Captured by British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas in the plains of Kenya, the sight of this elusive wild cat in Africa is nothing short of a miracle. By Sushmita Srivastav
The mysterious existence of the extremely rare African black leopard got confirmed when it was spotted in Kenya recently. This was the first time in 100 years that the wild cat was captured in camera on the African lands, an area considered unrelated to the creature.
British wildlife photographer Burrard-Lucas—the man behind the stunning photographs, says that it was his longtime dream to photograph the rare animal. In his blog, he also mentions that he had gotten the inspiration for searching and capturing a black leopard post spotting one in the Kabini forest of Karnataka.
Once he was sure, Camtraption Camera traps were set up near animal trails and water sources for many nights at the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya. Following the movements, these traps were moved many-a-time before finally it was spotted this January. As per the records, afore Lucas’s pictures, a black leopard was captured in camera on African grounds only back in 1909 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Leopards are described as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The total extent of the animal’s population decline is still unknown. However, it is reported that only 11% of the total leopard population carries a special gene mutation called melanism, which makes black leopard even fewer in number.