Exploration News

Black leopard spotted in Africa for first time in 100 years

Rare 'Black Panther' spotted In Kenya. The extremely rare female cat has melanism, a condition in which the body produces an excess of pigment. Video published on YouTube on 13th February 2019 by Vida Loca.

Black leopards has been observed in Laikipia national reserve for 2000 years ago. Locals say that black cats bring bad luck, but when the Kenya-based biologist Nick Pilfold heard about one lurking around central Kenya, he knew he was onto something special. Pilford and his team deployed a set of camera traps throughout the bushlands of Loisaba Conservancy in early 2018. It wasn't long before he got what he was looking for: undeniable proof of a super-rare melanistic leopard. Read more on National Geographic.

The opposite of albinism, melanism is the result of a gene that causes a surplus of pigment in the skin or hair of an animal so that it appears black. Melanistic leopards have been reported in and around Kenya for decades, but scientific confirmation of their existence remains quite rare. Published in January in the African Journal of Ecology, these photos represent the first scientific documentation of such a creature in Africa in nearly a century (National Geographic).

There are nine leopard subspecies ranging from Africa all the way to eastern Russia. They are incredible fascinating animals, but difficult to observe.

Stein Morten Lund, 13th February 2019

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