A rare pink leopard has been sighted first time in India in Rajasthan (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@CyberAnonymous)
The wildlife fraternity in India is abuzz with the news about the sighting of a rare pink female leopard in Rajasthan’s Ranakpur region which falls in the Pali district.
In the past pink leopard was sighted in South Africa and this colour differentiation is traced to mutation.
Usually, the Indian leopard has spots on pale yellow to yellowish-brown or golden skin but this rare exception has skin which is reddish-brown and its spots are also distinct. South Africa has reported such strawberry-coated leopards before more than once.
In a report in Hindustan Times, talking about villagers in Ranakpur and Rajsamand district’s Kumbhalgarh areas catching glimpse of this special leopard, Fateh Singh, the Deputy Conservator of Forest said: “The colour seems to because of skin mutation.” It is not clear if in these two regions were visited by the same leopard or different ones.
Providing additional information, retired Indian Forest Officer Sunayan Sharma said this leopard was a mature female with a cub and its pink colour is an example of a rare mutation. “I haven’t come across a pink leopard.”
Scientist Dr YV Jhala of Wildlife Institute of India added: “The leopard seems to have a light coat colour and a natural variation but not an albino.” According to Anil Rodgers of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, this is the country’s first strawberry (leucistic) leopard.
Rodgers expressed that the wildlife department should step up monitoring of this animal as there is a threat of poachers and also photographers who may disturb its habitat.