An Indian engineering student took spectacular pictures of an incredibly rare black leopard on his first safari.
Abhishek Pangis, from Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, was in Tadoba Reserve on a two-day safari trip with his parents.
The first day was an amazing experience in itself, but it was on the second day that Abhishek came face-to – face with the magnificent black leopard, which he remained close to for 40 minutes.
The experienced amateur photographer was too struck by the beauty of the creature to take any pictures at first though.
Luckily for us though, he eventually snapped out of it and began shooting, with his photos showing the distinctive dark spotted coat of the big cat.
Recounting the moment he stumbled upon the rare big cat, Abhishek, 23, said:
“I went blank when I spotted it. 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 or three minutes but I was very lucky as I could see it for 40 minutes. I witnessed it drinking water from a pond, marking its territory and stalking langurs and monkeys. It was a brilliant experience.
“We saw him in peak summer of June last month when it was 40-45 degrees of extreme heat, as there is 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.”