Incredible Photos Of Black Panther And Leopard Couple Go Viral
Looking like something straight out of a David Attenborough series, incredible wildlife snaps showing a big cat couple have gone viral after being posted on Instagram.
Followers of wildlife photographer Mithun H were delighted when he uploaded the images of what he describes as 'The Eternal Couple' - a leopard and black panther who have chosen each other as mates.
According to the photographer, the big cats have been an item for some time, having roamed the jungles of Kabini in Karnataka, India, together over the course of four years.
Although he'd pictured Saaya the panther and Cleopatra the leopard before, this is the first time they've been snapped as a couple. Quite frankly, it was worth the wait.
Posting on Monday (20 July), Mithun wrote on Instagram: "Saaya and Cleopatra have been courting since 4 years now and whenever they are together it's a sight to behold.
"The forest comes alive as they trot nonchalantly in his fabled kingdom. Usually in the courting pairs generally it is the Male who takes charge and moves around with the female following close behind. But with this couple it was definitely Cleo who was in charge while the Panther followed.
"This was shot on a surreal winter morning when a single Deer alarm led me to this breathtaking sight."
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They certainly make for a handsome couple - and the internet agrees. At the time of writing, the post has over 84,000 likes and nearly 2,000 comments, one of which says: "Absolutely beautiful photo!"
Another described the shot as a 'dream image', while a third added: "Never seen such a magnetic couple! How wonderful is nature!"
The images were taken at the Kabini Forest Reserve, one of the most popular wildlife destinations in Karnataka.
Elaborating on the experience further, Mithun, 31, told The Indian Express: "I had to wait for six days for this in the same spot since I could hear the Panther and Cleopatra mating about 100 metres away in the thick undergrowth but could not see them due to limited visibility.
"They had made a large kill and would not move until it was over. That is where the knowledge and years of experience of following and tracking the Panther came in handy.
"I just had to wait at one of his favourite paths since that was the place he would get her since that was the edge of his territory, and this he did after six days.
"It was a fruitful wait though. I could wait for six years for a moment like this."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram / mithunhphotography