There’s a pic going around of a “real” melanistic black lion.
This is unfortunately a hoax. Here is the original picture:
The first came from archaeologist Sir Henry Layard during his time in Persia. The lion was described as “very dark brown in colour, in parts almost black.” The lion is now extinct in Persia and the accuracy of the report will forever remain unknown.
In the other case a partly black lion was captive bred, but his colouration was probably due more to mosaicism (abnormal skin cells) rather than melanism. He was infertile so did not produce offspring.
Other very vague claims of reddish and chocolate brown lions also exist, but these are all unsubstantiated. The African lion on this page is unusually dark for that big cat but does not display melanism.”
Hate to burst your bubble. It was a super nifty pic and the idea is awesome. There are rumors of black lions prowling in certain parts of Africa according to this report: http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/black-lions/
Unfortunately that hasn’t been verified and there are no pictures. Maybe someday there will be proof.
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