NIGHT STALKER Ultra-rare black panther pictured for first time in 100 YEARS in Africa by British photographer

Will Burrad-Lucas, 35, from Buckinghamshire, snapped the melanistic African leopard – which is around two-years-old – at Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya last month.

 Rare photos of a black panther stalking its prey have been captured for the first time in 100 years in Africa

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Rare photos of a black panther stalking its prey have been captured for the first time in 100 years in Africa
 Brit photographer Will Burrad-Lucas, 35, snapped the melanistic African leopard at Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya last month

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Brit photographer Will Burrad-Lucas, 35, snapped the melanistic African leopard at Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya last month

His stunning images show the black panther’s dazzling yellow eyes as it steps out in the night to hunt.

“Black panthers are iconic creatures and yet very few images of wild black panthers exist,” he said.

“This is not just because leopards are extremely secretive and hard to see, but also because only a tiny percentage of leopards are completely black.”

“Since childhood I have been fascinated by stories of black panthers.

“In Africa, black leopards are incredibly rare and until now, the only images of them have been fleeting shots taken from great distance or graining images from low-quality trail cameras.

“As far as I know, this is the first series of high-quality camera trap images of a wild black leopard ever captured in Africa.”

A black panther is defined as the melanistic colour variant of any big cat species.

MAJESTIC BEASTS ARE ‘SECRETIVE’

Black panthers in Asia and Africa are leopards (Panthera pardus), and those in the Americas are black jaguars (Panthera onca).

Nicholas Pilfold PhD, a lead researcher for a leopard conservation program in Laikipia County, Keyna, said: “We had always heard about black leopard living in this region, but the stories were absent of high quality footage that could confirm their existence.

The scientist at San Diego Zoo Global added: “This is what Will’s photos and the videos on our remote cameras now prove, and are exceptionally rare in their detail and insight.

 

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“Collectively these are the first confirmed images in nearly 100 years of black leopard in Africa, and this region is the only known spot in all of Africa to have black leopard.”

Will took the unusual images using a Camtraptions Camera Trap – a camera which has a motion sensor to detect when animals are there.

The high quality system made it possible to see the majestic black panther, a big cat which is rarely caught on camera.

 Will took the unusual images using a Camtraptions Camera Trap - a camera which has a motion sensor to detect when animals are there

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Will took the unusual images using a Camtraptions Camera Trap – a camera which has a motion sensor to detect when animals are there
 The majestic beast is believed to be around two-years-old

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The majestic beast is believed to be around two-years-old
 His stunning images show the black panther's dazzling yellow eyes as it steps out in the night to hunt

7
His stunning images show the black panther’s dazzling yellow eyes as it steps out in the night to hunt
 A black panther is defined as the melanistic colour variant of any big cat species

7
A black panther is defined as the melanistic colour variant of any big cat species

 

 A picture of a normal leopard to show the difference
 

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