A wildlife photographer has captured stunning photographs of a rare black leopard after waiting to spot the wild cat for TWO YEARS.
Anurag Gawande, 24, was amazed to spot the rarest leopard of its kind roaming through Tadoba National Park, India.
Photos show the melanistic leopard emerge from bushes.
Anurag, who had been waiting to catch a glimpse of the wild cat for over two years, said the experience was very “unique” and “like finding a needle in haystack.”
“When you watch him with open eyes you don't see any spots it looks totally black," said the explorer, who runs a jungle safari in Maharashtra in central India. “Its coat was shining and even though the whole encounter lasted for about one minute, this leopard has given me the most iconic moment of my life.”
Anurag was on a safari with his mother and brother at the time of the encounter.
“I was waiting for a tiger to come out of bushes as there was a strong calling of deers," he added. “As I was heading towards the hill top, I saw two gypsy cars lined up who the leopard some moments ago.
“I waited there for about five minutes and heard calling of sambar deer and on the other side when suddenly the guide shouted 'Blacky! Blacky!' It was black leopard.”
Though the leopard ran into the bushes as it was scared of the vehicles' noise, it eventually came out after a couple of minutes' wait.
"When he started walking, I was able to see some of his spots and also because of his black color his whites paw stood out," Anurag said. "I was in search of him for the last two years. It was a dream come true moment. I was very excited but at the same time I knew it could be my first and last chance of capturing him.
"I calmed myself and held my camera and started capturing. He started crossing the road. The whole moment was over in one minute."