British Photographer Is Left ‘shaking’ After Capturing Photographs Of Rare Black Leopard


A British amateur photographer has captured breathtaking photos of a rare black leopard prowling at night.

Steve Darling, 74, was on a Kenyan safari earlier this month when he spotted the big cat as they headed back to camp.

The Shrewsbury snapper said he was “trembling” after seeing the young female, named Giza, the Swahili word for darkness, when she caught a dik-dik antelope.

He explained: ‘We love wildlife and I started photography after I retired. This was our first trip after covid lockdown.

A British amateur photographer has captured breathtaking photos of a rare black leopard prowling at night

A British amateur photographer has captured breathtaking photos of a rare black leopard prowling at night

Steve Darling, 74, was on a Kenyan safari earlier this month when he spotted the big cat as they returned to camp

The Shrewsbury snapper said he was “trembling” after seeing the young female, named Giza, the Swahili word for darkness, when she caught a dik-dik antelope.

The leopard photos were taken in Laikipia on September 1, during a trip with a group of photographers led by Federico Veronesi.

“We were on our way back to camp, in the dark, having followed the tracks of a male leopard when Giza, the black leopard, appeared.

‘She is a beautiful young woman who did not long leave her normal colored mother, who was also nearby.

‘She lives on an island in the middle of the Ewaso Narok River and crosses to the bank to hunt.

He explains: ‘We love wildlife and I started shooting after I retired. This was our first trip after covid lockdown’

‘The leopard photos were taken in Laikipia on September 1, during a trip with a group of photographers led by Federico Veronesi’

‘She is a beautiful young woman who did not long leave her normal colored mother who was also nearby’

“Gizeh melted her way through the undergrowth, easily killed a dik-dik, then went to an acacia tree for her meal.

“We waited two hours for her to finish, when she climbed out of the tree and melted back into the undergrowth.

“I was absolutely amazed at her grace and beauty and really trembled when she first appeared.

‘As you can imagine it is not easy to photograph a black leopard at night with floodlights, and I was so happy when the results were available.

“Unfortunately, the heavy rainfall in the mountains caused the river to swell and Giza was unable to cross for our remaining stay in the area.”

Black leopards differ from other leopards only in the color of their fur, a genetic variation known as melanism.

Usually dark individuals become fitter to survive and reproduce in their environment because they are better camouflaged. This makes some species less noticeable to predators, with leopards using it as a foraging advantage during the nighttime hunt.

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