Black Panther Quest, Kabini River Lodge, Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, India - March 2018
Black Panther is the name given to a Melanistic Leopard. They are an extremely rare colour variant of the Leopard, as it requires a fortuitous combination of genes in the parents to occur. The normal spots of a Leopard can usually still be seen even though the fur is jet black.
Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in southern India has recently come to some prominance after the arrival of a Black Panther into the park just over three years ago. Finding just one animal in the whole of a national park is a tall order, but that was our goal on this trip - and although it was a very brief encounter, we succeeded! The reserve however has much more to offer than this one exotic animal - we had excellent sightings of "normal" Leopards, as well as Tiger, Indian Wild Dogs and much more. And because we dedicated all 16 games drives to finding just the one animal, on a number of occasions we declined the opportunity to go to other encounters with Tigers and Leopards!
The trip was an organised group trip with Wildlife Trails - all credit to them for putting together something at pretty short notice to take advantage of this very rare opportunity.