A rare wild African black leopard has been spotted in South Africa.

Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation has released footage of the big cat sighting on their Facebook page. A black leopard’s coat is black due to a genetic mutation called melanism. Essentially this is the opposite of albanism and turns the leopard’s fur black.

 

 

The Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation released footage of the leopard on 1 March, after announcing that the animal had been sighted on 24 February. According to Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation, the big cat is near a residential area in the Gauging province but the exact location is undisclosed so as to protect the animal.

Between 1952 and 2013, only 30 sightings of black leopards have been recorded. The protection of these extremely rare animals is of the utmost importance.