Rare black leopard captured on camera in wild for first time in 100 years

Rare black leopard captured on camera in wild for first time in 100 years
Photo credit: Nick Pilford

A rare black leopard has been captured on camera in the African wilderness for the first time in more than 100 years. 

According to National Geographic, biologist Nick Pilford captured the female leopard on a camera trap set up in the Liosaba Conservancy, Kenya, after he received a tip-off that a "panther" had been spotted there numerous times. 

And the trap paid off as he managed to snap a photo of the rarest of the big cats.

"Almost everyone has a story about seeing one, it's such a mythical thing," Pilfold said.

"Even when you talk to the older guys that were guides in Kenya many years ago, back when hunting was legal [in the 50s and 60s], there was a known thing that you didn't hunt black leopards. If you saw them, you didn't take it."

The rare cat, gets its colouration from melanism - an excess development of dark pigmentations.

According to National Geographic, this the first time a black leopard has been spotted in Africa for more than 100 years. The last sighting of a wild black leopard in Africa was in Ethiopia in 1909.

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