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Rare 'black' leopard spotted in Tadoba, image goes viral

July 29, 2020 09:35 IST
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The internet is full of breathtaking videos and pictures of animals that go viral every once in a while. However, nothing excites the netizens like the elusive black panther.

IMAGE: The melanistic leopard spotted in Maharashtra's Tadoba sanctuary. Photograph: @abhishek_pagnis/Twitter

And one such image of this majestic animal has left the internet mesmerised once again.

Abhishek Pagnis, a Pune-based engineering student, has caught on camera the elusive black panther -- or more aptly -- the melanistic leopard during a family vacation at the Tadoba sanctuary in Maharashtra.

The photograph of the shy and rare creature has since gone viral.


The photograph posted by the Twitter handle @WildIndia1 Wild Life has since gone viral.

The state's tourism ministry too decided to share the post.

According to Abhishek's Instagram post, he had shot the picture from 20 feet away and that too in the summer of 2019.

He writes, "Tired from handling the camera all day for all the safaris, here I was on my last one and in the last hours. All drained from the shuttering of the cameras, capturing the stripped killer in the scorching heat. Moving on to the spot for something I was sure we won't see.

"With the sun being gone hours beyond our heads, the wait was on, hoping for at least a quick glance. Eyes running through every movement in the woods and ears all fixed on the barks of the deers. A couple of hours passed and I am still hoping for a miracle before the dream run ends

"And suddenly it all went quiet with all the deer heads focusing in the woods like they were guides. And there he was, an unnoticeable black figure moving uninterested in his prey. I rooted for the camera and positioned quickly on that spot, my mind and body all fired up, forgetting...

"The melanistic leopard was there, just strolling unaware of his beauty. I zoomed at him and saw the bright eyes staring back with fading rosettes into blackness on his body. A sighting of less than half an hour made the best moment of the safaris."

The young student photographer is amazed at how the picture went viral on Twitter.  

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