This is one of those images you will have to look harder to spot what’s in it. Spoiler alert, it’s a male snow brown leopard hiding in plain sight. Photographer Saurabh Desai snapped this incredible animal photography, titled Art of Camouflage, at the beginning of 2019. He began trekking to the Spiti Valley located in the Himalayas in North India with his goal in mind, to find the world’s most elusive cat.
He managed to fulfill his goal. After climbing the high-altitude Kibber village, he was able to spot the cat five miles away from his location. it turns out the cat saw him too, but instead of running right away, he waited until it got dark. Desai’s patience was not to be questioned. He spent almost 3 years in search of this amazing cat. “When I found it up and close to me, I was speechless,” said the artist.
The weather conditions for snapping these pictures were ideal as well. At an altitude of 17,000 feet, temperatures were -30°C and oxygen levels were at less than 50% than usual. Desai had to endure a lot to be able to capture this incredible shot. “I wanted this animal to be captured the way people have described it, they say that often they don’t see the ‘Shan’ but ‘Shan’ always sees them,” he explains. “I was very keen to portray this animal in its own environment, perfectly camouflaged, which is an important skill that helps it in hunting,” adds Desai.
He trekked high in the Himalayas to capture a sight of a male snow leopard in the wild. Can you find it in this image? Here’s some help…
… did spot it yet? If not, here it is!
This isn’t the only time Desai has snapped pictures of snow leopard, but it is the most illusionistic.