In a rare sighting, a black panther was spotted in Garjanpahad reserve forest in Odisha’s Sundargarh district on 21 May. The panther was caught on a camera set up by forest reserve officials. This is the first time in almost 20 years that a black panther has been sighted in Odisha.
The black panther is an extremely rare animal to spot as they form a relatively small fraction of the already endangered leopard species.
Odisha's Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Wildlife Sandeep Tripathi said that even though there had been several reported instances of people having spotted the black panther in the state’s forest reserve over the years, this was the first time the animal had been caught on camera.
With this footage, Odisha now becomes the only state in the country that plays host to black panthers, melanistic tigers and white tigers.
With Odisha being added to the list, the black panther can now be spotted in 9 states across India. The animal has been previously spotted in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
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