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Someone Photographed an African Black Leopard for the First Time in 100 Years

Being an animal photographer seems like it would be a pretty cool job. You get to go to cool places, you get to photograph cute animals and everyone once and a while you take a photo of an animal no one's filmed in over 100 years.

Will Burrard-Lucas recently photographed a wild African Black Leopard while working in Kenya. African Black Leopards are rarely seen in the wild, and are even more rarely photographed. In fact, it's believed Burrard-Lucas is the first person to photograph a the animal since 1909.

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African Black Leopards are really just the same as regular leopards, except they have a rare genetic disorder called melanism that causes their fur to become black instead of the normal yellow. It's basically the opposite of albinism, which causes an animal's fur to become white. Obviously since it's rare, there are not a lot of these leopards in existence.

Now you might be saying, "I've seen animals that look like this." But the black leopards you're thinking of are either Asian leopards or American jaguars. They are far rarer in Africa.

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Burrard-Lucas went to Kenya to photograph the black leopard after hearing reports that one was spotted near the Laikipia Wilderness Camp. He set up a camera trap that would take a photo if an animal set off a wireless motion sensor in the area. It took several nights, but Burrard-Lucas eventually caught these photos of the leopard and even managed to record a video of it as well.

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The leopard must've heard about how well Black Panther was received and thought this was a good time to get some attention in the media spotlight.

(h/t Mental Floss)


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