An Odisha-based dilettante photographer caught a glimpse of an extremely rare black tiger in Simlipal Tiger Reserve. Soumen Bajpayee, the amateur photographer, spotted the rare site while he was busy watching birds and monkeys.
His first instant was to think about what animal species this is? Is it rare? Have I seen something extraordinary? He captured the photograph of the melanistic tiger, found only in India, while he was still in shock that he saw something entirely different.
The melanistic tigers derive their awkward name because of the gene defects. The black stripes hide the orange fur between the spaces.
They are Bengal tigers but a little smaller in size compared to them. The gene defect is a result of inbreeding.
They do not have the presence of the orange color due to pseudo-melanism. This factor reduces the melanin level in hairs causing a loss of colour or pigment.
How did he see something so magnificent?
Soumen was roaming around the Tiger Reserve when all of a sudden the black tiger came from the woods. It stayed there for a few seconds but the it left and walked behind the trees. Soumen has seen varieties of tigers, in captivity or in reserves, but this one had an extraordinary quality in its looks.
What is so special about this species?
Black tigers are one of the rarest creatures on planet Earth. The first ones were seen in Odisha in 1990. The species is currently near the state of extinction after 2018 tiger census report. According to the experts, only seven to eight melanistic tigers are alive.