A rare black leopard was caught on camera as it crossed the road while hunting deer at a national park.
Anurag Gawande was amazed to see the predator as it emerged from the bushes at Tadoba National Park, India.
The 24-year-old described the encounter as ‘unique’ and ‘like finding a needle in haystack’.
The animal’s dark coat is caused by melanism – when extra black pigment develops in the skin or hair because of a recessive genetic mutation.
There are only 2,000 black leopards in the wild with most found in Southeast Asia where tropical forests offer an abundance of shade.
It is thought that melanism provides additional camouflage in these habitats which gives the predators an advantage when it comes to hunting.