By Amanda Stringfellow @amanda_l_s

A LEOPARD leaps into a muddy waterhole to catch a fish in the Savuti Channel in Botswana

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Gone fishing: The leopard heads into the waterhole

The spotted predator stood poised waiting for a fish to appear - before leaping in ferociously with lightening reflexes.

Waiting game: The cat knows its only a matter of time

Coated in a layer of thick dark mud, the big cat emerged from the water clutching the fish in its jaws.

Going under: The hungry leopard takes a plunge

The fishing leopards of Savuti are known for their unique skills in catching fish - but have rarely been photographed.

Catch of the day: The spotted predator gets its reward

This sighting was captured by 57-year-old, electrical engineer, Abel Coelho, while on a photographic safari with Earth Ark Safaris in the region.

Dirty business: The leopard was caked in mud after the catch

Abel said: “Our guide got a tip off there was a leopard in the Hippo Pool area, so off we went to investigate.

The big cat leaves with a huge fish hanging from its mouth

“We did observe catfish in the pool, but the idea of the leopard fishing seemed very remote at that point in time.

The victorious cat is covered in wet mud

“The leopard made its way into the channel and towards the pool, in typical cat fashion, half stealth, half nonchalant, un-rushed, every now and then it would gaze intently into the pool.

The leopard is right up to its knees in mud

“Cautiously the leopard entered the pool, appearing to not really enjoy the muddy conditions, made its way to the centre, paused for a brief moment, and in a flash lunged into the quagmire.

The big cat licks its lips

“During the whole episode and for a little while after there was silence - we were in disbelief, awe, and felt a sense of exhilaration.”