Extremely rare BLACK leopard – dubbed Bagheera after the Jungle Book character – has been spotted in India
- The leopard has been named Bagheera after the character from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book
- Bagheera was spotted in India’s Peach National Park, known for its astonishing variety of animals
- Photographer Haritri Goswami captured the stunning images of the majestic big cat climbing a tree
An extremely rare black leopard has been caught on camera in an Indian nature reserve.
The big cat has been named Bagheera after the character from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.
Budding wildlife photographer Haritri Goswami snapped the young female black leopard on a trip to Peach National Park in southern India.
The unique coat is believed to be a result of melanin found in Bagheera’s skin.
Bagheera is a rare melanistic leopard named after the character from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. The young leopard was photographed by Haritri Goswami in India in August
The budding wildlife photographer captured Bagheera climbing a tree in the south Indian national park
Bagheera’s unique color is due to the melanin found in her skin and fur
Haritri Goswami managed to capture images of Bagheera climbing and then sitting in a tree.
A darker pigment is found in the skin, fur and eyes and causes the darker color. The genetic variation of the young leopards is the opposite of albinism.
Some scientists have suggested that this is an incredible example of evolution. Scientists believe that some Indian leopards with dark black fur develop the rare trait to help hunt prey at night.
The dark color then helps the leopard to crawl through dense forests undetected and hide in the shadows.
There have been some other recorded sightings of black leopards in other forests throughout Asia and Africa.
A black leopard was captured in Kenya last month.
It is not only leopards that have been seen with this unique trait. Earlier this year, two extremely rare black tigers were captured while roaming the Nandankanan National Park in eastern India.
Home to the Bagheera, Peach National Park is also affectionately known as ‘Land of Mowgli’ after the incredible variety of animals that live in the jungle. The national park also boasts a tiger reserve.
The national park claims to have inspired the setting of Kipling’s classic book. However, this is disputed as Kipling never visited the area.
Other wildlife photographers have also managed to capture an image of the Bagheera.
Last month, Bagheera was captured for the first time since November 2020.
Park officials believe she is the same black leopard returning after a two-year absence.
Goswami caught the black panther while climbing a tree in Peach National Park
Scientists believe the color is a result of evolution to help Bagheera hunt in the dark
Bagheera can also be referred to as a panther because this is an umbrella term that refers to any large cat with a black coat