Rare glimpse of elusive black leopard caught on camera

Rare glimpse of elusive black leopard caught on camera

Rare glimpse of elusive black leopard caught on camera

Black leopards are a result of a genetic mutation called melanism.

A British photographer got the surprise of a lifetime when he managed to snap rare photos of a black leopard in Africa - the only high-quality photos taken in over a hundred years.

He says that he used a plethora of camera traps each consisting of a Camtraptions wireless motion sensor, a high-quality DSLR camera and two or three flashes.

Working in collaboration with biologists from San Diego Zoo in the area, Burrard-Lucas went about installing camera traps in a well-protected area where the black leopard was rumoured to frequent.

"I couldn't believe it", Burrard-Lucas writes in a blog post. "So I've left the cameras for a few days and now I'm heading back to see if I've got anything".

While he was capturing stills, researchers from San Diego Zoo Global studying leopards in the area set up remote video cameras nearby, publishing their findings in the African Journal of Ecology. It didn't take long for the cameras to capture footage of the extremely rare melanistic panther.

Before Pilford's picture, the only confirmed sighting of a black leopard in Africa was a photograph taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1909.

Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Annabelle Carey was audibly excited when asked about the rare sighting of the melanistic leopard close to their camp.

The black leopard, known as a black panther in Africa and Asia, is a secretive and elusive creature.

A rare black leopard was spotted in Kenya in 2018.

Pilfold said his team of biologists had placed remote cameras to track the leopard population near a conservancy area in Laikipia County previous year when they heard reports of a possible black leopard sighting. Black leopards are actually a type of black panther - made famous by the Marvel Comics character of that name. Although not a black panther, the biologists believe the leopard may be the panther's mother.

No one but the black leopards know if there are more sightings like this in store for us.

A black leopard lounging at the The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve.

However, the Daily Nation, a Kenyan newspaper, challenged that claim on Wednesday, saying one of its photographers had succeeded in photographing a black leopard in 2013. That's when he chose to head to Africa himself, and set up several covert remote cameras by Camtraptions Camera Trap overnight at the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya, near where the San Diego Zoo researchers had confirmed the evasive predator's existence. Black panthers in the Americas would be black jaguars.

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