The Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation have released the footage that captured the rare sighting of a Black Leopard for the first time since 2013!
Undisclosed Location, South Africa (02 March 2020) – On the 24th of February, the news broke about a rare African Black (melanistic) Leopard sighting. The last time one was seen, was during 2013. In fact, there have only been 30 sightings from 1952 to 2013.
The beautiful Leopard was seen in a location that is being kept secret to protect it. According to the Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation, the Department of Nature Conservation and one of South Africa’s leading leopard and carnivore experts reviewed video footage of the animal sighted and confirmed that it was indeed a Black Leopard. It was sighted near a residential area.
That video footage has now been released so those excited by the news of the sighting can see it too!
“It’s the stuff that urban legends and folklore get built around. A phantom, an illusion, a shadow so rare that most people believe they don’t actually exist. Fewer than 35 sightings of wild black leopards have ever been scientifically documented in South Africa in over half a century, and clear pictures or video evidence are virtually non-existent – most people having spotted these elusive phantoms crossing a road or disappearing into the bush without the chance to take a picture.” – Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation
Black Leopards can be seen in captivity where they are bred and kept to lure in the public but it is so rare to see one in the wild that they have only been seen 35 times in recent memory.
“After consultation with the relevant National Carnivore Specialist and the Department of Nature Conservation (the Green Scorpions), the decision was taken to monitor the situation with as little human interference as possible. Should the leopard be seen again, the possibility of collaring, and or relocating the animal to a less populated area will be considered.
We purchased 3 state-of-the-art trail cameras and are monitoring the area on an ongoing basis. The idea is to make sure that the leopard has left the area, and is not in danger of any conflict with humans from the nearby residential areas. For a change, we are hoping NOT to capture an image of the leopard, however, if we do, we will take any and all measures needed to ensure its safety.
Thank you to all our supporters who have made it possible for us to obtain the equipment needed to help keep this Leopard safe and will keep you updated with regards to any progress.”
Take a look at the camera footage below. You can follow the Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation for more updates, here.