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Something Wonderful: Photographer Sets Up Camera Traps To Photograph The Black Leopard In Africa For The First Time In 100 Years

In Laikipia, Kenya, on the 11th of February 11, Will captured a series of high-quality camera trap photographs of a wild melanistic leopard (otherwise known as a black panther). This was the first time the animal has been photographed in Africa since 1909, said Nick Pilfold, a global conservation scientist at the San Diego Zoo.
“The images were captured at Laikipia Wilderness Camp in Kenya, using [self-made] Camtraptions camera traps,” Burrard-Lucas told Bored Panda. “Each trap is made up of a Camtraptions motion sensor, which wirelessly triggers a high-quality DSLR or mirrorless camera and two or three flashes. I leave these cameras on game paths for days or even weeks at a time in order to photograph elusive animals. The technique also allows me to set up studio-like lighting in order to capture striking images of animals at night.” Via | Bored Panda

{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Terry February 13, 2019, 5:50 PM

    Now that is one Cool Cat- Wow!

  • Casey Klahn February 13, 2019, 6:21 PM

    I saw a black panther in Costa Rica. Lucky for me he was a couple hundreds yards away in a clearing, but that was a lifetime sighting, for sure.

    In all of my time outdoors in the West, in Washington and elsewhere, I have yet to see a live, wild cat. I’ve seen plenty of sign, but those cats are experts at keeping unseen.

  • Flannelputz February 13, 2019, 6:44 PM

    Olives big brother?

  • Walter Sobchak February 13, 2019, 7:42 PM
  • ghostsniper February 13, 2019, 7:58 PM

    And here I thought all the black panthers lived off MLK blvd.

  • PA Cat February 13, 2019, 8:08 PM

    For Casey K.– “In all of my time outdoors in the West, in Washington and elsewhere, I have yet to see a live, wild cat. I’ve seen plenty of sign, but those cats are experts at keeping unseen.”

    Here’s a National Geographic article (from 2014) on photographing snow leopards with camera traps, with info. about DNA analysis of the kitty poop. These were the first photos of snow leopards taken since 1971– so, yes, these cats are understandably known as “gray ghosts” by the locals.

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140125-snow-leopard-pakistan-animals-science-world-endangered-species/

  • AesopFan February 13, 2019, 8:32 PM
  • Larry Geiger February 14, 2019, 5:35 AM

    I’ve seen Bobcats in Florida. I think that I once saw a panther crossing the road in front of me but it was a distance out. At first thought that it was a Bobcat but then I saw the tail. An instance and he was gone into woods. I still want to see a beaver some day. I’ve seen beaver ponds and beaver houses and beaver dams but I’ve never been there when they came out.

  • Jaynie February 14, 2019, 6:11 AM

    Yes, these photos are wonderful, as are the camera trap photos at the link PA Cat posted. Always my cats have been black cats, but for one ginger striped tiger cat. They have also all been savage hunters. Looking at these wild cats pretty evocative.

    Just now I am catless.

    One of my dawgs, however, has that very same catty killer instinct. So it is bad when the cranberry bog farmers flood their bogs, and I, in turn, walk my dogs. It is death to the little rodents seeking inferior high ground homes while their cozy safer tunnels are flooded. My dogged dog training skills make very little inroads against all this inbred instinct. She will very often get in her little snacks of casseroles on four legs (as the vet called them). Yuck. Quite naturally she is usually a willing and obedient little dawg, but she reminds my of a cat when she gets all instinct like that and seems unable to hear voice or whistle.

    Something wonderful.

  • ghostsniper February 14, 2019, 6:45 AM

    Careful with that mutt and the wild creatures.
    In the boyscouts at age 10 I captured a small creature of the rodentia class and it bit me on the finger and thus I had to get 14 rabies shots in the belly.

    The first thing I ever wrote on the toobz almost 25 years ago:

    “INTENSITY”

    IN ANOTHER PLACE, ANOTHER TIME, THESE CONDITIONS MIGHT BE CONSIDERED INTOLERABLE.
    BUT HERE IN THE SHROUD OF DARKNESS IT’S PRESENCE REIGNS SUPREME, FOR IT IS…AN ENTITY OF THE NIGHT.

    THE MASSIVE BULK, ONE HUNDRED TIMES LARGER THAN IT’S MOST COMMON ADVERSARY, ALONG WITH A NEVER ENDING HUNGER, TO KILL AND DEVOUR, IS PERPETUAL MOTION ON PATROL.

    SENSES TUNED TO RAZOR ACCURACY, NOTHING STANDS IN IT’S WAY.

    A SMALL CREATURE SHUDDERS IN IT’S BLACK, DAMP RECESS AS THE TELL TALE SIGNS SHOW THAT IMMINENT DANGER IS APPARENT.
    PARALYZED WITH FEAR, THE POTENTIAL VICTIM HOLDS IT’S BREATH, BLOOD COURSING THROUGH IT’S ARTERIES AT OVER FOUR HUNDRED BEATS A MINUTE, IT IS TIME TO DIE.
    BUT THROUGH MILLIONS OF YEARS OF EVOLUTION THE SMALL CREATURE HAS DEVELOPED IT’S RESOURCES ALSO.

