The 24-year-old Anurag Gawande caught the most unique black and rare leopard at the Tadoba National Park in India. Believe it or not, he waited for this opportunity for two years.
The animal’s dark coat is a result of melanism- an extra pigment caused by a genetic mutation. The animal was crossing the road while on a hunt for deer in the national park.
Gawande was there and quickly took his camera and made the mesmerizing photo of the elusive leopard.
Gawande Waited for Two Years to See this Rare Leopard
Gawande was amazed when he saw the predator emerging from the bushes. He described this moment as one-of-a-kind and noted how it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
It’s estimated that there are only around 2000 leopards of this kind in the wild. Most of them live in the southeast of Asia where they get a lot of shade in the tropical forests.
The leopard has a shiny coat and when you look at it, you don’t actually see any spots, it looks like it’s totally black, explained Gawande.
A Dream Come True for Gawande
Melanism is believed to provide these leopards with extra camouflage power and increase their advantage as predators. Gawande was on a safari together with his mom and brother where they spotted this stunning and rare leopard.
The photos are impressive and quickly went viral.
The moment lasted around five minutes because the leopard got scared from the noises of the vehicles and quickly hid in the bushes. The family says that this was an iconic moment in their life which they’ll remember forever.
Indeed, dreams do come true.
Check out the stunning photos below: