Can you spot the snow leopard in this picture?

Rare snow leopard is master of disguise

Can you spot the snow leopard in this picture?

Brilliant pictures of a snow leopard hiding from its prey proves the creatures are such a good master of disguise - that even we can't see it.

Photographer Inger Vandyke, from Australia, spent 17 days in the mountains in Ladakh, India, with British colleague Mark Beaman to track down the rare and elusive animals.

She managed to capture a fabulous sequence of hunting pictures on camera.

See also: In pictures: The world's endangered predators

According to the Mirror, she said: "On day five of our trip we began tracking four leopards for a total of five days and we had so many encounters with them it was amazing.

"We watched them play fighting, mating, scenting and hiding out in rocky lairs.

"Finally, we sat for six hours in the snow and ice to watch a leopard come down a valley and try to hunt bharal or blue sheep."

So did you spot it? Ok, we'll put you out of your misery:

Can you spot the snow leopard in this picture?

According to Wikipedia, the snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.

It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because, as of 2003, the size of the global population was estimated at 4,080 to 6,590 adults, of which fewer than 2,500 individuals may reproduce in the wild.

Like many cats, they are opportunistic feeders, eating whatever meat they can find, including carrion and domestic livestock.

They can kill animals two to four times their own weight, such as the bharal, Himalayan tahr, markhor, argali, horse, and camel,[26] but will readily take much smaller prey, such as hares and birds.

They are capable of killing most animals in their range with the probable exception of the adult male yak.

Snow leopards prefer to ambush prey from above (as seen in this picture), using broken terrain to conceal their approach. They will actively pursue prey down steep mountainsides, using the momentum of their initial leap to chase animals for up to 300m (980ft). They kill with a bite to the neck, and may drag the prey to a safe location before feeding.

The snow leopard has not been reported to attack humans, and appears to be the least aggressive to humans of all big cats. As a result, they are easily driven away from livestock; they readily abandon their kills when threatened, and may not even defend themselves when attacked.

Britain's best zoos 2015 (according to Tripadvisor reviewers)

Britain's best zoos 2015 (according to Tripadvisor reviewers)

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