A student was incredibly lucky to spot an extremely rare black leopard on his first safari tour in Tadoba Reserve, and he managed to snap pictures of the majestic animal.
A safari trip is one of the most unique experiences ever. These exotic journeys offer visitors an opportunity to tour the wilderness, marvel at the incredible sights and the countless other wonders of Nature, and to observe and photograph wildlife.
However, one engineering student in India was luckier that many professional photographers who spend masses of time and money to catch something as unique as he did!
On his first safari, over a month ago, he captured an extremely rare black leopard!
Abhishek Pangis, 23, from Pune in western Maharashtra state, went on a two-day safari trip with his parents in Tadoba Reserve.
Their first day was unforgettable too, but on the second day, he and his parents spotted the leopard as it was keeping cover from the scorching sun.
He even remained close to the majestic animal with a glossy coat and dark black spots for forty minutes!
He was initially mesmerized by the beauty of the rare big cat with a dark-spotted coat, and couldn’t take any pictures. Yet, he eventually started snapping, and managed to take a picture of it staring straight at him!
“I went blank when I spotted it. I hadn’t seen anything so beautiful, I was completely stunned and came back to my senses after 10 minutes and started clicking pictures.
Usually, people have seen it around for two or three minutes but I was very lucky as I could see it for 40 minutes. I witnessed it drinking water from a pond, marking its territory and stalking langurs and monkeys. It was a brilliant experience.
We saw him in peak summer of June last month when it was 40-45 degrees of extreme heat, as there is more chance of the wild cats coming out for water. At one point, this leopard, who should be four years old, even walked past our jeep. It was a surreal moment.”
The dark coat of the beautiful animal is a result of melanism, whereby a recessive genetic mutation causes the excessive development of black pigment in the skin or hair.
“I knew there are black leopards but I was very lucky to have spotted it during my first safari trip.
Professional wildlife photographers spend millions and several months to catch a glimpse of such rare animals.
There were 10-15 safari jeeps but they left when they did not see the rare black leopard and just three or four safari jeeps stayed with us. None of them had a camera so when it came out in the open, it was just me who had the camera and could take its pictures.”
His photos are truly captivating!