Taken at the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in Gauteng.
Taken at the Lion and Rhino Nature Reserve.
Black Panther: This is a generic term commonly used to describe big black cats, obviously because one biological classification of wild cats is genus Panthera. This includes Lions, Leopards, Snow leopards, Jaguars, Tigers, Cheetahs and even Sabre-Toothed Tigers. So in actuality there is no one distinct species of wild cat called a Black Panther. Big cats described as Black Panthers are most likely either Leopards, or possibly a Jaguar or Mountain Lion (also known as Puma or Cougar) with Melanistic coloration.
The term Melanistic is derived from the word ‘melanin’, a dark coloured skin and hair pigment, resultant from a recessive gene which may be present in either, or both parents.