This black leopard’s photo is among the first verified sightings of a black panther in a very long time. Image Credit: Photograph by Will Burrard-Lucas)
Big cats can be elusive in general, but few are more elusive than the black panther.
This creature has proven to be so elusive that confirmed scientific documentation of the animal’s presence in Africa hasn’t been achieved in nearly 100 years.
That was until recently, when a team of researchers and a wildlife photographer snapped photographic proof of a black panther in Kenya’s Laikipia Wilderness Camp following reports of a black panther being spotted in the area.
Black panther is an umbrella term for leopards or jaguars that exhibit a melanistic color variation.
This variation creates their black fur. Their spots can still be visible if you’re close enough, or the sunlight hits them in just the right way.What the team spotted in Kenya was a black leopard.
Rumours have circulated for decades about the presence of black leopards in Africa, but evidence was always lacking.
Indeed, according to National Geographic, the only confirmed sighting is a 1909 photograph unearthed in 2017.