‘Spent 12 Hours Daily For 3 Years Tracking It’, Says The Photographer Behind Viral Panther Pictures

Shaaz Jung

The photographs of the rare black panther in the Kabini forest of Karnataka has gone viral on the internet. The man who captured it says that he has spent 12 hours a day for three years tracking the panther.

Shaaz Jung, the man behind the breathtaking images of the black panther opened up in a recent interview and revealed that he spent five years tracking the panther. The 31-year-old photographer said,


“When people see these pictures, they think there are several leopards, but actually there’s just one black panther where we are – one melanistic leopard in the dense forest of Nagarhole. So, it was like finding a needle in a haystack.”

Shaaz Jung (1)

Jung owns a wild safari lodge in the Nagarhole National Park and says that the park is one of the few places in the world that have tigers, leopards, the black panther, elephants, bears, and more. According to him, Nagarhole is the real jungle book. For almost three years now, Jung has been going into the jungle at 6 am and spending time till 6.30 in the evening for all the days in the week. When he saw the black panther, he knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity as black panthers were so far only studied in the forests of Malaysia. He said,

“The result is the first portfolio of a melanistic leopard where we have got him hunting, courting, fighting everything. My aim was to go deeper and understand how he is surviving in a forest where he doesn’t belong.”

Usually, black panthers are found in evergreen forests which has a thick canopy of trees that doesn’t let the sun into the undergrowth but Saya, the black panther, is found in the deciduous forest of Kabini.

A Connection With Saif Ali Khan

Jung is also the ambassador of Nikon India and has recently worked as the director of photography for a National Geographic film on the rare black panther. The image was shared by the twitter handle called Earth and was later picked up by several publications around the world. Jung is the son of former Indian cricketer Saad Bin Jung and he also got a call from his uncle and actor Saif Ali Khan about the photograph.


Source: Business Insider