A student who spotted a rare black leopard on a safari trip was so stunned at the sight that he forgot to photograph it for 10 minutes.
Luckily Abhishek Pangis, 23, remembered he had a camera and captured some stunning photos of the one-in-a-million big cat.
The engineering student said: "I went blank when I spotted it. I hadn't seen anything so beautiful, I was completely stunned and came back to my senses after 10 minutes and started clicking pictures."
"Usually people have seen it around for two-three minutes but I was very lucky as I could see it for 40 minutes."
Abhishek was on a two-day safari trip with his parents in Tadoba Reserve in India. The amateur photographer, from Pune, India, spotted the leopard on the second day of the trip earlier this month.
The spectacular photographs show the gorgeous leopard, a one-of-a-kind with lustrous coat and dark black spots, marking its territory in the wild.
"I witnessed it drinking water from a pond, marking its territory and stalking langurs and monkeys. It was a brilliant experience," Abhishek said.
He added: "We saw him in peak summer of June last month when it was 40-45 degree of extreme heat as there is a more chance of the wild cats coming out for water.
"At one point, this leopard who should be four years old even walked past our jeep. It was a surreal moment."
Professional photographers often spend months and hundreds of thousands of pounds to snap the super-rare creatures.
"I knew there are black leopards but I was very lucky to have spotted it during my first safari trip," the student said.
"There were 10-15 safari cars but they left when they did not see the leopard and just three-four safari jeeps stayed with us.
"None of them had a camera so when it came out in the open, it was just me who had the camera and could take its pictures."
Melanistic leopards, often called black panthers, are a rare mutation. Nick Pilfold, from San Diego Zoo Global's Institute for Conservation Research told National Geographic: “Almost everyone has a story about seeing one, it's such a mythical thing.
"Even when you talk to the older guys that were guides in Kenya many years ago, back [in the 1960s] when hunting was legal, there was a known thing that you didn't hunt black leopards. If you saw them, you didn't take it."