Black leopards are a rarity, and black leopards with visible spots are even rarer. When 24-year-old photographer Anurag Gawande saw such a beautiful creature while on safari in Tadoba National Park, India this month, he knew he had been given a really lucky shot.
« It was surprising, because we thought , we would see a tiger, but we saw a black leopard walking along the way, « Gawande told the Daily Mail that it was only 30 feet from the leopard.
Approximately 11% of leopards have a pigmentation condition that is called » melanistic « and, according to the Daily Mail, turns both their coats and skin black. The unique genetic history has unfortunately made such creatures a target for poachers, and it is believed that only 12,000 to 14,000 still populate India.
He managed to get several pictures of the animal he says is the only black leopard in Tadoba National Park is after it didn’t catch a deer and came to rest on the red clay road.
« It came back out on the road and sat there for 15 to 20 minutes and we did an amazing shot of the majestic beast. «
Your meeting this month wasn’t Gawande’s first: he saw it last year, but that didn’t make the newer meeting any less special.
» This was mine second time I’ve seen it, « he said. “I felt the same thrill when I saw it, but this time I was aware of its moment. We switched off our vehicle and kept enough distance so that it didn’t move. “
In 2019, a photographer made headlines when he photographed a black leopard at the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya. Also in 2019 a rare “strawberry” leopard was photographed in South Africa.
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