Wildlife photographers are a special breed. It seems as if they will spend hours, if not years waiting for that perfect shot to appear in front of them.
A 24-year-old wildlife photographer named Anurag Gawande had his dream come true when he saw a rare black leopard come out of the bushes. He was in Tadoba National Park, India when this once-in-a-lifetime event took place.
Exactly how rare was this spotting of a black leopard? According to Tyla, the photographer says it is like “finding a needle in a haystack.” He had been waiting for years just to see this moment unfold in front of him.
“When you watch him with open eyes you don’t see any spots it looks totally black,” he said, according to Tyla.
“Its coat was shining and even though the whole encounter lasted for about one minute, this leopard has given me the most iconic moment of my life,” he continued.
When the photographer took the picture, he was on safari with his brother and mother.
He said he had been waiting for a tiger to come out of the bushes because there were deer nearby. As he was heading for the hilltop, he saw some vehicles that had lined up with the leopard.
He had to wait for about five minutes before he heard the sambar deer calling. Suddenly, the guide shouted out, “Blacky! Blacky!”
Nobody is sure exactly how many black leopards exist in the wild but it is known that they only have a few sightings every 100 years. The fact that they are black means that they are the opposite of an albino. It’s a condition known as melanism, and it occurs when they produce excess pigment that causes them to appear black.
The leopard was afraid of the car noise so he ran into the bushes. Eventually, the leopard reappeared for a few moments.
“When he started walking, I was able to see some of his spots and also because of his black colour his whites paw stood out,” he recalled to Tyla.
“I was in search of him for the last two years. It was a dream come true moment. I was very excited but at the same time I knew it could be my first and last chance of capturing him.
I calmed myself and held my camera and started capturing. He started crossing the road. The whole moment was over in one minute.”
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