Robert Henderson's picture

Still Life with Figs and Rabbit 1

We found this young female leopard in the Lamai Area of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. She was in a fig tree tree shortly after sunrise with her freshly caught kill. The white ring around the eye, and lack of black ear tips. suggests this is a Savanna Hare rather than a Cape Hare.

When we initially caught up with her she was still working on what was left of a previously caught baby zebra. But she eventually moved on to the Savanna Hare, which she prepared and ate in an almost ritualistic way. First she plucked off the fur, especially the soft white belly fur, then eventually skinned and finally ate the hare.

The early morning light reminded me of one of the Golden Age still life paintings hanging in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (which often include a dead rabbit). I tried to maintain the painterly feeling in my post processing.

I owe a special thank you to Nomad Lamai Serengeti Guide Emmanuel Mbise for finding the kill, and patiently watching and repositioning the vehicle for over 2 hours while trying to capture the perfect shot. He was able to position the vehicle at the edge of a nearby ravine, allowing us to shoot the pictures at eye level with the leopard.

I took the picture with a Canon EOS R6 with an EF200-400mm f/4L IS 1.4X lens. The exposure settings were 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2500, 560 mm, hand-held. Taken November 4, 2022.

Canon R6
560 mm · f/5.6 · 1/800 sec · ISO 2500
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