Rare Sighting: Majestic Black Tigers Spotted in Indian National Park. 8u

In a mesmerizing encounter at Nandankanan National Park in eastern India, the incredibly rare black tigers have been spotted, showcasing a stunning spectacle of nature’s genetic wonders.

These unique animals, only seen in Odisha state, were photographed by Satya Swagat, a business student from New Delhi, during a visit last November.

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Black tigers owe their distinctive appearance to a genetic mutation known as pseudo-melanism. This mutation causes their dark stripe patterns to merge on their light orange-golden fur, often giving them an almost entirely black look.

Swagat, who was just 30 feet away from these magnificent creatures, described the experience as giving him “goosebumps” upon first sight.

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Swagat, who had previously failed to capture any decent shots of black tigers in 2020, was thrilled to photograph not one but two different black tigers during his latest visit.

These tigers were already rare even when India’s wild cat population was more abundant centuries ago.

The black tigers have been exclusively sighted in the Similipal region of Odisha since 2007, with the earliest reports dating back to 1993.

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Recent studies suggest their unique genetic traits may result from inbreeding and geographic isolation within Odisha.

In September, researchers studying the endangered animals in the Similipal reserve suggested that the genetic mutation in these black tigers could be due to a small founding population and subsequent inbreeding, isolating them from interactions with other tiger species outside eastern India.

The recent sightings in Nandankanan National Park highlight the continued existence of these rare animals, capturing global attention and sparking discussions on the conservation of such unique genetic traits.

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Swagat’s photographs provide a rare glimpse into the lives of these black tigers, contributing to the ongoing research into these extraordinary creatures in the heart of India.

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