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Endangered Species: Threatened

Canon EOS 30D SLR 100-300 mm f/4.5-5.6 focal point 300 mm.

This is a melanistic leopard. Close examination of these black cats will show that the typical leopard markings are still there but are hidden by the excess black pigment melanin. The spotted pattern of the black leopard has the effect of printed silk when viewed from the proper angle. Skin color is a mixture of blue black gray and purple with rosettes. Melanistic and non-melanistic individuals can be found in the same litter.

Black leopards are reported from most densely-forested areas in southwestern China, Myanmar, Assam and Nepal, from Travancore and other parts of southern India and are said to be common in Java and the southern part of the Malay Peninsula where they may be more numerous than spotted leopards. They are less common in tropical Africa, but have been reported from Ethiopia, from the forests of Mount Kenya and from the Aberdares.

Be sure to check out these other wild cat images:


  • Lisa G. Putman
    Lisa G. Putmanalmost 7 years ago

  • Dogman
    Dogmanalmost 7 years ago

    Beautiful capture Lisa…thanks for all the infos…Well done!!

  • courier
    courieralmost 7 years ago

    Lisa – I love your photos and the explanations make them so much more poignant. Thank you for both!

  • eyestrange
    eyestrangealmost 7 years ago

    this is a fabulous capture

  • Bobby McLeod
    Bobby McLeodalmost 7 years ago

    really hard to shoot these guys…but you’ve done a great job!

  • Lisa G. Putman
    Lisa G. Putmanalmost 7 years ago

    Thanks for the comments, guys! I appreciate the input so much!

  • Quigi
    Quigialmost 7 years ago

    you’ve got some really great wildlife shots in your portfolio here. great stuff!

  • Jan Cartwright
    Jan Cartwrightalmost 7 years ago

    Sleek and magnificent cat – wonderful handling of the black tones.

  • Robyn Maynard
    Robyn Maynardalmost 7 years ago

    WOW!….. those eyes! Beautiful shot. :)

  • Dawnsky2
    Dawnsky2over 6 years ago

    OOooooo,, he’s soooo beautiful,, one of my most favourite Cats :)

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