I like the scientific name for the African leopard, Panthera pardus pardus. I have no idea what ‘pardus’ means, but in my imagination ‘pardus pardus’ somehow perfectly represents this elusive animal as it moves stealthily through the bush on padded paws.
My interest in leopards started when I was a little boy. My grandmother had a number of albums containing her black and white photos, taken with a Brownie box camera in the 1930s, mounted on black pages. Underneath the photos she had written her comments in white ink. One of her albums, my favourite one, was devoted entirely to her family’s visits to the Kruger National Park. Amongst its contents there was a photo of my grandfather, the professor, with his back to the camera, urinating into a bush. The comment underneath was “What animal has Ems spotted over there, I wonder?”
My favourite photo…
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