The animal was seen pawing through Tadoba National Park in India’s western Maharashtra state.
Last month, while traveling in an Indian wildlife park, a photographer came across and captured footage of a rare black leopard, according to LadBible.
Anurag Gawande, a 24-year-old wildlife photographer, was on a safari at Tadoba National Park in India’s western Maharashtra state when he came across the animal standing a mere 30 feet away from him. In a video obtained by the outlet, the rare leopard can be seen crossing in front of Gawande and staring straight into the camera.
“It was surprising because we thought we will see a tiger but we saw [a] black leopard strolling on the pathway,” the man said, per LadBible.
The black leopard gets its rare coloring from a mutation that causes melanism — an excessive development of dark-colored pigment in the skin.
Gawande said he initially spent the safari tracking a tiger, “but on the way to Tadoba Lake we heard a deer call and at the next moment we saw the black leopard.”
“It was sitting on the pathway,” he added of the animal, which he claims is the “only black leopard of Tadoba national park.”
“Then he saw a deer and then he tried to hunt that deer but he failed,” he added. “Then again it came back on [the] road and sat there for 15-20 minutes and we got some amazing shot[s] of the majestic animal.”
According to Gawande, this is the second time he has found himself face to face with this extraordinary animal. The photographer came upon a black leopard a year ago during another journey in Tadoba National Park.
“This was my second time that I was watching it,” he said.
However, Gawande noted that he “felt the same thrill while watching it but this time I was aware of its moment.”
“We kept our vehicle off and kept enough distance so that it will not move from the spot,” he added.