Rajasthan News

Blue eyed Big Cat family spotted in Pali

by RajasthanDirect
Dec 17, 2013

A rare species of big cat is seen in Pali district of Rajasthan. In a diverse wildlife in Rajasthan, a leopard (Panthera pardus) family that has blue eyes has been sighted in Bera near Jawai dam in Pali district. Many leopards have been spotted at Bera that is about 100 km from Pali but the sight of this blue-eyed leopard family has left the wildlife lovers in awe. Here, seeing is believing and the once obscure village Bera is fast becoming a wildlife photography hot spot.

Thakur Devi Singh Bera, who has been studying leopards in the area since the last 20 years, said, “This is an extremely unusual phenomenon. The normal colour of a leopard’s eyes is amber but I have personally spotted the leopards with blue eyes. There is one male, one female with two cubs, who were recently spotted in Devgiri hill area just six km away from Bera and have also been photographed by some people.” Meticulous with his records, Devi Singh first spotted the leopard with blue eyes in December 2012 and thereafter kept a track of the wild cat.

Bera is a small village situated in the Aravali region, where sighting leopard is highly rewarding. Hardly visible on a map, the area houses around 35- 40 leopards, which, according to International Union for Conservation of Nature, are a near threatened species. This one family has caused a lot of debate on the reason behind the blue eyes.

“The cubs sometimes do have blue eyes but in a full grown leopard this is unheard of. 60 years in the jungle, I have not seen a leopard with blue eyes. I have heard that such a family has been spotted in Bera. Perhaps, it could be a genetic occurrence, which only a geneticist can explain,” said Divyabhanu Singh Chavda, former member of National Wildlife Board and has also authored several books on the wild cat.

But state forest officials rubbish this story and assert this is only light variation as the leopard’s eyes reflect different colours and this could be a reflection of something. “I have not heard of anything like this but if this is true we would need some research on the reason for the blue eyes and if it’s a gene variability factor,” said Rajpal Singh, member state wildlife board.

src: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/environment/flora-fauna/blue-eyed-leopard-family-spotted-in-pali/articleshow/27490162.cms

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