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Rare Black Panther Spotted In MP’s Pench Tiger Reserve After 2 Years

Last time, a black panther was spotted in the Pench Tiger Reserve was in July 2020.

black panther
File: A black panther presence recorded by the wildlife wing of Odisha’s Forest and Environment Department at the forest, in Nayagarh on December 10, 2021. (ANI Photo)

Seoni: A rare black panther has been spotted in Madhya Pradesh’s Pench Tiger Reserve after two years, attracting wildlife enthusiasts from across the country, a forest official said on Thursday.

The species became famous through author Rudyard Kipling’s famous classic ‘The Jungle Book’, which had a fictional black panther character named ‘Bagheera’.

“The black panther has been spotted after a gap of two years. Since the last few days, tourists have spotted the nine-month-old black panther cub with its mother on trees, mountains and other areas of the Pench Tiger Reserve’s Telia beat,” Khavasa forest ranger Rahul Upadhyaya told PTI.

Last time, a black panther was spotted in the Pench Tiger Reserve was in July 2020. That feline must have turned two now. It was separated from its mother and was seen in the Khavasa forest area close to neighbouring Maharashtra, he said.

The black panther cub spotted now and the feline seen two years ago were born to the same mother, he said.

In the first litter, she had given birth to two cubs, of whom one was of normal colour and the other one was black, the official said.

The second time, she gave birth to three cubs, including one black that has now become the centre of attraction, he said.

Tourists from West Bengal, Nashik, Mumbai and many other parts of Maharashtra are flocking the Pench Tiger Reserve to catch a glimpse of the rare feline.

A panther is born black due to a genetic mutation, a wildlife expert said.

In ‘The Jungle Book’, the black panther ‘Bagheera’ was shown as a friend and protector of a boy named ‘Mowgli’.