Black Panther aka melanistic leopard
Dream sighting and lucky enough to shoot too! What a weekend in the jungle... this image is 24 hours old! :)
Due to a mutation in the melanin gene, these leopards have Melanism, a development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin or its appendages and is the opposite of albinism. Historically, it was also the medical term for black jaundice [wiki].
The Indian leopard is a leopard subspecies widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent and classified as ''Near Threatened'' by IUCN since 2008. The species ''Panthera pardus'' may soon qualify for the ''Vulnerable'' status due to habitat loss and fragmentation, heavy poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts in Asia, and persecution due to conflict situations. They are becoming increasingly rare outside protected areas. The trend of the population is decreasing.
The Indian.. more