Black leopard photos are awesome but not first in 100 years

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Word of the camera observations brought forth another high-quality image of a black leopard from the Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy, also in Laikipia, which was taken in May 2007. Kenyans living in areas with wildlife population have spotted black leopards many times (we coexist with wildlife).

The dark coloration of the melanistic leopards' coat is attributed to a recessive gene that causes the loss of the normal function.

The rare leopard's black coat is the result of a condition called melanism.

"But infrared imagery reveals the leopard's iconic rosette patterns at night", the San Diego Zoo said in a news release.

There have been lots of stories about the unique animal in the central Kenya's Laikipia County, the site of multiple recent sightings.

"Collectively, these images are the first reported in almost 100 years that confirm the existence of black leopard in Africa, and the first in Kenya", the paper said.

Lucas clarified on his website, I am not claiming that these are the first photos of a black leopard taken in Africa.

A team from the Institute for Conservation Research of the San Diego Zoo Global and the Loisaba Conservancy in Kenya confirmed the existence of black leopards - as the animals are also known - in Laikipia County, an area north of Nairobi, Kenya's capital.

"I first heard about the black leopard when I was growing up from the stories of elders, but I didn't believe it at all until I saw it myself", he told CNN.

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The team set up remote trail cameras that automatically switched on when they detected movement and filmed for 15 to 30 seconds.

Pilfold's team of biologists had placed remote wildlife cameras to track the leopard population near a conservancy in the Laikipia County a year ago when they heard reports of a possible black leopard sighting.

However, scientists say the new images, which show the leopard's patterned fur, prove that the subject was definitely a black leopard - rather than a black panther, which is a more general term that can include any big black cat, such as a jaguar. They were left on 24 hours a day in most places but were only turned on at night in public places, according to the African Journal of Ecology. "I couldn't believe it and it took a few days before it sank in that I had achieved my dream".

Will captured a spotted leopard on one of the camera traps, which could be the black leopard's dad.

Dozens of Kenyans took to social media to react to claims by some Western media, that a black leopard whose images were taken recently by British wildlife photographer Will Burrad-Lucas, was the first sighting in 100 years.

Will Burrard-Lucas, one of the photographers, was delighted by the captures.

"Black panthers are uncommon; only about 11 percent of leopards globally are black", he added.

Black Panther the superhero has earned plenty of headlines lately, but it was his real-life counterpart making news this week.

In a blog post, he notes that he'd been fascinated by tales of black panthers since childhood.

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