A wildlife photographer has captured remarkable images of a female leopard shadowed by her black panther partner in India.

The rare shot showed Saaya, the 120 lbs male panther, standing in the shadow of his 89 lbs female leopard mate, Cleopatra.

Saaya is eight years old, while spotty Cleopatra is 12 years old. The panther-leopard parents have been a couple for four years and have an eight-month-old cub together.

‘This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; I can close my eyes and relive the moment meeting them over and over again,’ said the photographer Mithun Hunugund, 32, from India. ‘I waited six days for these photos,’

‘I positioned myself near a water source that was in their h.unting ground. I was about two-hundred-feet away,’ he added. ‘They light up the forest. To be able to see that was absolutely mind-blowing.’

Black panthers are melanistic. Their colour variant is caused by a recessive allele which means that due to this, a child does not share the father’s coloration.

Around 11 percent of leopards have unique pigmentation, making them a rare sight.

Wildlife photographer Mithun Hunugund captured this stunning moment in which a female leopard is being shadowed by her black panther partner in Kabini, Karnataka, India

Wildlife photographer Mithun Hunugund captured this stunning moment in which a female leopard is being shadowed by her black panther partner in Kabini, Karnataka, India

Saaya, the 120-pound male panther (right) was seen standing in the shadow of his 89-pound female partner, Cleopatra, who happens to be a leopard (left)

Saaya, the 120-pound male panther (right) was seen standing in the shadow of his 89-pound female partner, Cleopatra, who happens to be a leopard (left)

The big-cat couple have been together for four years, and share an eight-month-old cub. Photographer Mithun Hunugund, 32, from India, spent six days photographing the couple to capture the perfect moment

The big-cat couple has been together for four years, and shares an eight-month-old cub. Photographer Mithun Hunugund, 32, from India, spent six days photographing the couple to capture the perfect moment

Indian leopards are listed as a vulnerable species following habitat loss and poaching. Between 12,000 and 14,000 are believed to live in India. Pictured: 12-year-old Cleopatra watches from her vantage point in a tree

Black panthers are melanistic, which causes the colour of their coat and skin. The phenomenon can occur in a number of species, including 'Panthera' genus, which includes leopards and jaguars. Pictured: Saaya takes a drink of water from a stream

Indian leopards are listed as a vulnerable species following habitat loss and poaching. Between 12,000 and 14,000 are believed to live in India. Pictured: 12 year old Cleopatra watches from her vantage point in a tree

Black panthers are melanistic, which causes the colour of their coat and skin. The phenomenon can occur in a number of species, including the ‘Panthera’ genus, which includes leopards and the larger member of the Panthera family – jaguars. Pictured left: Saaya takes a drink of water from a stream. Indian leopards are listed as a vulnerable species following habitat loss and poaching. Between 12,000 and 14,000 are believed to live in India. Pictured right: 12-year-old Cleopatra watches from her vantage point in a tree.

Source: dailymail

By Diamond