Rarely Seen Black Panther Prints For Sale

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Rarely seen images of the elusive African black panther are on sale, with proceeds to support conservation in the country.

British wildlife photographer Will Burrard Lucas captured the unique footage in 2019, with some of the shots taking over six months to complete.

© Will Burrard-Lucas. African black leopard. Photographed at Laikipia Wilderness Camp, Kenya, 2019.

“Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by black panther stories,” Burrard-Lucas said. “To me, no animal is shrouded in more mystery, no animal is more elusive, and no animal is more beautiful.”

A black panther is essentially a melanistic fat cat, with melanism being a condition in which an animal has excess dark pigment. The main cats that tend to exhibit this trait are leopards in Africa and Asia, and jaguars in South America. This means that a black panther in Africa is actually a black leopard.

Burrard-Lucas’ dream was to capture one at night.

“A photo of a black leopard under the stars would be both the rarest and most difficult wildlife photo I have attempted to date,” he said.

In Kenya in 2019, his photo dream came true, with his own pioneering nighttime camera trap technology key to capturing the animal’s unprecedented series of photographs. Talking about how he captured the footage for The Guardian earlier this year, he initially said he almost skipped the first shot taken by the camera trap.

“I almost walked past this photo because on the small screen almost everything in the center of the frame was black. But those two glowing eyes in the middle made me pause. It took a while for the meaning permeates.

It was an incredible moment: such a rare creature photographed in the dark of night. I took out the memory card and, keeping it as safe as a priceless diamond, rushed to put it on the computer. It was only on the big screen that I was able to check the focus and see if it really worked. I had no idea how the world would react, but I knew it was something special.”

In 2021, Burrard-Lucas published a book documenting his pursuit of images, The Black Leopard: My Quest to Photograph One of Africa’s Most Elusive Big Cats, and now he is offering a very limited edition series of his images to collectors.

© Will Burrard-Lucas.  African black leopard.  Photographed at Laikipia Wilderness Camp, Kenya, 2019.
© Will Burrard-Lucas. African black leopard. Photographed at Laikipia Wilderness Camp, Kenya, 2019.

Each image in the collection is available as a carbon transfer print, a traditional artisanal photographic process that predates gelatin silver printing, and is loved by art collectors for its beauty, texture, blacks depths and its longevity, carbon being stable over time.

Each sale will directly support efforts to protect and conserve Africa’s most valuable wildlife, with 20% of proceeds from each sale being used to fund donations of high-quality equipment for rangers and conservation organizations in Africa through the new Escarpment initiative.

EscarpmentDonating equipment directly from the source means that funds will extend to approximately double the amount of equipment donated compared to that purchased at retail by conservation groups.

© Will Burrard-Lucas.  African black leopard.  Photographed at Laikipia Wilderness Camp, Kenya, 2019.
© Will Burrard-Lucas. African black leopard. Photographed at Laikipia Wilderness Camp, Kenya, 2019.

The prints are available in very limited edition and only on private request, signed and numbered, directly from the artist via www.willbl.com between £2,000 and £15,000.

Follow this link to learn more about Escarpment.

Cover image: Will Burrard-Lucas

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