World marvels at rare black leopard spotted for first time in 100 years

World marvels at rare black leopard spotted for first time in 100 years

- The image was captured by a British photographer in Laikipia county in Kenya

- Will Burrard-Lucas had been informed about the existence of the animal by the locals who had seen it

- He tracked it down to its habitat where he set up cameras to capture its image. The last image of the wild cat was taken in 1909

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A rare image of a black leopard has been captured by a British wildlife photographer at Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Laikipia county.

Will Burrard-Lucas received the news about the leopard from the locals who had seen it in the area before he tracked down the animal's habitat and set up cameras to capture its image which he released on Monday, February 11.

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World marvel at rare black leopard spotted in Kenya for first time in 100 years

The black leopard walking through the wilderness at night in Laikipia county. Photo: National Geographic

According to The Guardian, Burrard-Lucas set up motion sensors and cameras with the hope of capturing the image of the animal whose coat is sooty black as a result of melanism, the opposite of albinism.

After waiting for several days to capture the animal's image without success Burrard-Lucas went back and took the cameras and started scrolling the images.

It is at that point that he realised the camera had taken a photograph of the animal in one of the nights.

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“I had a quick look at the last trap, not expecting to find much. 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! I couldn’t believe it and it took a few days before it sank in that I had achieved my dream,” Burrard-Lucas wrote on his blog.

Briefly.co.za gathered that Nicholas Pilfold from the institute for conservation research at the San Diego Zoo said while there have been recorded reports of black leopards in Africa, the last evidence of its existence was taken in 1909 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“We had always heard about black leopard living in this region... collectively these are the first confirmed images in nearly 100 years of a black leopard in Africa, and this region is the only known spot in all of Africa to have black leopard,” Pilfold told USA Today.

Several people on social media could not hide their happiness over the unique animal that had been photographed.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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