There are just six known melanistic tigers – known as black tigers – left in the world. Their thick black stripes hide their orange fur and are only found in the jungles of India
A extremely rare black tiger has been caught on camera by a lucky amateur photographer who spotted one of the six known to still exist in the world.
Soumen Bajpayee took the pictures of the melanistic tiger, also known as black tigers because of their thick black stripes that hide their orange fur in eastern Odisha, India.
The species, which is on the verge of extinction, is only found in the jungles of the Indian state and there are only six known to exist in the world. The tigers, which are smaller than their regular counterparts, have hardly been seen in the recent years. The 27-year-old student of Masters in Technology from Kolkata was on a visit to the sanctuary when he spotted the tiger while watching birds and monkeys.
He said: “I was surprised and felt fortunate to have seen the tiger. “I was watching various birds and monkeys in the trees when I suddenly saw something which looked like a tiger but not like a usual tiger.
“Back then I didn’t have any idea about melanistic tigers. “Then suddenly it appeared from the woods, stayed for few seconds and walked back behind the tress.”
Soumen, who had just started taking photographs was so startled with the unique species that he said he didn’t realise the significance of what he saw “Initially I didn’t even recognise what happened as I saw a completely different tiger. “I had seen many tigers before both in the wild and in captivity but this was completely a different one.
“Nandankan is the first sanctuary to show melanistic tiger, but there is no guarantee you can see it because in Nadankanan they roam in natural environment and the number is just one or two. “I was extremely grateful to see it myself even though it was for few seconds.” Nandan said that the tigers have been captured through camera traps so far but he was lucky to spot them just wandering.
Black tiger, Tiger
World news – GB – Rare black tiger on verge of extinction caught on camera by lucky photographer