and started to play. It was incredible.

“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.

“Leopards, in general, are very hard to find, let alone a mother and cub together. So, this was really quite rare.

“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 mum 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 behaviour not often seen and it’s rare to see them like this out in the open and at close range.”