New Image – Caracals drinking, Masai Mara NR, Kenya


Back in time for this one… November 2010. Almost completely alone in the Mara. I had followed for a long time this mother Caracal the previous year with a male cub. I was really looking forward to find her again if she had another litter. I came across her one late evening in September 2010 with a new cub but then she disappeared again. Until one day in mid-morning two months later, when I saw them descending Rhino Ridge towards the Talek River. I then managed to find them every day for more than a week. Sightings were still mostly at dusk or before sunrise, in very low light. So I was eager to photograph them in a good light for once. On this particular day I saw them go to sleep inside a small gulley. After a while the mother left the cub and walked away. I tried to track her but I quickly lost her. So I just sat with the cub and waited for her return. At about 5pm she appeared from where she had vanished, far across the stream. I was surprised cause it was quite early. But I was happy, I hoped I could get some images in late afternoon light. I wondered what to do … cross the gulley and go towards her or wait near the cub? I feared that she might call the cub to her and I would miss their encounter. But I might have scared her if I moved… I decided to go closer to her… and it was a mistake. As much as I approached slowly, as I got to about 100mts she sunk back into the gulley. Not to be seen again until after sunset, when suddenly she appeared near the cub, called him out, completely relaxed in my presence. And then they drank right in front of me together. A truly unforgettable sight, but again… almost in total darkness!

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