Caucasian leopards spotted in Azerbaijan are the ‘last in Europe’ Extremely rare Caucasian leopard had been sighted in Azerbaijan
They say a leopard can’t change its spots…
The Big Cat is photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn’s favourite animal so when he heard that the extremely rare Caucasian leopard had been sighted in Azerbaijan he was determined to track down the creature and capture it on camera, INews reports.
Didn’t curiosity kill the cat, though?
Mr Steirn, who is originally from Australia and lives in Cape Town, is fortunate to have access to some of the most “beautiful and cherished wildlife in the world” in his neck of the woods but he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to shoot the “magnificent” animal, previously thought to be extinct.
Shoot it with his camera…right?
Yes, this isn’t another Cecil the Lion episode, thankfully. “If there was Caucasian leopard left in Azerbaijan, it would be Europe’s last leopard. It struck me that there was a real opportunity available to help this sub-species, the largest of its kind, before it was too late,” said Mr Steirn, whose mission has been chronicled in a documentary, The World’s Most Wanted Leopard, which will be broadcast on the Nat Geo Wild channel on Thursday 8 December.
Was he successful in his attempts?
Excuse the spoiler, but it wouldn’t be much of a documentary if he’d gone home with no footage. Spotting the leopard was a “euphoric moment” for the whole crew, he says. “We’d been up against so much, from getting access to language barriers, so when we got our first glimpse of leopard the relief was palpable.” He added: “To have evidence of not only one but two male Caucasian leopards was more than we had hoped for and was fantastic news.”
The species won’t get far without a female…
Recent images from camera traps in the same area show a female leopard with two cubs, demonstrating that the natural reintroduction of the species is beginning to occur, the photographer said. “It is the most positive news in decades for the future of the Caucasian leopard.”
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