Updated: July 7, 2021 9:23:53 am
A RARE melanistic leopard, popularly called black leopard, was spotted in the Navegaon block of the Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) in the Gondia district of Maharashtra.
RM Ramanujam, NNTR field director and conservator of forests, said, “The leopard was recorded in camera traps during the annual census work in the NNTR in February. The data was sent to the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun for analysis. The fact came to light during analysis by the WII.”
The picture of the rare leopard with a normally coloured leopard in the background went viral after it was shared by Dr Bilal Habib, a scientist at WII from his twitter handle.
Earlier this year, a wildlife photographer had captured the rare black leopard when he was on a safari at Tadoba National Park, in the Chandrapur district. Sightings of the black leopard were earlier reported in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve and the Pench Tiger Reserve in the state, officials said.
The high amount of pigmentation – melanin, causes the animal to appear black.