'I couldn't believe it' - photographer captures elusive, rare black leopard on camera

2019-02-13 21:22
Black leopard photographed. (Will Burrard-Lucas, BBC Earth via Twitter)

Black leopard photographed. (Will Burrard-Lucas, BBC Earth via Twitter)

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Rare photographs of an African black leopard have been released more than a century after the wild animal was last captured on film.

British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, captured the images in the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya after hearing that there were sightings in surrounding areas, according to The Guardian.

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

Global conservation scientist Nick Pilfold said the last time a black leopard was captured on film was in 1909.

Burrard-Lucas set up a Camtraptions camera trap, including motion sensors, which was able to photograph the rare beast.

At first, he did not think that he would get any significant photographs - until he took a closer look at the images.

"I paused and peered at the photograph below in incomprehension … a pair of eyes surrounded by inky darkness … a black leopard! I couldn't believe it and it took a few days before it sank in that I had achieved my dream," Burrard-Lucas reportedly wrote on his blog.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, leopards are critically endangered.

On his YouTube channel, Burrard-Lucas recounted his journey and how he managed to photograph the black leopard.

Have a look at the video below:

The leopard is black as a result of a gene that causes a surplus pigment in the skin or hair of the animal – known as melanism – so that it appears black.

But their existence is quite rare.

Fortunately for these creatures, it provides additional camouflage in the wild, especially when it comes to hunting.

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Read more on:    kenya  |  east africa  |  good news  |  animals
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