Another rare black Leopard spotted found in Laikipia, Kenya
13 February, 2019, 16:55 | Author: Carlos George
The sighting was a first in 100 years, according to researchers. "Within a few months, we were rewarded with multiple observations on our cameras".
The animal has a sooty black coat as a result of melanism, which is the opposite of albinism and is extremely rare.
You don't need two black leopards to make one, but both parents need to carry the recessive gene for melanism.
That just makes the fact that Kenya, which seems to be the only place black panthers are found in Africa, is also near the location of the fictional country of Wakanda, home of the Marvel universe's Black Panther superhero, all the more striking.
"It is likely that black leopards have been living in Kenya all along, it is only that high quality imagery to confirm it has been missing until now", Pilfold said. It's unclear whether that image was publicized at the time. 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.
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National Geographic states the 1909 photograph was taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and stored in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.
Published in the African Journal of Ecology, the photos represent the first scientific documentation of such a creature in Africa in almost a century.
Reliving the moment he discovered the pictures on his photography blog, Mr Burrard-Lucas said: "As I scrolled through the images on the back of the camera, I paused and peered at the photograph below in incomprehension. a pair of eyes surrounded by inky darkness. a black leopard!"
In a video documenting his photography expedition, Burrard-Lucas explains: "As far as I know none of these leopards has been photographed properly in Africa before". "For many years, they remained the stuff of dreams and of farfetched stories told around the campfire at night". One has not been seen in the wild for 100 years.
Pilford was then told of a black leopard at the Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya - an area not known for the creature. I think when I started this project I didn't actually think I was going to be able to achieve a shot of a black leopard in Africa but that it is exactly what is here on the back of my camera. But several factors have sharply reduced their numbers, including hunting, habitat loss, competition for prey, and conflict with livestock and farmers.
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