Black panther spotted in Africa for first time in 100 years

Black panther spotted in Africa for first time in 100 years

This is the first time that one has been caught on camera "properly" in Africa for 100 years.

After learning that several had been spotted in the Laikipia area of Kenya - the only area thought to have black leopards in all of Africa - he made a decision to investigate further and set up an expedition this January.

A team of biologists have released photos of a rare melanistic leopard, also called the Black Panther, which was shot in the bushlands of Loisaba Conservancy in Laikipia County in Kenya.

The photographer said he used a series of high-quality camera traps in order to capture the animal.

The black leopard is also referred to as a black panther.

The black leopard is one majestic looking cat. With help from a local tour guide and other leopard researchers in Laikipia County, who followed tracks believed to belong to the leopard, Burrard-Lucas eventually settled on what he considered the ideal spot to set up Camtraptions Camera Traps.

"As far as I know, these are the first high-quality camera trap photographs of a wild melanistic leopard ever taken in Africa", Burrard-Lucas wrote. The 2013 image in particular, he said, "is a captive black leopard that was brought from America as a kitten to Kenya, not wild".




The black leopard - which has not been photographed in over a century - was not confirmed to be living in Kenya until now.

He leads a conservation project in partnership with the San Diego Zoo and has been independently tracking leopards for a year and half.

Burrard-Lucas and Pilfold's team were working separately, but they believe they captured images of the same leopard. However, as news of his find quickly spread across the continent, folks at the Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy, about 30 miles west of Loisaba, produced their own photo of a black leopard, taken in 2007.

However, he went on to note that he's "not claiming that these are the first photos of a black leopard taken in Africa".

Will heard rumours of a black panther - which is a loose term for a black leopard or black jaguar, depending where in the world it's from - at the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya. He saw no black leopards until checking his last camera. "For many years, they remained the stuff of dreams and of farfetched stories told around the campfire at night".

"It's really neat. The black panthers we have are very close to the fictional ones of Wakanda", he said.

"On the second day, we managed to spot the black leopard crossing the road in front of us".

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