While photos and videos of wild animals never fail to capture the imagination of viewers, a set of images portraying a rare black panther from the jungles of Karnataka has been mesmerizing netizens this Sunday.
The images show a jet black panther, roaming in the depths of green forests in Kabini, Karnataka. Shared on Twitter by popular travel and wildlife photo-sharing account "Earth", the images were originally clicked in 2019 by Indian naturalist and wildlife photographer Shaaz Jung.
In the images, the majestic leopard can be seen slinking around the forest and peeping at the camera from behind a tree.
The images looked so surreal that many on Twitter were compelled to wonder if the images were real. Others were reminded of the fictional animated character 'Bagheera" from Jungle Book.
Is this really real— Nubi Precious (@NubiSouth) July 5, 2020
Wow.. what a sighting and capture..— Aarti 🐾 (@talesfromaaroo) July 5, 2020
A black panther picture on the 4th of July? Beautiful.— Sal Acevedo (@SalAceved0) July 5, 2020
Both the images of the black panther were shared on Instagram by Jung in 2019. His page is filled with scores of close-ups and candid shots the wild cats of Kabini.
Jung, who has spent years tracking and photographing wildcats in the lush forests of Kabini river and backwaters in Karnataka, is an eco-conservationist who runs a tourism retreat called the The Bison in Kabini. The photographer also comes from a lineage of royalty, descending from the Pataudis of Bhopal on his father's side as well as sharing heredity with the Paigahs of Hyderabad.
His ancestral family once used to own large swathes of forest lands in Central India. But today, Jung's, a graduate in Economics from Utrecht University, has focused all his energies on photographical the wonderful big cats that prowl the jungles of India.