Rare Black Panthers Rediscovered In Sri Lanka!

Dec 16, 2022by Olivia Harper - F&F

Wildlife authorities in Sri Lanka have discovered a black panther species that for many years was believed to be extinct! Let’s take a look.

Sri Lankan Black PantherSri Lankan Black Panther

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Sri Lankan Black Panthers Are No Longer Extinct!

The Sri Lankan Panther has been a mysterious creature for many years and sightings during recent history have been very rare due to the low population numbers and solitary nature of the animals.

Out of the eight species of panthers living in the world, the sub-species, Sri Lankan Panther was last seen decades ago when an animal was discovered in a trap in Mawuldeniya, Pitadeniya. Since then the black panther was thought to be extinct as conservationists haven’t been able to locate any evidence for them in the wild.

But now, incredible footage shows the sighting of four panthers roaming freely in forests near Adam’s Peak, making them no longer considered extinct in the country!

Black Panther CubsBlack Panther Cubs

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Not Just One, But Four Beautiful Black Panthers Were Spotted

Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation set out to collect information of sightings from local villagers, and then assembled a bunch of cameras to attempt to capture footage of the rare and majestic animals. They were not disappointed; the cameras reportedly filmed four different animals – one female, one male, and two cubs! What a special sighting this would be!

The black panther has a beautiful and striking appearance that makes the animal look like a unique species, however, they’re actually just a color variation of a variety of different big cats, like leopards and jaguars. They’re known as melanistic, a genetic mutation that gives them remarkably high levels of the pigment melanin, making their fur jet black with subtle spots!

Black Panther PortraitBlack Panther Portrait

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Unlike Most Cats, Black Panthers Love The Water! 

One of the major factors that distinguish black panthers from other big cats is their stealth. Panthers are nocturnal, so they hunt at night. Their immaculate eyesight and sense of smell help them to find prey, and they’ve even been known to ambush prey from trees — yikes!

Unlike most cats, black panthers love to swim recreationally and can spend a significant portion of their time cooling off, swimming, playing and relaxing in water!

DWC spokesperson Hasini Sarachchandra told the Sri Lankan Daily Mirror; “The sub-species, Sri Lankan Leopard is extraordinary due to its very limited population… We request the general public to come forward to protect these animals since they are an important gift given by mother nature”.

We are so thrilled to hear this fantastic news coming out of Sri Lanka! Black panthers are truly remarkable creatures and we hope to see their population increase over the coming years.

For more stories about unique wildlife discoveries and conservation around the world, check out our Eco News category and the blogs below.

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