A naturalist working for the National Natural History Museum in Paris, Robert Dallet was incomparably skilled in magnifying the inimitable coat, forceful lines and strength of the big cats; strength in the most accurate way. He designed a picture of love for us: that brief and passionate interlude when two solitary creatures come together to give life. In a few months time, two leopard cubs, maybe three, will be born in the hollow of a tree or rock.
But for the time being, the future parents watchfully examine and size each other up in an amorous display, observed by the curious and entertained gaze of the jungle’s frailest inhabitants. Taking advantage of the two leopards’ complicity, the paradise flycatcher flutters above them, a bit too closely perhaps. More cautiously, other neighbours keep their distance in the foliage, among the delicate and perfumed orchids: a continuously astonished bush baby, butterflies with strange names like cymothoe or little monarch and multicolor birds. The bee-eater, taking its name from its favourite food, sunbirds with their bright plumage, plant nectar lovers, and those little accurately named lovebirds who always live in pair, snuggled together like two chilly children.