British photographer is left ‘shaking’ after capturing photographs of rare black leopard


The British amateur photographer, 74, is shaking after snapping stunning photos of rare black leopards devouring antelope on a Kenyan safari

  • Steve Darling, 74, snapped stunning pictures of a rare black leopard stalking at night
  • He was on safari in Kenya earlier this month when he spotted the big cat as they were returning to camp
  • Black leopards differ from other leopards only in the color of their fur, a variation known as melanism

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A British amateur photographer has captured stunning images of a rare black leopard stalking at night.

Steve Darling, 74, was on a Kenyan safari earlier this month when he spotted the big cat as they were returning to camp.

The Shrewsbury snapper said he was “trembling” after watching the young female named Giza, the Swahili word for darkness, catch a dik-dik antelope.

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He explained: “We love wildlife and I got into photography after I retired. This was our first trip post Covid lockdown.

A British amateur photographer has captured stunning images of a rare black leopard stalking at night

A British amateur photographer has captured stunning images of a rare black leopard stalking at night

Steve Darling, 74, was on a Kenyan safari earlier this month when he spotted the big cat as they were returning to camp

Steve Darling, 74, was on a Kenyan safari earlier this month when he spotted the big cat as they were returning to camp

The Shrewsbury snapper said he was

The Shrewsbury snapper said he was “trembling” after watching the young female named Giza, the Swahili word for darkness, catch a dik-dik antelope

“The photos of the leopard were taken on September 1st in Laikipia on a trip with a group of photographers led by Federico Veronesi.

“We were walking back to camp in the dark after following the tracks of a male leopard when Giza the black leopard appeared.

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“She’s a beautiful young woman who wasn’t long gone from her solid colored mother who was also nearby.

“She lives on an island in the middle of the Ewaso Narok River and goes over to the shore to hunt.

He explains: “We love wildlife and I got into photography after I retired.  This was our first trip post Covid lockdown.

He explains: “We love wildlife and I got into photography after I retired. This was our first trip post Covid lockdown.

“The photos of the leopard were taken in Laikipia on September 1st, during a trip with a group of photographers led by Federico Veronesi.”

“She is a beautiful young woman who has not long left her solid colored mother who was also nearby.”

‘Giza melted through the undergrowth, easily killing a dik-dik, and then moved into an acacia tree for her meal.

“We waited two hours for her to finish when she climbed down the tree and disappeared back into the bush.

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“I was absolutely amazed by her grace and beauty and actually trembled when she first appeared.

“As you can imagine, photographing a black leopard with headlights at night is not easy and I was so pleased when the results were available.

“Unfortunately, heavy rain in the mountains has caused the river to swell and Giza was unable to cross for the remainder of our stay in the area.”

Black leopards differ from other leopards only in the color of their fur, a genetic variation known as melanism.

Most commonly, dark individuals become fitter to survive and reproduce in their environment as they are better camouflaged. This makes some species less conspicuous to predators, which leopards use as an advantage when hunting at night.



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