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Photos of elusive black panther near highway in M’sia go viral

Wakanda forever.

Ashley Tan |Fasiha Nazren | July 10, 03:45 pm

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Big cats no longer exist in Singapore, except in the zoo.

But it seems that in neighbouring Malaysia, rare individuals are still spotted occasionally.

This was the case for one MNoor Arifin, who took to Facebook on July 9, 2019 to share his rare sighting of a black panther.

His post has since gone viral, garnering over 650 shares and 1,700 likes.

Elusive kitty spotted

In his post, Arifin said that he had spotted the panther crossing a highway in Malaysia. He managed to snap a few photos which depict the animal in the distance beyond the road barrier, heading towards a dense forest.

Somewhat optimistically, he called the incident a ‘day that would go down in history’.

He added that he hoped the creature “will manage to find [its] real habitat soon”, and asked if netizens had similar experiences as well.

Arifin did not disclose the exact location of his sighting in order to protect the panther.

Here are the photos.

Photo from MNoor Arifin / FB
Photo from MNoor Arifin / FB
Photo from MNoor Arifin / FB

Vulnerable species

Contrary to popular belief, black panthers are not a separate species of their own.

The term ‘black panther’ refers to any melanistic (dark-coloured) individual of the genus Panthera, of which jaguars and leopards fall under.

Hence in the Americas, black panthers are actually just black jaguars, while in Asia, black panthers refer to black leopards.

Black panthers, or leopards, are native to Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia, and are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Interestingly, the Malay peninsula, which includes Malaysia, Southern Thailand and part of Myanmar, is reportedly home to the largest population of black panthers in the world, according to National Geographic.

These black panthers however, increasingly face threats in the form of poaching and habitat loss as rainforests are converted to palm oil and rubber plantations.

You can see Arifin’s original Facebook post here:

And the english translation:

“Lucky or unlucky…. for me it’s really ‘Today, in history’ rare and endangered species Black Panther…. suddenly cross highway (I cannot disclose the location because I understand the views of animal lovers) Thank god, managed to snap 3 long distance pictures..

Hopefully this Black Panther will manage to find his real habitat soon…. Has anyone came across a black panther too? Maybe there are others with similar experience, but didn’t have time to snap any photos.”

Top photo from MNoor Arifin / FB

About Ashley Tan

Ashley can't go a week without McDonalds.

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