Tadoba Andhari National Park, India: A family vacation turned out surreal for an amateur wildlife photographer when he witnessed a rare spotted black panther standing 20 feet away from him.
23-year-old Abhishek Pagnis, a Pune-based engineering student, considers himself very lucky as he pictured a rare spotted black panther.
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Male Melanistic leopard/ black panther. . . "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist". . . . Tired from handling the camera all day for all the safaris, here I was on my last one and in the last hours. All drained from the shuttering of the cameras, capturing the stripped killer in the scorching heat. Moving on to the spot for something I was sure we won't see. With the sun being gone hours beyond our heads, the wait was on, hoping for atleast a quick glance. Eyes running through every movement in the woods and ears all fixed on the barks of the deers. Couple of hours passed and I am still hoping for a miracle before the dream run ends. And suddenly it all went quiet with all the deer heads focusing in the woods like they were guides. And there he was, an unnoticeable black figure moving uninterested in his prey. I rooted for the camera and positioned quickly on that spot, my mind and body all fired up forgetting . The melanistic leopard was there, just strolling unaware of his beauty. I zoomed at him and saw the bright eyes staring back with fading rossetes into blackness on his body. A sighting less than half an hour made the best moment of the safaris. . . . . . #indianphotography #incredibletadoba #bbcearth #indian_wildlifes #indianwildlifeofficial #bigcatsindia #earthinfocus #natgeoyourshot #nationalgeographic #discovery #natgeoindia #nikonindia #bigcatswildlife #wildwoyages #indianafricanwildlife #nikonasia #ntc_feature #ntc_natwild #pawstrails #featured_wildlife #ngtindia #ThroughYourLens #CandidInTheWild #Incredibleindia #Earthcapture #nikonindiaofficial #_mig #WildIndia @indianwildlifeofficial @zealwildlife @incredibletadoba @natgeowild @naturegram_india @natgeoindia @shaazjung @indian_wildlifes @animalplanetindia @bigcatsindia @wildlife.hd @indianwildlifeofficial @featured_wildlife @the.animals.daily @bbcearth @nikonindiaofficial @claws.n.wings @randeephooda @wildtrails_recent_sightings @indian.photography @nikonindiaofficial @natgeoyourshot @sonybbcearth
During an interview with Indianexpress, Pagnis said:
It was my first ever wildlife trip. We waited for over 2.5 hours around the area where he (the leopard) is usually spotted hoping to see him.
The picture was taken last year, but it went viral after it was shared on social media recently.
Recalling the moment, Pagnis said:
The animals around raised an alarm and started making noises. When a predator animal such as a lion or tiger is nearby, prey animals like deer and monkeys let out alarm calls to alert others. This was our cue to stop our vehicles and prepare the cameras.
The amateur photographer said that he did not expect that he would spot the extremely rare Black Panther.
He is actually a shy leopard. The ones seen in Kabini Reserve are quite bold leopards. So, there are many sightings. However, this one from Tadoba is very shy.
Pagnis is currently contemplating if he should continue wildlife photography as a hobby or pursue it professionally.