Earlier this month, rare images of a black panther roaming around in Karnataka's Kabini Forest Reserve, went viral on social media.
Shot by wildlife photographer Shaaz Jung, images of the majestic animal, Saya, reminded people of Bagheera from The Jungle Book.
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Years have passed and this is still one of my most memorable photographs. It was this picture in 2017 that helped convince National Geographic to make a film on him. Thank you for sitting there on that tree my friend. It’s been wild ever since! . . @natgeowild @symbio_studios . . @russ_wildlife this image will always remind me you. . . #shaazjung #nikon #natgeo #natgeowild #blackpanther #wildlife #nature
Now, another wildlife photographer, Mithun H, has released two pictures of Saya with a leopard, Cleopatra.
The couple according to Mithun H have been together for 4 years now. In his Instagram post, he wrote:
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.
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The Eternal Couple . 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. . #kabini #love #leopard #nikon #wild #Natgeo #mithunhphotography #instagood #instadaily #jungle #bigcat #forest #wildlifephotography #nature #wildlife #blackpanther #melanistic #therealblackpanther #thebisonresort
Mithun was apparently shooting in the forest during winters when he witnessed this rare and eternal sight.
Talking to PetaPixel, Mithun said that it took him 6 days to capture the moment. He specializes in tracking big cats, and has previously worked on the show The Real Black Panther for Nat Geo Wild.
Rare and beautiful, the sight of the couple is making netizens go, 'Wow'.
A majestic, beautiful & breathtaking union of a mixed race marriage.— Parth Satam (@ParthSatam) July 22, 2020
Black Panther Saya with his partner Leopard Cleopatra at Kabini forest, by photographer Mithun H. pic.twitter.com/fFFgHbjcMc
The Eternal Couple'— Xpose Trophy Hunting (@XposeTrophyHunt) July 23, 2020
Black Panther Saya With His Partner Leopard Cleopatra in India's Kabini Forest. Just beautiful! 😍
📸Mithun H pic.twitter.com/y4xq5qWvv9
You can see more of Mithun H's photography here.