How many snow leopards do you think you can spot in these incredible photos?
A group of perfectly camouflaged snow leopards can be found dotting a cold desert mountain valley.
They’re nearly impossible to spot with the untrained eye, but once you see them, you’ll wonder why they weren’t more obvious.
The group of scattered snow leopards, known as the “world’s most elusive cat,” can only be seen with a very sharp – and patient – eye.
The incredible photos were taken in the Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh, India, by Ismail Shariff, a wildlife photographer who specializes in capturing snow leopards in their natural habitat.
Ismail’s collection of photographs spans eight years.
His brain teaser pictures have earned him the moniker “India’s Snow Leopard Man.”
“Seeing them in their natural environment takes a trained eye, but every time I do, it’s like spotting one for the first time,” he said.
Despite his experience, Ismail admits that spotting snow leopards can be difficult.
“Snow Leopards are masters of camouflage,” he said, adding that even the guides on leading expeditions have had trouble spotting them.
“So, if you do go on an expedition, make sure the person in charge has done it a sufficient number of times because this is a highly specialized expedition that necessitates such expertise.”
The images come after another stunning image of a leopard captured high in the Himalayas in north-eastern India.
It can be seen hiding in plain sight among the rocks and snow, ready to pounce.
In 2019, photographer Saurabh Desai set out on a journey through the Spiti Valley with the sole purpose of photographing the “Grey Ghost” cats.
Desai finally caught the brown leopard about five miles from the high-altitude village of Kibber, after nearly three years on the lookout.
With its piercing eyes staring directly into the camera, it appears the big cat noticed him as well.