Another rare black Leopard spotted found in Laikipia, Kenya

Rare Animal Sighted in Kenya for the First Time in 100 Years [PHOTOS]

The creature - which nearly has a mythical status - was captured by British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, 35, while it was prowling around the plains of Kenya in the dead of night with a full moon looming above.

"In Africa, black leopards are incredibly rare and until now, the only images of them have been fleeting shots taken from great distance or graining images from low-quality trail cameras".

Slinking through the darkness, these stunning images show an ultra-rare black leopard in action.

Working in collaboration with biologists from San Diego Zoo in the area, Burrard-Lucas went about installing camera traps in a well-protected area where the black leopard was rumoured to frequent. Shrinking habitats and scarce resources due to human activity have made the black leopard even more rare since then. (Supplied) Black leopards are so rare in Africa, researchers don't know if the genetic mutation responsible for the dark pigmentation is the same one that underlies melanism in Southeast Asian leopards. "When I heard that a black leopard had been seen up at Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya my ears pricked up and I contacted the owners Steve and Annabelle Carey to find out more", Will revealed in his blog post.

The appearance of the animal - which has barely visible spots - is the result of melanism, Mail Online reports. "The only place where we have black leopards is where this place in the Marvel Universe appears to exist".

In a video documenting his photography expedition, Burrard-Lucas filmed himself going to check the camera.

After meeting with locals who had seen the animals, and following leopard tracks, Burrard-Lucas set up a Camtraptions camera trap that included wireless motion sensors, in the hope of photographing the animals at night.

He said he left his cameras outside for several nights.

Black leopards are usually associated with dense forests where their dark colouration is thought to help them hide in the shadows.

"Usually on these camera trap photos with the flash you see the animal very clearly".

While there have been reports of sightings of black leopards the last confirmed observation was in Ethiopia more than a century ago, he said.

Black leopards may have been living in Kenya all along, but there's been no footage to confirm the observations until now, Pilfold said.

Published in the African Journal of Ecology, the photos represent the first scientific documentation of such a creature in Africa in almost a century.

You don't need two black leopards to make one, but both parents need to carry the recessive gene for melanism.

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