18 April 2018


Rare Jet-Black Wildcat

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A rare sighting of a jet-black wildcat


For Sergio Pitamitz, seeing a black cat was a stroke of luck. In February in Kenya's Tsavo West National Park, the photographer spotted a jet-black serval—a wildcat with a normally cheetah-like coat.

The animal is melanistic—its genes carry a mutation that creates more dark pigment than light pigment, according to Eduardo Eizirik, a biologist and cat-melanism expert at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.