Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you took an amazing wedding photo? Perhaps you went sightseeing and took pictures of beautiful nature’s landscapes? It really does feel good, doesn’t it?
Well, what if that feeling was intensified 100 fold? Would have felt amazing, wouldn’t it? That is exactly what Will Burrard-Lucas must be feeling right now!
That is because the 35 year old photographer has captured images that haven’t been captured in over a century.
His photographs are those of a black leopard prowling through the Laikipa Wilderness in Kenya, under a midnight full moon. The cat is so rare that some have even considered it a mythical animal, as the creature hadn’t been photographed in Africa for over 100 years.
The leopard- also referred to as black panther gets its color from a condition referred to as melanism. Melanism is similar to albinism but whereas the latter causes whiteness due to the lack of pigmentation, melanism results in an excess of dark pigmentation.
This doesn’t mean that the cat is fully black though. As Lucas’ photos show, the cat has pigmentation on his fur that are not black.
Perhaps, like me, looking at those photos you are now probably wondering how on Earth did he manage to get that close. Well the photographer used a Camtraptions camera trap and wireless motion sensors that were placed strategically to capture these historical pictures.
Mr. Burrard-Lucas explains online how he figured out that he had taken the pictures of his life. He said:
“As I scrolled through the images on the back of the camera, I paused and peered at the photograph below in incomprehension… a pair of eyes surrounded by inky darkness… a black leopard!I couldn’t believe it and it took a few days before it sank in that I had achieved my dream.”
Biologist Nicholas Pilfold, PhD, who had assisted Mr. Burrard-Lucas with his project confirmed the rare nature of these photographs.
According to Daily Mail, Pilfold claimed
“We had always heard about black leopard living in this region, but the stories were absent of high quality footage that could confirm their existence.This is what Will’s photos and the videos on our remote cameras now prove, and are exceptionally rare in their detail and insight. Collectively these are the first confirmed images in nearly 100 years of black leopard in Africa, and this region is the only known spot in all of Africa to have black leopard.”
How wonderful must the pair be feeling now! We are thankful they got to take these photos and we get to witness them as well.