Confirmation of black leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) living in Laikipia County, Kenya

Confirmation of black leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) living in Laikipia County, Kenya

 

Gathering a broad array of melanistic leopard observations, da Silva et al. (2017) reported five sightings of black leopards in Africa (P. p. pardus), but could confirm only one. The confirmed report was from Addis Ababa, Abissynya, Ethiopia, in 1909, in the form of a photograph stored at the National Museum of Natural History in the United States (da Silva et al., 2017). In Kenya, reports of black leopard are known (da Silva et al., 2017; Sunquist & Sunquist, 2002), but none have been accompanied with photographic evidence. Here, we provide photographic evidence for the existence of black leopard in Laikipia County, Kenya. We also compare the habitat of these sightings to the expectations of melanism as an adaptive trait driven by environment…

Black Leopard: My quest to photograph the most elusive cat in Africa 

 Burrard-Lucas Photography