Young male leopards are indescribably macho. They strut around with distended chests and practice menacing stares with asinine growls. Their lives are not so much about actually being macho, but rather the impersonation of it….however, anyone will tell you that this is really the same thing.
These two Maxabeni young male leopards are on a rising peak of confidence. At present there egos are as high as the trees that they climb. Living under their mother’s guidance, providence and experience their confidence is impressive, indicative and evident of their rising prowess. Yet, at the same time, it dangles precariously above the ravenous competition below.
You see, this macho bravado is all a facade. In the real world of the wilderness, such a front will only you take you so far. It will swell the ego, inflate a false sense of confidence and dapple dark rosettes of insecurity on an otherwise bold presence. It is a lie all animals, particularly males, believe at some stage in their lives.
True strength, power and belief comes from within. It comes from knowing and understanding who you are, what you stand for and what the facts of your life are. It comes from losing the ego and replacing it with a sense of not having to prove anything to anyone. It comes from looking inwardly for survival as opposed to an external image for entitlement.
Although this may be impossible for socially complex animals, such as these leopards, to do; they nonetheless provide a perfect metaphor for how we ourselves should think about our own lives…
Written and filmed by: Rich Laburn
Photographed by: Adam Bannister and Brett Wallington