Black Panther or Melanistic Leopard is a color variant of Indian leopards reported from densely forested areas of south India, mostly from the state of Karnataka.Melanistic leopards also known as the ghost of forest are more commonly found in dense tropical rain forest of Karnataka,Kerala and Assam, most famous wildlife sanctuaries to spot Black Panther in India are Anshi-Dandeli Tiger Reserve and Kabini wildlife sanctuary.
There are very few more incident in the other states of India where Black Panther has been spotted for the first time such as Black panther spotted in Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, Black panther spotted for first time in Punjab,Black panther sighted for first time in Kaziranga and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary and Black panther captured live in Assam.
Road Kill, A black panther killed on the Satara-Karad highway in Maharashtra near Khindwadi Village of Satara district. Image source:conservationindia
Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary along with neighboring Anshi National Park is declared as Anshi Dandeli Tiger Reserve, located in Uttara Kannada District of Karnataka. The reserve is famous for the sightings of the elusive Black Panther in the state and also known to house the Indian Sloth Bear,Giant Malabar Squirell,Indian Elephant,Indian bison and King Cobra snake.
Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary is the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka and one of the famous wild destination in south India. The wild park of Kabini is located near Mysore in Karnataka and houses a number of endangered and rare wild animals including Black Panthers,Indian leopards, Tigers, Indian bison, mugger crocodiles and Indian rock python.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary has a wide range of flora and fauna,surrounded by the scenic hills and slopes of the Mullayanagiri hills. The sanctuary is declared as a Project Tiger Reserve and one of the best biodiversity hotspot in Karnataka, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is home to rare black leopard, pangolin, porcupine, Malabar giant squirrel and 33 Royal Bengal Tigers.
Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in biodiversity,located on the banks of the river Sharavati. A part of the Sharavati river basin was declared as a Sharavathi wildlife sanctuary which is home to unqiue wildlife of black panther,mouse deer,king cobra,monitor lizard and species of hornbill and paradise flycatcher birds.
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a Biosphere Reserve in Assam,located in the Himalayan foothills. The wildlife park is known for its rare and endangered endemic wildlife such as the Pygmy Hog,Golden Langur,Wild water buffalo,hog deer and the most rare black panthers.
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary also known as Thekkady is the South India’s most popular wildlife sanctuary and an example of nature’s bounty with great nature and rich bio diversity. The park is home to rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna including Black Panther,jungle cat, sloth bear, Nilgiri tahr and also a few of White tigers.
Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Western Ghats in Goa and regarded as a Global Biodiversity Hotspot. The park is noted for waterfalls, landscape, endemic species of amphibians,rare black panther,Indian civet and all of the Big Four venomous snakes of India.
Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary in Chhattisgarh state has become the new home to Black Panthers in India, recently 4 black panthers, a mother and her three cubs, were spotted in Achanakmar wildlife sanctuary.
There are photographic evidence of Black Panther presence in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra, The Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to rare honey badger.