A highly elusive black leopard has been recently spotted in the Tadoba National Park in India. It was Anurag Gawande – a 24-year-old wildlife photographer who came upon the breathtaking sight. Anurag was on a safari earlier this year, when spotted the melanistic leopard crossing a road in its attempt to hunt a deer.
The lucky photographer was less than 30ft away when spotted the rare wild cat. Naturally, the 24-year-old couldn’t believe his eyes upon seeing such a wonderful creature. “It was surprising because we thought we will see a tiger but we saw black leopard strolling on the pathway,” he said.
However, Anurag told this is the second time in less than a year he spotted the rare animal. “This was my second time that I was watching it,” he said. “I felt the same thrill while watching it but this time I was aware of its moment. We kept our vehicle off and kept enough distance so that it will not move from the spot.”
Recalling the once-in-a-lifetime scene, Anurag explained: “We were tracking a tiger but on the way on Tadoba lake we heard a deer call and at the next moment we saw Black leopard. It was sitting on the pathway…then it spotted the deer and tried to hunt it, but failed.” Anurag also said “this is the only black leopard of Tadoba park.”
According to experts, around 11% of the leopards are born with unique pigmentation, making them an extremely rare sight. Melanism occurs not only at leopard, but also at other animals like tiger, or foxes, or even penguins. Unlikely the albinism, who’s a lack of skin pigmentation, the melanism occurs because of the skin’s black pigmentation!