Many thanks for your expressions of appreciation on “Siamese Spirits”, very much appreciated!
For those that took note, nope, that wasn't a typo in the title, merely a play on words! This will be the last image I'll be posting up until April (2013!) when I return from my upcoming trip to the UK.
The subject you see here is most commonly referred to as a Black Panther, though “panther” is name shared by a number of felines and isn't generally considered the name of any specific feline. The magnificent cat you see here is in fact a Melanistic Indochinese Leopard; melanism is the development of dark-coloured pigment in the skin and, in the animal kingdom, this darker-coloured variant is not limited to cats. The opposite of melanism is albinism, a distinct lack of black pigment turning skin and hair white.
This picture was one of a handful I was fortunate enough to capture during a visit to Dusit Zoo in Bangkok some time ago. Having revisited the same exhibit recently, it's now become almost impossible to get a clear shot for all the hanging vines that have naturally grown. At first I was a little disappointed by this, but thinking about it again I'm much happier to see this beautiful cat within surroundings that more accurately mimic those of its natural jungle habitat.
Thanks for your time in viewing and reading, wishing you all a wonderful weekend, and looking forward to sharing more with in next month :^)