In the dense forests of Kabini, the overpowering canopy often conceals the sky. So when the panther emerged and walked towards the fleeting colours of the setting sun, I knew I was witnessing something special. Yes, he did pause to give us a look, but there was something extraordinarily peaceful about watching the most enigmatic cat, walking into one of the greatest skies I had ever witnessed.
~ Shaaz Jung, nature photographer.
The black panther is a creature of stunning monochrome beauty. It is the melanistic variant of the leopard in Asia and Africa, and the jaguar in the Americas, a variant that is genetic in origin. For four years, wildlife photographer Shaaz Jung has followed and photographed this elusive cat in the jungles of India. His recent exhibition ‘Dawn of the Panther’, showcased the life of an individual black panther through the changing seasons. It starts in an unusual setting where the panther is seen thriving in a dry and deciduous forest before the habitat slowly changes due to the seasonal rains, giving it a lush finale.