Six days pass until the photographer finally captures this perfectly aligned image of a leopard with a “Shadow.”

Shaaz Jung, an Indian wildlife photographer, captured some amazing images of a black panther a few days ago, which we previously highlighted. And today we have another treat for you if you enjoy huge cats.

In a recent post, the Indian wildlife photographer Mithun H featured a picture of Cleopatra the leopard in shadow. The “shadow” behind her, however, is actually a black panther by the name of Saaya, so there is a small catch. In just a few days, Mithun’s photo garnered over 63k likes, and for good reason—the image is magnificent.

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Wildlife photographer Mithun H recently shared a photo of a leopard with a black panther as its “shadow”

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

The photo is titled The Eternal Couple and it went viral almost instantly.

Mithun named the photograph The Eternal Couple

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

In a recent interview with Bored Panda, the photographer said that capturing this shot was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that he still relives the moment every time he closes his eyes.

Mithun says that a lot of waiting and patience went into capturing the photo. “I had waited 6 days for this in the same spot since I could hear the panther and Cleopatra mating about 100 meters away in the thick undergrowth, but could not see them due to limited visibility. They had made a large kill and would not move until it was over,” explained the photographer. “That is where the knowledge and years of experience of following and tracking the panther came in handy. I just had to wait at one of his favorite paths, since that was the place he would get her, since that was the edge of his territory, and this he did after 6 days. It was a fruitful wait, though. I could wait for 6 years for a moment like this.”

The photographer spent six days waiting for the perfect shot

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

One of the things Mithun loves the most about wildlife photography is the element of surprise. He said that you never know what you’ll encounter at the next bend. “The woods are mysterious, and to unlock that is my passion,” revealed the photographer. “You could be waiting for days and months and years for that perfect shot. But when it happens, those few seconds are magical, and to live for after all that time. That is the beauty of wildlife photography.”

Mithun has been photographing wildlife since 2009

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

The photographer was born and brought up in the jungles of South India and says that he has always had a passion for wildlife and big cats. To Mithun, photography was a means to immortalize the moments he saw in the wild. He picked up his first camera back in 2009 and managed to capture a photo of a huge male tiger swimming through a river. “That was the moment I decided my way forward in life,” said the photographer.

The photographer always had a passion for wildlife and big cats

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

“Although I love every form of wildlife and love my birds as well, big cats were always a fascination from the beginning,” said Mithun. “Leopards, in particular, were my first love. The agility, the grace of this feline on the trees just fascinated me to no end.”

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

Mithun says he would spend hours watching the cats lazing on a tree with their cubs. “[I] have named and followed their individual journey in Kabini for the last 12 years now,” said the photographer. “It all started with one of my favorite Leopards whom I called ‘Monk’ (a big male) and ‘Moon’ (the female), and their generation still going strong now.”

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

Mithun says that even though wildlife photography can be dangerous, knowing the behavior and limits of animals means you have won half the battle. “These beautiful creatures are generally more scared and shy than we think,” says the photographer. “Give them space and let them get comfortable with you and you realize how close and personal you can get with their world. The secret is patience and respect.”

Mithun’s photo of a black panther drinking water also went viral a few years back

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

Through his work, Mithun wants to support the conservation of leopards as they’re the most neglected big cats in the world. “People need to realize the beauty and grace of this amazing feline and their very important role in the ecosystem,” added the photographer.

Image credits: Mithun H Photography

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