The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2018
Honourable Mention: Abhinav Garg
In the Trenches: The tiny Jhalana Forest Reserve in Jaipur is India’s big cat aficionados’ new favourite haunt. Though just over 20 sq. km in size, the reserve is home to a staggering density of leopards. With no competition from tigers, they are the apex predators here and gradually getting habituated to the tourist gaze. While on safari, photographer Abhinav Garg encountered this gorgeous female seeking asylum from gawking visitors in the safety of a narrow trench dug by the Forest Department. Wildlife tourism in India is in sore need of refinement, but it is undoubtedly a tool that needs to be wielded for conservation. Hemmed in by the chaos of Jaipur and inhabiting a mere fraction of their normal territory size, the rosetted cats survival here is foolproof evidence of their adaptability and resilience.