Black leopard captured for first time in 100 years by Brit photographer

Black leopard captured for first time in 100 years by Brit photographer

The researchers captured on camera the rare female black leopard in separate incidences between February and April 2018 in Loisaba Conservancy in Nanyuki, pictures that have since gone viral, also with the Kenya Wildlife service confirming them.

"As far as I know, these are the first high-quality camera trap photographs of a wild melanistic leopard ever taken in Africa", the photographer said.

Many believe their handsome black coat gives them an advantage when it comes to hunting.

"Black panther" is the popular name for any big cat with melanism, the recessive genetic condition that causes a black coat.

"I paused and peered at the photograph below in incomprehension ... a pair of eyes surrounded by inky darkness ... a black leopard!"

"This is what Will's photos and the videos on our remote cameras now prove, and are exceptionally rare in their detail and insight".

A black leopard lounging at the The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. The elder told him he had seen a black leopard, which he said are known in the Samburu language as "calf killers". The cat is so rare it has taken on an nearly mythical status, which is reflected by the fact the creature hadn't been photographed in Africa in nearly 100 years.


"Black panthers are iconic creatures and yet very few images of wild black panthers exist", said Mr Burrard-Lucas. However, the latest photos represent the first recorded scientific evidence.

Pilfold said his team of biologists had placed remote cameras to track the leopard population near a conservancy area in Laikipia County a year ago when they heard reports of a possible black leopard sighting. "So I've left the cameras for a few days and now I'm heading back to see if I've got anything".

According to National Geographic, biologist Nick Pilfold captured the rarest of big cats in a camera trap set up in Loisaba Conservancy after a tip that a "panther " had been seen several times in that area.

To underscore his point, Burrard-Lucas added an addendum to the blog post that started it all: "For clarification, I am not claiming that these are the first photos of a black leopard taken in Africa".

The images of the black leopard - sometimes referred to as a black panther in Kenya - were released to the public on Monday.

Researchers didn't originally set up the cameras to find a black panther.

"On the second day, we managed to spot the black leopard crossing the road in front of us". Conservation scientist Nicholas Pilford estimates that only 11 per cent of the world's leopards have it.

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