Can you spot the leopard? Photographer barely spotted it himself

Wildlife photographer Henri Olckers and his father were driving down a dirt road in Kruger National Park hoping to spot a leopard relaxing on a branch.

“But it wasn’t meant to be,” Olckers recalled to USA Today/For The Win Outdoors. “Or so it felt.”

They were driving on S125 for the first time in the iconic South African park.

“It is a beautiful, quiet 20-kilometer road, running parallel to a dry riverbed on the one side and dense bush on the other,” he told FTW Outdoors. “We were both scanning every tree next to the riverbed.

“Approximately 1 kilometer before the end of the road, we had almost given up all hope when I turned my head away from the riverbed and looked to the right. All I remember was seeing a few spots in the dense foliage, and I slammed on the brakes. I just remember yelling to my dad, ‘Leopard, leopard, leopard.’

“I grabbed my camera with my one hand and steered with the other. I couldn’t decide if I should reverse quickly and risk scaring it off or reverse slowly and miss a photo opportunity.”

He slowly got the vehicle into position. Luckily the leopard remained stationary and he started taking photos.

“It clearly wasn’t used to cars or people because it immediately lowered its head and ears as if trying to hide. Once we switched off the car, it relaxed a bit more, later seeming quite interested in us. After about 3-4 minutes, he got up and walked deeper into the bush where we lost visual.”

Several people viewing the image on Olckers’ Facebook page never could spot it. Among the comments:

“I would have driven straight past. Blissfully unaware.”

“Can’t see any animal, but just love the beautiful vegetation—especially the golden grasses.”

“I couldn’t find.”

“Took a while. I thought I was getting goofed on. I would not survive long in the jungle.”

The spots are what stand out the most, just as they did when Olckers first spotted them.

“It was the highlight of our trip,” Olckers told FTW Outdoors.

Photos used by permission of Henri Olckers.

Story originally appeared on For The Win