Melanistic and Common Leopard Pair

by Prakash Ramakrishnan
Prakash Ramakrishnan

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

Melanistic leopards are more commonly found in dense tropical rain forest of South and Southeast Asia. This amazing natural history image won the third prize in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) - Sanctuary Asia Wildlife Photography Awards in 2010.

On August 15, 2010, we were in the Nilgiris, in search of a leopard that had killed a porcupine the previous day. It was raining heavily in the morning, but stopped around 3 PM. As the rain stopped, we noticed something black on top of a hill and we cautiously approached it. We climbed about 500 feet of the hill, but the animal had vanished by the time we reached the top. We waited for sometime and a common leopard (the male) jumped onto a rock, about 100 metres in front of us. After a few minutes, a melanistic leopard (the female) joined the male on the rock. It was an outstanding natural history moment and we decided to quickly leave the leopards alone and came down the hill.

To understand more about Melanistic leopards, view a couple of interesting posts here:

  1. Melanistic (Black) Panther, Bhadra Tiger Reserve
  2. Camera ‘Traps’ Black Leopards in Dandeli-Anshi


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