Thursday , June 17 2021

The African black leopard shot for the first time in over 100 years, says a scientist

Biologists have shot rare shots from the shiny big cat that majestically goes to Kenya – for the first time, the animal has been shot in Africa since 1909, says Nick Pylfold, a San Diego global scientist.

Pilfold said they had taken pictures after months of waiting and waiting. His team of biologists has placed remote wildlife cameras to track the Leopard population near conservation in Laiki-Lewis County last year when they heard reports of a possible Black Leopard surveillance.

"We have stepped up the camera in the reporting area," he said on Tuesday evening. "In a few months, we were rewarded with numerous observations on our cameras."

The color of the female leopard coat is dark as a result of melanism, a gene mutation that leads to overproduction of a pigment, says Pilfold. This is the opposite of albinism – and although the leopard coat is black during the day, its rosette patterns are visible in infrared images at night.

Other observations are reported, but not so many footage

While there are reports of black leopard surveillance – also known as black panthers – the last confirmed photographic evidence observation was in Ethiopia more than a century ago, he said.

"Probably the black leopards live all the time in Kenya, but only such high-quality specimens confirm that they have been missing so far," says Pylfold.

The Dennyon newspaper in Kenya announced on Tuesday that her photographer Phoebe Ocal has shot a black leopard image in 2013 in the same region. It is unclear whether this image was made public at that time.

The frames captured by the Pilfold team included many photos and videos of the nimble animal in the dark, his eyes glowing at night like two shiny marbles.

Although Kenya may report observations, black leopards are still considered rare on the continent, says Pylfold.

"Melanism occurs in about 11% of the world's leopards, but most of these leopards live in Southeast Asia," says Pylfold. "Black leopards in Africa are extremely rare, and before the observations in our publication, the last confirmed observation is in Ethiopia in 1909."

Watching the black leopard was published in the African Journal of Ecology.

Long dream of shooting the black panther

Will Burdart-Lucas, who shot the images of the black leopard, describes his long dream of shooting the big cat.

"For me, no animal is surrounded by more mystery, no animal is elusive, no animal is more beautiful," he wrote on his blog. "For many years there were dreams and sniffs about the campfire at night. No one I've ever known is in nature, and I never thought I'd do it.
Burrard-Lucas said he shot the photos at the Laikipia Wilderness camp, using Camtraptions, which focuses on photography and wildlife. The cameras were placed near animal paths and water sources such as swimming pools and natural springs. They were left 24 hours a day in most places, but they were only included in the night in public places, according to the African Journal of Ecology.
The leopards are described as critically endangered in the International Union for the Conservation of the Red List of Endangered Species.

The total reduction in the animal population is still unknown, a San Diego statement said. But several factors have dramatically reduced their numbers, including hunting, habitat loss, prey competition, and conflict with animals and farmers.

Pilfold is part of a zoo team in San Diego, which works with local partners, including the Wildlife Service in Kenya, to monitor the area's leopard populations and preserve the species.

He was wondering about the coincidence of the place of an animal, which is also called a black panther, the title of one of the biggest films last year.

"Accidentally, our observations are very close to the place where the fantastic comic side of Vocanda" Marvel "is offered, he said.

Black panthers are widely applied to every mollusc leopard, jaguar and other large cats.

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