Black Panther makes an appearance in Munnar

News Excerpt

Recently, a melanistic leopard, commonly known as a black panther, was found at Sevenmalai, near Lakshmi Hill, in Munnar. 

About Black Panther

  •  A black leopard is usually called black panther or jaguar, and presumably believed to be a different species altogether. 
    • However, a black leopard is dark in colour due to ‘melanism’, which is quite commonly found in leopards – it’s a condition, wherein the whole skin of the animal, including its spots, is black in colour.
  •  A black panther has darkish brown (or black) fur with black rosettes and is sometimes visible under favourable light conditions. 
    • These panthers or melanistic leopards are therefore not a separate species, however a form of melanism.
  •  The Indian landscape is dominated by the Indian Leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) and the black version is also of the same species. Besides India, Panthera pardus fusca is also found in Nepal, Bhutan and parts of Pakistan.
  • Black leopards are found more in regions with the highest rainfall and dense foliage. 
    • Most of the records about the existence of black leopards in India have been from North East India and Western Ghats.


  • Munnar is one of the places in Kerala that offers diverse flora and fauna.
  •  The hills and forests of Munnar are home to a wide range of species.
  •  Munnar’s forests are categorized into three types – tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen, and shola forests.
    • Each forest type has a distinctive mix of flora, adding to the biodiversity of the region.
  •  The shola forests in Munnar are a unique ecosystem home to several rare and endangered species.


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