A couple managed to capture pictures of a rare strawberry leopard and photos of the leopard have taken social media by storm.
“Today we’re sharing possibly our most exciting update yet... a golden leopard otherwise known as a strawberry or erythristic leopard. This is one of the rarest colour variations in the world…” says a Facebook post, complete with pictures of the animal.
The post, since being shared on July 31, has collected over 3,500 reactions and more than 2,700 shares - and counting.
The pictures were captured at the Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve in South Africa by Alan Watson and his wife Lynsey, owners of Black Leopard Mountain Lodge, reports Daily Mail.
The couple had seen the elusive leopard around the reserve but never managed to get a picture of it.
This time, when they did manage photos, they shared them on Facebook.
“As far as I know, this is the rarest colour of leopard in the world,” Watson told Daily Mail. “So much of the time you hear about species being extinct, and here we are with something new. It’s incredible.”
Pictures shared show the leopard while it was feasting on a dead giraffe. “We were shocked when we went through the camera trap footage to find this unique feline feasting on the carcass during the day,” says the Facebook post.
The photos have gone viral all over the Internet and people have shared their reaction to this rare leopard on Facebook.
“I never saw a leopard like this before,” says a Facebook user. “Such amazing footage of a rare creature. Well done and thanks for sharing,” says another. “A fantastic sighting. Keep this special animal safe,” says a third.
Several others commented and asked if the animal could be an easy target for poachers now.
Watson added in the comments section: “We have been running a leopard research program for 10 years and protect them with our lives. Leopards are also protected by law in Mpumalanga.”
What do you think of this rare leopard?