    THE PRIMARY REASONS FOR BEING, ARE CONSISTENT THROUGHOUT THE LIFE WEB.
    PROCREATE AND IMPROVE.
    WITHOUT THESE, NO LIFE CAN BE.
    THIS IS HOW IT LIVES.

    SELF DEFENSE AND NUTRITIONAL ACQUISITIONS ARE TECHNIQUES DEVELOPED TO SUPPLEMENT THOSE EFFORTS.
    STEALTH AND COURAGE, OR BLIND FEAR, TO TAKE A CHANCE AND THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY TO PERSEVERE, ARE THE TOOLS OF THE SMALL CREATURE.

    IT IS STRICTLY DEFENSIVE TO THOSE LARGER THAN ITSELF.
    TO THOSE OF THE DIMINUTIVE NATURE, THE OBVERSE IS SIMILARLY TRUE. PREY BECOMES PREDATOR.

    THE LAST PAGE IN THE LIFE STORY OF ALL SMALL CREATURES IS SIMILAR.
    A FIGHT TO THE END, OR SUCCUMB AS A VICTIM.
    IN IT’S FINAL DEATH SPIRAL, ULTIMATELY, IT TOO CAN WIN.

    ERRATIC CONVULSING AND FLAILING MAY SOMETIMES INFLICT WOUNDS THAT EVENTUALLY DEFEAT THE ASSAILANT.

    AT FIRST, THIS MAY SEEM TO BE A FINAL ACT OF RETALIATION.
    MORE THAN LIKELY IT WILL SERVE TO TEACH THE AGGRESSOR TO BE MORE CAREFUL NEXT TIME….IF IT’S WOUNDS ARE NOT FATAL.

  • Jaynie February 14, 2019, 7:31 AM

    Intensity. That’s good, feral insights, ghostsniper. As I am a sissy, it freaks me out that you got bitten. I don’t interfere with this mutt-o-mine’s savagery. A friend does grab at the little beasts to take away from the dawg for me, me, way too squeamish.

    Reading ‘Intensity’ it occurs to me to wonder about my dawg, and previous cats, to hunt and eat wildly. They are most definitely not hungry.

    So my older dawg has taken up hunting enthusiastically, but I have yet to see her try to eat a bit of prey. It could be an instinct my gentle-savage dawg developed when she was on her own with puppies before the rescue squad or something gathered her up. But as we walk the cranberry bogs, and she hunts, kills, and, if allowed, eats little unfortunates, the one thing she is not, I can assuredly say, is hungry.

  • Casey Klahn February 14, 2019, 10:15 AM

    PA Cat, et al.

    Here’s a local cam shot of cougar in my area. It is one for the history books, and apparently authenticated. The place is called “Moses Coulee,” and the coulees here have a primordial feel to them. You feel like you’ll round a corner and see dinosaurs grazing.
    http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/feb/17/wenatchee-man-captures-eight-cougars-in-one-photo/

  • Casey Klahn February 14, 2019, 10:17 AM

    re: the cougar pride pictured. And they wonder why I need more than 10 rounds in a magazine!

  • PA Cat February 14, 2019, 10:37 AM

    Casey K.– Thank you for the photo of the cougars in your area. Kind of reminds me of the Nittany Lion, the cougar that supposedly roamed around Nittany Mountain near the campus of Penn State at least until the 1880s and became the university’s mascot. Cougars are now considered extinct in central PA.

    https://www.psu.edu/ur/about/nittanymascot.html

    It is, of course, important to alumni of the Other Penn (located in Philadelphia) that their Ivy school should not be confused with a “mere” state university, but I think the Nittany Lion mascot is way cooler than Penn’s Quaker.

  • james wilson February 14, 2019, 12:45 PM

    White man, again, doing the jobs no one else will do.

  • Nori February 14, 2019, 12:54 PM

    Exquisite pictures. Those eyes look like two full moons in a black velvet sky.

    There’s a great horror film from 1943 called The Leopard Man. Shot in black and white and directed by Jacques Tourneur,who with producer Val Lawton, made some creepy film noir stuff in the 40’s & 50’s.
    It features a gorgeous black jaguar, who makes his entrance into a nightclub on a jeweled leash with the leading lady at the other end. Loud castanets spook the cat, he takes off, panic ensues.
    Cut to a teen girl, forced out into the night by her mother to walk to the market for cornmeal for supper. On her way back,she encounters the panther, calmly watching her with enormous, luminous eyes. She runs in panic, makes it to her door, but mamacita won’t open it because she had dropped the cornmeal. She pounds on the door,begging to be let in, you hear the cat growling, then silence. Mama says ok,ok, I’ll let you in.
    At that instant,a large pool of blood appears under the door.

    That scene gave me nightmares as a kid.
    Great flick, good story, acting, and wonderful 40’s fashions on the ladies and gents.

  • Hangtown Bob February 15, 2019, 3:20 PM

    Fantastic photos.

    A once in a lifetime experience.

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