Along with Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lions and Leopards, There is one more member of Big Cats Family who is very famous among wildlife lovers and photographers in India, “Black Panther”. There are many sanctuaries, reserves, and national parks where you can spot a Black Panther in India.
Black Panther is also known as Melanistic Leopard or “The Ghost of the Forest”, They generally prefer dense forest to stay and have
Spotting Black Panther in the wild is one of the top things to do for wildlife lovers and photographers.
Black Panther is one of the rarest to sight Big Cat in India and in the whole world.
Even though it is difficult to sight a Black Panther, You may spot Black Panther in India in a few wildlife sanctuaries.
Some interesting quick facts about Black Panther
- Scientific Name: Panthera Pardus
- Family: Felidae family
- Weigh between: 50 – 90 kg
- Length: 7 – 8 feet
- Speed: 58-60 km/hr
Wildlife Sanctuaries in India to Spot a Black Panther
Though India does not have a very healthy population of Black Panther, but you may be able to spot a black panther in one of the below mention wildlife sanctuary if you are lucky enough.
- Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary
- Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
- Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
- Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
- Manas National Park
- Nagarhole National Park
There are few more sanctuaries in India where Black Panthers can be seen, They are Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, and Nagarhole National Park.
1. Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary – Karnataka
Kabini wildlife sanctuary is one of the most famous and best places to spot a Black Panther in Karnataka and in India. Kabini’s dense bush makes it the favorite place for Black Panther to reside.
The best time to visit Kabini to spot a Black Panther is during March & April when the jungle is neither too dense nor completely dry.
2. Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
Along with birds, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is also famous for the rarest Black Panther in Karnataka. Also, Dandeli is the only Tiger Reserve where Black Panther has been seen frequently, which makes it one of the favorite places for Black Panther lovers.
You can visit Dandeli wildlife sanctuary year-round, but to spot Melanistic Leopard you can plan your visit between January and April.
3. Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is yet another home for this Black Big Cat in Karnataka. Along with Black Panther, Bhadra WLS is also home to Royal Bengal Tiger, Elephants, Gaur, Sambar, Chital, and Wild boar.
The best time to visit Bhadra to spot this Ghost of the Jungle is during summers when most of the animals come close to the water bodies for water.
4. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
Tadoba is one of the most visited and favorite Tiger Reserve among the Big Cats lovers. That’s because of the presence of a lot of Big Cats and other rare animals. One more reason that makes this reserve more important and lovable is the presence of Black Panther or Melanistic Leopard.
Best time to visit: Tadoba can be visit during October to June, but the best time to visit Tadoba Tiger Reserve is from December to March.
5. Manas National Park
Located in the foothill of the Great Himalaya, Manas National Park is another beautiful national park of India to spot a Black Panther. Manas National Park is also a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site of India, a Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve which makes Manas a haven for Wildlife Lovers and nature lovers.
Best time to visit: The favorable time to visit Maanas National Park is between November to June.
6. Nagarhole National Park
Nagarhole is yet another National Park, and a Tiger Reserve of Karnataka and also home to rare Black Panthers. It is one of the favorite destinations of wildlife lovers for spotting a Black Panther in India. Nagarhole is also a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere and a prime national park in Karnataka.
Best time to visit: Nagarhole National Park can be visited during December to May for the best sighting.
General FAQs Black Panther
Yes, Black Panther and Leopard are the same species. Black Panther is just the melanistic leopard.
Melanism is a development of Dark Color pigmentation on the screen and because of which Leopard turns completely black and those melanistic leopards are known as Black Panthers.
There is no official figure for the number of Black Panthers in India, But a good population of Black Panther can be spotted in South India.
In India, Black Panther or Black Leopard can be spotted in only a few wildlife destinations. Kabini, Nagarhole, Bhadra Tiger Reserve and Tadoba are some of the top places to spot a Black Panther.