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Rare black leopard captured in Kenya camera trap photos | World News

A rare African black leopard has been pictured in the first confirmed sighting for almost 100 years.

The elusive cats, also known as black panthers, were last seen in a confirmed observation in 1909 in Ethiopia.

Kenya’s Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy says it took a photo of a black leopard in May 2007 but did not publicise it at the time.

British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas captured the latest black leopard in Kenya after a friend told him there had been sightings.

The leopard's spots show up on infra-red cameras at night. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

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The leopard’s spots show up on infra-red cameras at night. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas
Black leopards carry a gene mutation for 'menalism'. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

Image:
Black leopards carry a gene mutation for melanism. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

He contacted the landowners and set up motion-sensitive cameras to capture the largely nocturnal cat in Laikipia County, central Kenya, in January.

Black leopards are the same as their spotty relatives but carry a gene mutation for melanism that makes their coats black.

However, infrared cameras used during the night revealed their spots.

Mr Burrard-Lucas set up “studio-like lighting” and left his cameras for days in an area where the leopard had been spotted before he was successful.

The black leopard is very elusive. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

Image:
The black leopard is very elusive. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

“For me, no animal is shrouded in more mystery, no animal more elusive, and no animal more beautiful,” Mr Burrard-Lucas wrote on his blog.

“Nobody I knew had ever seen one in the wild and I never thought that I would either.

“As I scrolled through the images on the back of the camera, I paused and peered at the photograph below in incomprehension… a pair of eyes surrounded by inky darkness… a black leopard!

The leopards are even more difficult to capture than their spotty relatives. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

Image:
The leopards are even more difficult to capture than their spotty relatives. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

“I couldn’t believe it and it took a few days before it sank in that I had achieved my dream.”

As the photographer was capturing stills of the animals, researchers from San Diego Zoo Global studying leopards in the area set up remote video cameras nearby.

Researchers believe the black leopard is the daughter of a normal female leopard she was seen following.

Leopards are largely nocturnal. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

Image:
Leopards are largely nocturnal. Pic: Will Burrard-Lucas

Publishing their findings in the African Journal of Ecology, Nicholas Pilfold, from the San Diego team, said: “Collectively, these are the first confirmed images in nearly 100 years of black leopard in Africa, and the first in Kenya.”

Melanism was thought to be a way that leopards adapted to moving out of the dense forests where their spots camouflage them from predators or prey.

However, the sighting in the open, semi-arid habitat of Laikipia raises questions about that theory.

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Crime

Hong Kong: Nigerian Woman Nabbed ‘With Cocaine In Condoms Hidden In Her Vagina’


Customs officials in Hong Kong have apprehended a Nigerian woman who arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport on Thursday with more than half a kilogramme of cocaine hidden in her body, South China Morning Post is reporting.

According to the Hong Kong-headquartered Asian paper, the 37-year-old, who claimed to be a businesswoman, arrived in the city on a flight from Lagos via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

She was said to be acting suspiciously, shortly after her arrival on Thursday, hence she was taken to hospital for a check-up that confirmed she had foreign objects in her body.

“She was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for a check-up and confirmed to have foreign objects in her body,” the paper said.

“Officers first recovered 215 grams of cocaine contained in condoms and plastic bags found in her vagina. She later discharged 24 capsules of cocaine, each weighing 14 grams, from her body.

“The haul, weighing 550 grams in total, was estimated to be worth HK$522,000 (US$66,900). The authorities said the woman, who was detained for inquiries, may discharge more drugs.”

Under Hong Kong’s Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, the maximum penalty for drug trafficking is life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine.

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Hausa

Masu zanga-zanga na jiran sanarwar mika mulki ga farar hula a Sudan

Protesters have continued to stage a sit-in in central Khartoum

Hakkin mallakar hoto
AFP

Image caption

Masu zanga-zanga a kasar Sudan na kokarin sanar da majalisar da farar hula za ta jagoranta da suke so ta jagoranci kasar wace za ta kasance a matsayin gwamamnatin rikon kwarya bayan hambarar da Omar al-Bashir.

