Photographer Captures Rare Black Panther And Leopard Couple On Film

Incredibly rare photos of a black panther and a leopard that are thought to be a couple have gone viral online after photographer Mithun H shared them on his Instagram page this week. The images showcase the overwhelming beauty and majesty of the big cats and also display a love between two species that haven’t often been spotted together previously.

  1. The photographer describes the cats as “The Eternal Couple.” In the text accompanying the photographs, he shares that the cats have been together for quite a while, often spotted around the jungles of Kabini in Karnataka, India over the last four years.
  2. To catch the cats on film is quite a magical moment. Mithun H is quite aware of how lucky he was to be able to photograph the cats, writing, “Saaya and Cleopatra have been courting since 4 years now and whenever they are together it’s a sight to behold. The forest comes alive as they trot nonchalantly in his fabled kingdom. Usually in the courting pairs generally it is the Male who takes charge and moves around with the female following close behind. But with this couple, it was definitely Cleo who was in charge while the Panther followed. This was shot on a surreal winter morning when a single Deer alarm led me to this breathtaking sight.”
  3. The photos were taken at the Kabini Forest Reserve. It’s one of the most popular nature reserves in Karnataka, but not everyone is so lucky to see the famous cat couple or to be able to take such pristine photos of them.
  4. It was a long wait, but one that Mithun H was well rewarded for. “I had to wait for six days for this in the same spot since I could hear the Panther and Cleopatra mating about 100 meters away in the thick undergrowth but could not see them due to limited visibility,” he told The Indian Express. “They had made a large kill and would not move until it was over. That is where the knowledge and years of experience of following and tracking the Panther came in handy. I just had to wait at one of his favourite paths since that was the place he would get her since that was the edge of his territory, and this he did after six days. It was a fruitful wait though. I could wait for six years for a moment like this.”
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