Black Leopard Spottings In Kenya

There was a rare sighting of the African black leopard in Kenya, and biologists were able to capture pictures. After spending month after month in waiting and watching, a team of biologist was able to capture rare footage of the big cat.

Though there have been previous reports of sightings of the black leopards in the continent, the new images offer confirmation. According to researchers, it is a high possibility that black leopards have been living in Kenya for some time now.

Reports from Kenya’s Daily Nation Newspapers speak on a past image and the photographer, Phoebe Okall. According to the reports, Phoebe was able to capture the image of a black leopard in 2013.

Black Leopard Sighting In Kenya Leads To Biologist Believing More Exist Then First Thought

Nick Pilfold, a global conservation scientist at the San Diego Zoo, and his team, were the ones to capture the new image. He says that he was aware of the few different pictures that have been taken. However, most of the photos were from a far away distances. Also, the images not confirmatory evidence that the animal was no longer extinct in Africa.

Pilford’s team was able to capture video footage of the black leopard as well. Pilford and his team placed remote cameras in different areas that the animal could possibly be in. Though there have been reports of sightings, the black leopard is considered to be a rare animal in Africa. The leopard’s black coat is a result of melanism. Melanism is a gene mutation that causes the overproduction of the dark pigment. Though during the day time, the animal looks pitch black, at night, one can see rosette patterns using infrared imagery.

According to Pilford, Melanism occurs globally about 11% in leopards. However, most of these black leopards live in South East Asia.