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The photographer captures the perfect moment when a leopard is shadowed by her black panther partner


I and my shadow! The photographer captures the perfect moment when a leopard is shadowed by her black panther partner

  • Saaya, the 120-pound panther, is in the shadow of his 89-pound partner Cleopatra
  • The 32-year-old Indian photographer Mithun Hunugund had photographed the couple in Karnataka for six days
  • Saaya is eight years old while Cleopatra is 12 years old and the couple shares an eight month old cub
  • Around 11 percent of leopards are melanistic – the unique pigmentation that makes their coats and skin black

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An animal photographer captured the perfect moment for a leopard to be shadowed by her black panther partner in Karnataka, India.

The rare shot showed Saaya, the 120-pound male panther standing in the shadow of his 89-pound leopard partner Cleopatra.

Saaya is eight years old while Cleopatra is 12 years old. The panther-leopard parents have been a couple for four years and together they have an eight-month-old cub.

& # 39; This was a unique opportunity; I can close my eyes and relive the moment I meet them again and again, ”said Mithun Hunugund (32), a photographer from India. "I waited six days for these photos"

I positioned myself near a water source that was in their hunting ground. I was about two hundred feet away, ”he added. & # 39; They illuminate the forest. To be able to see that was absolutely stunning. & # 39;

Black panthers are melanistic. Their color variant is caused by a recessive allele, which means that a child does not share the father's color because of it.

Around 11 percent of the leopards have the unique pigmentation, which makes them a rare sight.

Wildlife photographer Mithun Hunugund captured this breathtaking moment when a leopard is shadowed by her black panther partner in Kabini, Karnataka, India

Saaya, the 120-pound panther (right), was in the shadow of his 89-pound partner Cleopatra, who happens to be a leopard (left).

Saaya, the 120-pound panther (right), was in the shadow of his 89-pound partner Cleopatra, who happens to be a leopard (left).

The big cats have been together for four years and share an eight-month-old cub. 32-year-old photographer Mithun Hunugund from India photographed the couple for six days to capture the perfect moment

The big cats have been together for four years and share an eight-month-old cub. 32-year-old photographer Mithun Hunugund from India photographed the couple for six days to capture the perfect moment

Black panthers are melanistic, which causes the color of their fur and skin. The phenomenon can occur in a number of species, including the genus & # 39; Panthera & # 39; which includes leopards and jaguars. Pictured: Saaya drinks water from a stream

Indian leopards are classified as endangered species after habitat loss and poaching. It is believed that between 12,000 and 14,000 live in India. Pictured: 12-year-old Cleopatra is watching from a tree in a tree

Black panthers are melanistic, which causes the color of their fur and skin. The phenomenon can occur in a number of species, including the genus & # 39; Panthera & # 39; which includes leopards and the larger member of the Panthera family – jaguars. Left picture: Saaya drinks water from a stream. Indian leopards are classified as endangered species after habitat loss and poaching. It is believed that between 12,000 and 14,000 live in India. Right: 12-year-old Cleopatra is watching from a tree in a tree

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