An African black leopard also known as ‘Black Panther’ has been spotted in Kenya for the first time in 100 years.
Biologists captured the rare footage of a big cat strolling in Kenya, making it the first time the animal has been photographed in Africa since 1909, more than a century ago, in Ethiopia.
Nick Pilfold, a San Diego Zoo global scientist, said they captured the footage after months of watching and waiting. His team of biologists had placed remote wildlife cameras to track the leopard when they heard unconfirmed reports of a possible black leopard sighting.
“We intensified our camera placement in the area the reports were being made. Within a few months, we were rewarded with multiple observations on our cameras” he said
The female leopard’s coat color is pitch black as a result of melanism, a gene mutation that results in an over-production of pigment, Pilfold said. It’s the opposite of albinism — and although the leopard’s coat appears black during the day, its rosette patterns are visible in nighttime infrared imagery.