In a spot of bother: lucky photographer gets up close and personal with leopard

Look out for the PAWparazzi! This leopard might appear to be pouting for a selfie – but it’s actually a clever shot taken by brave wildlife photographer Russell McLaughlin.

The South African snapper was allowed to get up close to this captive leopard to take some intimate snaps.

Russell and the leopard get close whilst he is in the Tshukudu Game Reserve in South Africa

Russell and the leopard get close whilst he is in the Tshukudu Game Reserve in South Africa

Russell was allowed into the Tshukudu Game Reserve in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, privately owned by a friend, to take the pictures and says the leopard seemed very interested in coming for a closer look at what he was doing.

He said: “The second I walked and the leopards saw my camera and were all over me and it.

Spotting the photographer, the leopard seems very interested in coming for a closer look at what he was doing

Spotting the photographer, the leopard seems very interested in coming for a closer look at what he was doing

“They took to me as their new play toy.

“After many photographs of the leopards swatting at my hands and the camera, one emerged as if the leopard took its own selfie.”

Russell gets extremely close to the leopard and starts to take its photo

Russell gets extremely close to the leopard and starts to take its photo

Russell realised he was lucky to be allowed this close to the leopards and said the fact that they were hand-raised in captivity meant they may have been more placid than usual.

He said: “This particular leopard was in captivity due to the fact that her mother was caught and killed in a poacher’s snare.

“Her and her sister were brought to Tshukudu by the Leopard Conservation Trust in order to look after them and give them a fighting chance to adulthood.”

He said: "The second I walked and the leopards saw my camera and were all over me and it."

He said: “The second I walked and the leopards saw my camera and were all over me and it.”