This series of photographs in Avondale’s Camera! Lights! Biodiversity in Action project is the best we have managed to capture so far of a Leopard on our land.  Taken on the 22nd of September just before midnight, the images were made just one second apart by the motion-sensitive Reconyx Hyperfire camera that my father sets up in various locations on the farm.  The leopard, Panthera pardus is the smallest of the four big cats in the Panthera genus, the others being Lion, Tiger and Jaguar.  Once widely distributed and plentiful through its ranges in Africa and Asia, the wild Leopard now survives in just a few places due to hunting and habitat loss.  We feel privileged to know that Avondale is providing a safe and bountiful haven for this beautiful creature.  You may notice that this Leopard is wearing a tracking collar.  We think it might be a male that was recently tagged in the Wemmershoek Dam area, and we are in the process of finding out more about it from nature conservation officials.  The Leopard is famous for its stealth and its adaptability.  It was once able to live in the most diverse habitats, from rainforest to desert.  Of all the big cats, the Leopard is the greatest climber.  It is even able to climb trees carrying its prey in its jaws.  Although better known for its opportunistic, ambush-style hunting techniques, the Leopard is able to run at speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour.  The presence of a top predator such as Leopard on the Avondale farm is a fantastic indicator of the health of our eco-system.