Rare black panther spotted in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve ( Kolasa) : For the first time sighting of Black Panther, for Belgian couple when they visited to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, in the Shivanjhari area of Kolasa range on Tuesday,was a memorable one, as they saw a black panther, also known as the Ghost of the Forest because of its elusive nature. The image has sent frenzy amongst wildlife enthusiast.

The Aernouts were out on their evening safari in Kolsa zone near Shivanjhari waterhole of the reserve and were eager to catch Shivanjhari Tigress. However, they spotted a leopard quenching its thirst and managed to photograph it. The couple was very excited and showed the photo. Wildlife enthusiast Amrit Naik was right behind them but did not get clear sighting.

“It was around 5.15 pm and our naturalist Swarna Chakraborty was with the family in the gypsy and drove near the waterhole on their way out of the park to see if the tigress was around but instead they spotted a Black Panther. Chakraborty looked through his binoculars and confirmed that it was indeed a melanistic leopard.

Field Director of TATR, Mukul Trivedi said that it was in the evening that the officials from resort first alerted him about this prized sighting and even shared the photographs. “Since we had some camera traps set up near the water hole that have been installed for tiger population estimation we immediately got it checked and found the image of a melanistic leopard captured and hence the sighting has been confirmed,” he said adding that a black panther was earlier spotted and also camera trapped when Wildlife Institute of India were monitoring the tigers in TATR but a tourist sighting it has created a huge excitement.

Sarosh Lodhi, founder member, CLAW an independent forum of wildlife enthusiasts from Maharashtra said that the park will soon have even more visitors flocking as now there is something new to look forward to.

Melanistic leopards are same as any leopards found across India the only difference being the fact that they exhibit Melanism. Wildlife biologists say that one can spot the rosette patterns on these leopards too if observed closely, but its hidden by the excessive or dominance of black pigment

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