Extremely Rare Wild Black Leopard Spotted In Africa
A British wildlife photographer has shared new photos of an incredibly rare black leopard, spotted as he spent a year tracking the animal in Laikipia, Kenya.
Will Burrard-Lucas first shared images of the black leopard in 2019, marking the first time in 100 years the evasive creature was scientifically recorded in Africa.
The newly released photo series, featured in Burrard-Lucas’s new book, The Black Leopard: My Quest to Photograph One of Africa’s Most Elusive Big Cats, shows the stunning animal outlined by a dark sky.
The leopard’s bright eyes stand out against its black fur, which is the result of melanism, the opposite of albinism.
The photographer told MailOnline he spotted two black leopards during his time spent in the field; a smaller black leopard he named ‘Blacky’ and a larger male he referred to as ‘Big Spotty’.
Having obtained the images with the help of people from the local community, Burrard-Lucas noted that the black leopards appear to be ‘more nocturnal – probably because they have more success hunting at night’.
In his blog, Burrard-Lucas explained that capturing a photo of a black leopard under the stars would be ‘both the rarest and most difficult wildlife photo [he] had attempted to date’, and his mission was made more difficult by the fact that the leopard he hoped to photograph started roaming further afield to avoid the bigger male.
Still, the photographer prevailed and in a couple of weeks he managed to capture the photo of his dreams, albeit with the wrong leopard.
At any one time, I now had between five and seven camera traps deployed, and most of them were set up to capture the star shot…
It only took a couple of weeks before I had captured the photo I had envisaged – except it featured the wrong leopard! Nevertheless, it is possibly my favourite photo of a spotty leopard to date and so I wasn’t too disappointed.
The Black Leopard: My Quest to Photograph One of Africa’s Most Elusive Big Cats, is available to purchase now.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read