Photo of rare black leopard captured for first time in 100 years

Melanistic leopard

Melanistic leopard

The lone female photographed by Mr Burrard-Lucas is probably the offspring of non-melanistic parents.

Burrard-Lucas told MailOnline Travel that it had been his dream to photograph the black leopard since childhood.

"For me, no animal is shrouded in more mystery, no animal more elusive, and no animal more handsome", he posted on his blog.

The previously confirmed sighting - which was also caught on film - of a black leopard in Africa was back in 1909 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to the paper.

Gepostet von LADbible am Dienstag, 12.

They are believed to be the first images of the animal in more than 100 years.

The black leopard's sighting was published in the African Journal of Ecology.

Nicholas Pilfold, a scientist working on the San Diego Zoo Global's leopard conservation program in the area, says that getting any leopard on camera is a challenge.

Pilford said he's "aware of a few different photos taken over the years, but a lot of them are taken from a distance and could not be used as confirmatory evidence".

This wild black leopard was photographed with a Camtraptions camera trap in Laikipia Wilderness Camp, Kenya.

Using what's known as camera traps - motion-sensitive cameras and flashes that are set up in an area with the hope of an animal triggering it, capturing it in a frame - he managed to get some pictures of the animal.

The mythical creature has been SPOTTED!

"Over the days that followed I moved the camera traps around as I gained a deeper understanding of the leopard's movements". "I was disheartened and suddenly felt the enormity of what I was trying to achieve".

"We conclude that melanism in leopards is strongly affected by natural selection, likely driven by efficacy of camouflage and/or thermoregulation in different habitats, along with an effect of moisture that goes beyond its influence on vegetation type", the authors wrote.

"I left the cameras for several more nights". He saw no black leopards until checking his last camera.

The first photograph captured: a pair of eyes surrounded by inky darkness.

It took about four days before he finally got his big break and captured a wild black leopard, an accomplishment that hasn't been equalled in possibly a century.

In a blog post, Will Burrard-Lucus tells the story of hearing how a black leopard had been sighted in Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya. "I can still scarcely believe that this project-which started out as a speculative recce trip-has paid such spectacular dividends!"

Latest News