ANIMALS

The Very Rare Black Leopard Has Been Clearly Photographed For The First Time In A Century

Date February 14, 2019 14:11

What could easily qualify as the 8th wonder of the world has just been photographed in the Laikipia area of Kenya.

Although it has previously been considered to be mythical due to its scarce and infrequent sightings, the black leopard was finally been captured on camera.

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A post shared by Will Burrard-Lucas | Wildlife (@willbl) on

Wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas posted the picture on his Instagram. This achievement has not been seen in nearly a century. He took a fantastic and clear picture of a black leopard!

The reason for the black color of the leopard is melanism, the opposite of albinism, which results in an excess of black pigmentation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Will Burrard-Lucas | Wildlife (@willbl) on

However, the signature leopard rosette patterns can still be seen faintly. Speaking about the leopard, Dr. Nicholas Pilford, who helped locate the black rarity, said

"Melanism is a recessive trait in leopards, so both parents have to be carrying the gene in order for it to be expressed. Genetic research indicates melanism comes from a mutation in a gene that causes a loss of the normal function and coloration."

In an interview with Mail Online Travel, Burrard-Lucas revealed that it had always been a childhood dream of his to photograph a black leopard.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Will Burrard-Lucas | Wildlife (@willbl) on

After he learned that a number of the species had been spotted in the Laikipia area of Kenya, he launched an expedition this January.

The photographer, with help from biologists from San Diego Zoo in the area, rigged camera traps in an area where the black leopard was rumored to roam.

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A post shared by Will Burrard-Lucas | Wildlife (@willbl) on

He employed specialist equipment, including wireless motion sensors, high-quality DSLR cameras, and about three flashes. The efforts paid off, and the result was the beautiful pictures of the astounding animal.

Burrard explained on his blog that when he went to check the camera after a few days, and when he saw the black beauty, he could not believe his eyes.

''I peered at the photograph in incomprehension. I couldn't believe it, and it took a few days before it sank in that I had achieved my dream.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Will Burrard-Lucas | Wildlife (@willbl) on

Describing the black leopard, Will Burrard-Lucas said

'They are truly stunning, beautiful and elusive.'

And we agree with him they are truly stunning. Share with your friends so they can have a glimpse of this magical creature!

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