Saturday, 04 December 2021

Pink female leopard has been spotted in the Ranakpur region of Rajasthan

Pink female leopard has been spotted in the Ranakpur region of Rajasthan

A pink female leopard has been sighted in the Ranakpur region in the Pali district of Rajasthan. Earlier sighting of the pink leopard was reported from South Africa. Experts believe that the different color is perhaps due to mutation.

The Indian leopard usually has its coat spotted on a pale yellow to the yellowish-brown or golden background. But this pink leopard has reddish-brown skin and distinctly different spots. Such strawberry-coated leopards have been seen in South Africa more than once.

Deputy conservator of forest, Fateh Singh, said locals occasionally sighted the pink-colored leopard in the Ranakpur region and the Kumbhalgarh area of Rajsamand district. “The colour seems to because of skin mutation,” he said. However, it was not clear if the same leopard had been sighted at both places.

Retired Indian Forest Officer (IFS) Sunayan Sharma said this strawberry-coated leopard was a mature female with a cub and was an example of a rare mutation with pink color. Usually, transformation occurs in black and white colors. “I haven’t come across a pink leopard,” he said.

Wildlife Institute of India scientist Dr. YV Jhala said, “The leopard seems to have a light coat colour and a natural variation but not an albino.” Albinism is a congenital absence of any complexion or coloration in an animal, plant, or person.

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Udaipur-based wildlife conservationist and member Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, Anil Rodgers, said India’s first strawberry (leucistic) leopard.

He said a black panther, a melanistic (an increase of dark pigment in the plumage) variant of leopard, can be sighted, but pink is rare. Kumbhalgarh is a proposed tiger reserve, and this leopard can add to tourism attractions.

Expressing concern over her safety, Rodgers said she was vulnerable to poachers and unethical wildlife photographers who would disturb the habitat. He added that the leopard was presently moving in an unprotected area, and the forest department needed to increase its monitoring.