Anurag Gawande waited nine hours in the jungle until late evening to capture a rare black leopard.
Gawande tells PetaPixel that capturing the melanistic leopard was no easy task.
“Black leopards are very difficult to spot. Even a normal leopard is difficult to spot as they are very shy in nature,” he explains.
“We waited almost nine hours for this moment to happen. I wanted to capture this beauty from the day I got to know that she is giving a good sighting.”
Gawande captured the majestic photo in Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh, India where he had previously seen the elusive leopard but from far away.
“We decided to visit the park, but to be honest it was not an easy task to do,” he says.
Gawande used a Nikon Z6 with a 200-500mm attached to the mirrorless body.
“In our first safari we saw her but she was way inside, we only saw glimpses. But we wanted to capture her no matter what. So I decided not to leave her territory,” explains Gawande.
“The next day we waited for almost nine nours for her to come out and finally in late evening she came out and I got amazing shots and videos,” he says. “It was a thrilling experience.”
It is not the first time that Gawande has captured a black panther. Two and half years ago he captured the photo below in Tadoba National Park.
“They don’t show up easily. If they know that you are there they will hide themselves,” Gawande explains.
“And because of his black color, it becomes more difficult as you can’t figure between the black stones and black leopard.”
The photographer says that he does not get to see black panthers on a regular basis so he has “to keep his patience to capture them.”
Gawande runs a website called Jungle Safari Getaway which offers safari tours offering tourists the opportunity to track big cats in India’s jungle parks.
Image credits: All photos by Anurag Gawande.