“The World’s Most Elusive Cat” is so perfectly camouflaged in mountainous terrain that it is almost impossible to spot. But among the rocks and snow lies a leopard waiting anxiously to throw itself over.
And once you spot it, you’ll be wondering how you ever missed it.
The stunning image is taken high up in the Himalayas in Northeast India.
Photographer Saurabh Desai began hiking in the Spiti Valley in 2019 with one mission.
“I was looking for the world’s most elusive cat, also known as ‘Gray Ghost’ in the popular local language,” he told My Modern Met.
After nearly three years of searching, Desai finally managed to snatch the brown leopard about eight miles from the high-lying village of Kibber.
And it seems that the big cat also saw him with his piercing eyes looking directly into the camera.
Desai, from Gujarat, was left completely “speechless” by chance.
He said: “The picture shows the snow leopard trying to get out of the cliff.”
“But upon observing our presence, it decided to wait until it got really dark, and it stayed there on the edge.”
The newly resurrected image was taken at an altitude of 17,000 feet at around -86F.
Oxygen levels had also dropped to less than 50 percent compared to normal.
Social media users were confused by the image, and some took hours to clock the creature.
One said on Reddit: “I’ve seen this picture 643634 times and I’m always thinking, ‘where are you, you little darling?'”
Another commented: “Honestly, I can not see any leopard … damn nature, you scary.
And one said on Twitter: “After finding it … it becomes so clear and easy to see.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission