Regionally we’ve heard reports of black leopards living here in Kenya, but high-quality footage or imagery to support these observations has always been missing,” zoo scientist Nicholas Pilfold said in a news release. “That’s what we’ve provided here with our cameras, and now we’re able to confirm what has been long suspected about black leopards living in Laikipia County.”
The footage marks the confirmed sighting of black panthers in Africa in almost 100 years, Pilford said in an Instagram post.
“Black panthers are uncommon, only about 11% of leopards globally are black,” he wrote. “But black panthers in Africa are extremely rare.”
Until now, only one reported observation of the species in Africa had been confirmed. The report came from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, in 1909.
The footage was captured on remote cameras set up as part of a broad study to understand the interactions of leopard populations in Mpala and Loisaba Conservancies, the San Diego Zoo said.