​Once-in-a-Lifetime Photo Shows Rare Black Leopard Staring Down Photographer on Safari in India​

August 2, 2020 Updated: August 2, 2020

An Indian tourist had a dramatic encounter while on safari when he came face to face with an extremely rare black leopard. And the photos he managed to take were an even rarer opportunity.

Engineering student Abhishek Pangis, 23, spotted the big cat in a forest reserve and waited 40 minutes to snap it as it stared straight at him.

“I went blank when I spotted it,” said Pangis. “I hadn’t seen anything so beautiful, I was completely stunned and came back to my senses after 10 minutes and started clicking pictures.”

“Usually people have seen it around for two-three minutes but I was very lucky as I could see it for 40 minutes.”

Epoch Times Photo
Engineering student Abhishek Pangis spots a black leopard at Tadoba Reserve in India. (Caters News)

Pangis was on a two-day safari trip with his parents in Tadoba Reserve in India. The amateur photographer, from Pune, India, sighted the leopard on the second day of the trip in June.

The spectacular photographs show the gorgeous leopard, practically one-of-a-kind with its lustrous coat and charcoal-colored spots, marking its territory in the wild.

“I witnessed it drinking water from a pond, marking its territory and stalking langurs and monkeys. It was a brilliant experience,” Pangis continued.

Epoch Times Photo
Pangis was on a two-day safari trip with his parents when they sighted the incredibly rare leopard. (Caters News)
Epoch Times Photo
“I witnessed it drinking water from a pond, marking its territory and stalking langurs and monkeys. It was a brilliant experience,” Pangis said. (Caters News)

“We saw him in peak summer of June last month when it was 40-45 degree of extreme heat as there is a more chance of the wild cats coming out for water.

“At one point, this leopard who should be four years old even walked past our jeep. It was a surreal moment.”

Professional photographers can sometimes spend months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to snap the incredible leopard.

Epoch Times Photo
“At one point, this leopard who should be four years old even walked past our jeep. It was a surreal moment.” (Caters News)

“I knew there are black leopards but I was very lucky to have spotted it during my first safari trip,” the student said.

There were 10 to 15 other safari vehicles with them before the encounter, Pangis said. But they gave up looking for the leopard. Just three or four jeeps remained, and Pangis was lucky enough to have stayed to witness the breathtaking leopard.

“None of them had a camera so when it came out in the open, it was just me who had the camera and could take its pictures.”

The Epoch Times contributed to this report.