In an Indian park, an extremely rare BLACK leopard with dark fur around the spots due to a genetic abnormality was discovered.

An extremely rare black leopard has been caught on camera in an Indian nature reserve. The big cat has been given the name Bagheera after the character from Rudyard Kipling’s The 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 understood to be a result of the 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 pictured by Haritri Goswami in India in August.

The budding wildlife photographer captured Bagheera climbing a tree in the southern Indian national park.

Bagheera’s unique colour is due to the melanin found in her skin and fur. Haritri Goswami managed to capture the pictures of Bagheera climbing and then perching in a tree.

A darker pigment is found in the skin, fur, and eyes and causes the darker colour. The young leopard’s genetic variation is the opposite of albinism.

Some scientists have suggested that this is an incredible example of evolution. Scientists believe that some Indian leopards with with dark black fur are evolving the rare trait to aid hunting prey at night.

The dark coloration then helps the leopard crawl through dense forests undetected, hiding 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 just last month. It’s not just leopards that have been spotted with this unique trait. Earlier this year, two extremely rare black tigers were captured strolling around the Nandankanan National Park in eastern India.

Home to Bagheera, The Peach National Park is also affectionately known as the ‘Land of the Mowgli’ after the incredible variety of animals living within the jungle. The national park also boasts a tiger reserve. 

The national park claim 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 a picture of Bagheera.

Just last month, Bagheera was captured for the first time since November 2020. Park officials believe her to be the same black leopard returning after a two-year absence. Goswami captured the black panther climbing a tree in Peach National Park.

Scientists believe the colour 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 big cat with a black coat.

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