This Is What It Takes to Photograph a Leopard in an Urban Jungle (VIDEO)

Mission Critical - Leopards at the Door
Photograph by Steve Winter

Much like extracting venom from snakes, trying to photograph leopards may seem near impossible.

But wildlife photographer Steve Winter is always up for a challenge, and for Nat Geo WILD’s newest episode of Mission Critical, Winter finds himself in Mumbai, India, home to around 12,000 leopards, though the population is dwindling. (A hundred years ago, there were five times as many leopards in India.)

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“Leopards at the Door” sees Winter and the Nat Geo WILD team assessing how leopards and humans live together, and how their co-existence can be improved.

Before the new episode airs this Sunday, watch an exclusive clip of Winter trying to capture a photo of a big leopard, dubbed “Big Daddy.” And hear him talk about how one “lucky” shot of a Hollywood cougar (as in the feline kind) helped make his leopard mission—and the protection of wild mountain cats living in urban places—possible.

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Mission Critical: “Leopards at the Door,” Sunday, Jan. 31, 9/8c, Nat Geo Wild