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No image has ever been taken of a pair of bonded female black leopard and a male leopard,
says R. Prakash
Coimbatore: It was a five-year-long wait. But it was indeed worth it. His patience, indefatigable efforts and passion for wildlife photography have at last brought him fame and recognition. R. Prakash has won one of the rarest wildlife photography awards - the RBS Wildlife Award instituted by Sanctuary magazine.
A native of Coimbatore and a diploma holder in engineering, Mr. Prakash got the award from 1,600 entries. He shared the third prize with his friend Sivalingam, a small- time planter in the Nilgiris. The prize came with a cash reward of Rs. 25,000 and a citation.
Both travelled through deep jungles, with permission from the forest department, in search of animals.
They used to spend hours together to get a picture.
Recently, on a rainy day Dame Luck smiled on them when Mr. Prakash got the rare opportunity to click the picture of a black female leopard and a normal coloured male in the Nilgiris.
It is very difficult to spot a black leopard in the wild, he says.
Only a few have photographed it.
And virtually no image has ever been taken of a pair of bonded female black leopard and a male leopard.
Mr. Prakash said there was a pertinent need to clarify that black leopards were nothing but melanin pigmentation by birth and there were no separate species as black leopard.
People should be educated about melanin pigmentation to dispel myths about black leopards, he added.
Mr. Prakash has been trekking forests for the last 20 years and has spent Rs. 1.3 lakh on a camera for honing his skills and passion for photography.
Mr. Prakash has gone to Masi Mara forest reserve in Africa.
He had been contributing photographs to Mammals of Asia.
He has also uploaded his photographs on the website of India Nature Watch – a forum for wildlife photographers to share their pictures.
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