Excitement was in the air at the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa as a Black Panther made a rare appearance in the small hours on Sunday. Their rare occurrence is attributed to the fact that they are few in number.

The Black Panther was sighted by the ‘Vivekananda Environment Awareness Brigade’ or VEAB volunteers in the small hours on Sunday at Keri-Sattari. The forest areas here are known for their wild animals and these volunteers who keep a track on the movement of big cats, saw the Black Panther along the Goa-Karnataka border in Chorla Ghat area.

A volunteer of the environment brigade Deepak Gawas said “As we were returning, at the turn near to the wilder nest Resort, in Charavane, we came across the Black Panther gradually crossing the road and it jumped in to the nearby jungle.”

The Mhadei wildlife sanctuary is known for its rich wild life diversity and was declared a sanctuary in 1999.

A Black panther could be born to either black haired or fair haired spotted leopard parents, and are normally born in the same litter with other spotted and fair haired cubs.

The Black Panther is aggressive in maintaining, preserving its territorial boundaries as well as mating, and would even give its life to do so. They feed on reptiles, birds and mammals.

Deepak also added that the Black Panthers were strong in build with powerful legs, well formed jaws and had athletic body: their hunting skills were excellent.

The range forest officer at Bondla, Paresh Porob said, “The black panthers are there in the jungles of Goa. Few years back one was reported in the areas of cotiage wild life sanctuary. It was trapped and brought back at Bondla as it was injured. After recovery it was set free in the jungle.”

With human encroachment on wildlife habitat, population of Black panthers are becoming fewer. Urgent measures need to be employed to protect and preserve them.

Conservation Status

Black Panthers are form of Leopards that are black in colour. Sometimes Jaguars too may be black and these too are called Black Panthers. In India Leopards are reported as nearly Threatened species. Because the black colour is a rarity, this makes the Black Panthers even more vulnerable to extinction than the Leopards.

-Atula Gupta

Article source Image courtesy Qilinmon via wikimedia commons

 

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About the author

Atula Gupta is the Founder and Editor of indiasendangered.com. She is also the Content Head of Junior Explorers that's helping connect kids with nature & wildlife through a fun learning experience. In the past, Atula has written for a number of international websites, dailies and magazines like Deccan Herald, New Indian Express, Down to Earth and Heritage India on issues related to environment and its conservation. She is also the author of Environment Science Essentials, a set of books for school children. She hopes this website provides a platform for people to be aware about species in the verge of extinction and heighten their conservation efforts.

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