A BRITISH wildlife photographer set up a camera high in the mountains of China – and got a beautiful snow leopard “selfie”.
Terry Townsend discovered the remarkable snap when he returned to his camera trap 16,000ft (4,900m) up on the Tibetan Plateau.
The big cat prowling a track through the mountains had spotted the camera and posed perfectly for a close-up.
Terry, founder of Birding Beijing, captured the image six weeks ago while working in China’s Qinghai province in an area known as the Valley of the Cats.
He wrote: “I placed a camera trap high up on the mountains. Yesterday I retrieved it. Look what I found.”
The full sequence of three photographs shows the curious snow leopard approaching the camera to investigate the object that was placed in its habitat.
In one of the images it shows the animal extremely close to the camera with one paw forward creating the idea that it is pressing the button to take a picture.
It then gets closer to the lens, which captured an incredible close-up of the Snow Leopard.
In the background there is a rock that looks like it is smiling at the camera behind the snow leopard.
On social media, Eileen Pearson posted: “Fantastic, you must have been euphoric, I would have been.”
Ravi Bhat? added: “The Snow Leopard is gorgeous! But also see the face on the stone behind it smiling for the camera.”
Yesterday, incredible footage was released of a snow leopard falling 400 ft off a cliff while chasing its prey.
The clip was captured in the Himalayas, India showing the big cat tussling with a Bharal, type of ram, which died after the repeated drops from the cliff.
Two days ago, a snow leopard living in Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire was shocked to find new cameras in her enclosure after waking up from her nap.
Video showed the creature falling back in amazement and then twitching uncontrollably in response to the strange new object.