Biologists are cheering for joy on Wednesday after a monumental discovery has taken place. The African black leopard, known as a black panther, was caught on camera!
Images were captured of the black leopard walking around through the night in Kenya. This is the first time in over 100 years that the animal has been photographed.
According to Fox News, the last photograph of a black panther was taken in 1909. Nick Pilfold, a global conservation scientist, said that he and his team had been watching and waiting for months in order to capture the footage.
Below are the stunning photographs:
Pilfold said that wildlife cameras were used to track the leopard’s patterns near Laikipia County after reports were made that a black leopard had been spotted.
He said, “We intensified our camera placement in the area the reports were being made. Within a few months, we were rewarded with multiple observations on our cameras.”
According to reports, the thing that sets this leopard apart from others is its unique color. The female leopard’s color is pitch black, which was a result of melanism. The gene mutation reportedly creates an over-production of pigment- the opposite of albinism.
On the discovery, Pilfold said, “It is likely that black leopards have been living in Kenya all along, it is only that high-quality imagery to confirm it has been missing until now.”
He continued, “Melanism occurs in about 11% of leopards globally, but most of these leopards live in South East Asia. Black leopards in Africa are extremely rare, and prior to the observations in our published paper, the last confirmed observation was 1909 in Ethiopia.”
What do you think about these photographs? Let us know your thoughts! In other recent news, a popular Costco item has just been recalled and parents are being warned to keep them away from children for now!