Photographer stalks rare black leopard after 2 years, finally manages to take pictures
An Indian photographer has successfully captured images of a rare black panther in its natural habitat.
And getting those photos was definitely a labor of love, as the photographer spent two years stalking the jungle cat only to finally snap a few photos.
The Epoch Times reports how Bhargava Srivari from Hyderabad finally managed to catch up with the black leopard in the Nargarhole Tiger Reserve in the southern state of Karnataka.
âIt was monsoon, so it was raining a lot when I finally saw the black panther,â Srivari explains. âI spotted a black object sleeping on a large tree.
“The setting was just perfect – seeing a black leopard was already rare to find it on top of a tall tree just added a new dimension as it showed the animal’s versatility and adaptability.”
So how rare is a black leopard, then? Well, according to a 2019 Smithsonian Magazine article, it all has to do (unsurprisingly) with their coloring – very few members of the species as well as others such as jaguars and ocelots have all-black coats or , as connoisseurs do. to that as “melanism”.
What makes the onset of melanism all the more disconcerting is that it doesn’t quite make biological sense; Much of the way these large, non-domesticated cats communicate has to do with how the patches of their fur are arranged, so being one color is a bit counterproductive.
A study on PLOS postulates the idea that melanism may exist is a form of evolution, and may also (of course) help camouflage as well as retain heat from the sun.
The black leopard that Srivari photographed, however, seemed to be much more concerned with closing his eyes in a tree than wondering why it was so.