Dubban masu zanga-zangar na ci gaba da haduwa a wajen shelkwatar rundunar sojojin kasar da ke birnin Khartoum.

Shugabannin da ke jagorantar zanga-zangar na ci gaba da tattaunawa da sojojin kasar tun bayan juyin mulkin da aka yi a kasar.

A ranar Lahadi ne dai sojojin suka bayyana aniyarsu ta ba farar hula mulki, amma suna kokarin kafa majalisar da farar hular za ta jagoranta da taimakon sojojin.

Me shugabannin masu zanga-zangar ke shiryawa?

Kungiyar Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), ita ce kungiyar da ta jagoranci zanga-zangar da ta yi sanadiyar juyin mulkin hambarar da Omar al-Bashir kuma har a yanzu, ita ce gaba-gaba wajen gudanar da zanga-zanga da kuma tattaunawa da sojojin wajen ganin cewa mulki ya dawo ga farar hula.

Tun a baya dai, daya daga cikin jagoran kungiyar ta SPA ya bayyana cewa wannan zai iya kawo tsaiko wajen bayyana majalisar riko ta farar hula amma ya tabbatar da cewa sanarwar za a yi ta ne a ranar Lahadi a filin da ake gudanar da zanga-zangar.

Masu zanga-zangar na san majalisar rikon ta zamana ita ce za ta ci gaba da gudanar da harkokin gwamanti har zuwa lokacin da za a gudanar da zabe a kasar.

Me sojojin za su yi?

A ranar Lahadi, sojojin sun amsa da cewa za su amsa kiran da masu zanga-zangar suke yi na mulkin farar hula cikin mako daya inda suka bayyana ra’ayinsu na majalisar ta zamana ta hadaka tsakanin farar hula da sojojin.

Tun tuni dai sojojin ke nuna tirjiya wajen mika mulki ga farar hula inda suka ki bayar da kai domin bori ya hau.

Amma kuma sojojin sun saki wasu daga cikin ‘yan siyasar da ke gidan kaso inda kuma a wani bangaren kuma sojojin suka kama wasu daga cikin mukarraban Omar al-Bashir.

Duk da cewa sojojin sun yi alkawarin ba za su kori masu zanga-zangar daga filin da suke gudanar da ita ba, amma sun yi kira garesu da su bari a ci gaba da rayuwa cikin walwala.

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Gorillas appear to pose for selfie with park ranger in the Democratic Republic of Congo | World News

A photo has emerged of what a park ranger claims to be a selfie with two gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ranger Mathieu Shamavu says the picture was taken at Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A spokesperson for the park told Sky News the pair both lived in a specially designed unit which cares for gorilla orphans who have been victimised by poachers or animal traffickers.

Mr Shamavu described his captivating composition as just “another day in the office”.

He is part of the park’s Elite Anti-Poaching Units And Combat Trackers group, which is tasked with protecting the animals.

A team of more than 600 rangers undergoes “intensive training, risking their lives on a daily basis to safeguard the park’s exceptional wildlife”, according to the Virunga National Park website.

Around one third of the world’s population of critically endangered mountain gorillas live in the park’s lush volcanic forests.

More from Democratic Republic Of Congo

The rangers have previously posted several photos of them exceptionally close to gorillas.

A Virunga National Park spokesperson said the pair were “friendly” because they were used to human contact in the Senkwekwe Centre for Gorilla Orphans.

Yvonne Ndege, a spokesperson for UNHCR Kenya, re-posted the image on Twitter, writing: “Selfie of the Year no question!”

Thousands of people responded to the image on Facebook, with one user saying: “Wow, that is an awesome office you’ve got there. Stay safe and thank you for the amazing work you do.”

Another user simply said: “Now that’s a selfie!”

With the photograph being shared thousands of times across social media, supporters have urged people to “make a difference” and donate to Virunga’s conservation efforts.

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