No, I'm not talking about the Marvel movie. But, these black panthers are so elusive that they might as well be mythical.
A wildlife photographer captured the coveted picture in Kenya and revealed the creature that once only hid in legends. Its deep, dark, black fur and bright eyes paint a picture of photography gold, something that has been highly sought after in the photography community.
Everybody has heard of albino creatures, whose distinct appearance is created by the absence of melanin. Well, these panthers are the opposite. They're melanistic, basically having skin that produces an excess of melanin and resulting in their rich, vibrant color. There are only a handful of these elusive, secretive creatures in Africa. While they've been the talk of many legends and folklore, this is the first time in a century that there has been a confirmed sighting. The picture is beautiful, and the photographer did a wonderful job of taking a picture without disrupting or hurting the animal.
Now, I beg of you, all you hunters and trophy hunters and anybody on that spectrum, leave this animal alone.
Leave it alone. Don't touch it. Don't try to find it or its habitat, and let it remain a legend. If we find its habitat, disrupt its home and and lifestyle, the mysterious creature will actually become a legend, endangered or even extinct. If we let it remain in story books and word of mouth and relish the picture we have, we can know that they are out there somewhere, thriving and flourishing without disruption. We can know that such beauty lingers in nature's confines, untouched and unharmed.
Their habitats deserve to exist without contamination. If you think these creatures are beautiful, the most important thing you can do to preserve that beauty is to leave them alone. These animals don't want to be found. They want to remain the subject of folklore, told and imagined and unseen, for the only place they are safe is in our imaginations.
Protect these creatures of the night, and let them simply be. So many beautiful animals have succumbed to extinction. Don't let the black panther join their ranks.