Photos: Rare Black Tiger Spotted in Odisha

Soumen Bajpayee, an amateur photographer, spotted and captured a picture of a black tiger – a rare species of cat. Bajpayee spotted the melanistic tiger in eastern Odisha. As per data, this tiger could be one of the six of its kind that exist in the world. The species is found only in the jungles of Odisha.

Bajpayee, a 27-year-old student of Masters in Technology from Kolkata, was on a visit to the sanctuary when he saw the tiger and managed to snap a few incredible photos of the animal.

“I was surprised and felt fortunate to have seen the tiger. I was watching various birds and monkeys in the trees when I suddenly saw something which looked like a tiger but not like a usual tiger. Back then I didn’t have any idea about Melanistic Tigers. Then suddenly it appeared from the woods, stayed for few seconds and walked back behind the trees,” said Bajpayee.

“Initially I didn’t even recognise what happened as I saw a completely different tiger. I had seen many tigers before both in the wild and in captivity but this was completely a different one. Nandankan is the first sanctuary to show melanistic tiger, but there is no guarantee you can see it because in Nadankanan they roam in natural environment and the number is just one or two. I was extremely grateful to see it myself even though it was for few seconds,” he added.

The black tigers have been captured in the past using camera traps. These traps helped officials establish that only six or seven melanistic tigers exist in the Simlipal Reserve and Nandankanan Sanctuary in Odisha. Earlier this year, a rare black leopard and a black panther were spotted in Odisha.