There’s Supposed to Be a Leopard in This Picture and Some of Us Have Gone Crazy Trying to Find It

Pierre Van ZylLearn, Opinion

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find the missing panther

At first, I thought whoever came up with this challenge must have been hallucinating. What leopard is in this picture? I tried to channel my inner genius by looking at every nook and cranny of the photo with my third eye. I even tilted my laptop to check if the leopard was some sort of a watermark or an overlay. No such luck. 

People are going crazy over this adult-level Where’s Waldo picture that was shared on Twitter by 16-year-old Bella Lack to her 150K followers [1]. On September 27, she shared the photo with the caption:

 “Someone just sent this to me and asked me to find the leopard. I was convinced it was a joke… until I found the leopard. Can you spot it?” The post has since gone viral with 9.1K retweets, 5K comments, and 22.4 likes.

The leopard (if you believe it’s there) was captured by an eagle-eyed Indian photographer, Hemant Dabi. The picture looks like a plain dry land with a shallow ditch and no sign of life nearby. Oh, how wrong could 99% of the people who viewed this picture be? There’s a very lively leopard sitting somewhere in there, probably camouflaging itself and stalking unsuspecting prey.

find the missing panther
Image credit: Hemant Dabi

Some people actually spotted this thing

Eagle vision should be considered a superpower. People like me spent forever moping at the photo and wondering when the inside joke would come to an end. Bella wanted everyone who came to the thread to test their vision.

“PLEASE DON’T POST THE ANSWER so others can have a go. Thank you. :),” she wrote. But the people who were able to find the predator couldn’t keep it in. They had to show their discovery off, and with red markers circling the animal, they reposted the photo all over the thread.

Even at that, I still didn’t spot it. I was just about to give up when I zoomed the photo… and finally saw the beauty. Due to the spotty appearance of the soil, the brown leopard had blended so perfectly into the background that it looks as if it’s part of the ground.

“Someone please pm me the answer. I’m gonna go crazy if I stare at this dirt anymore,” one frustrated user wrote. I know that feeling all too well.

Masters of natural camouflage

Leopards do not have to change their appearance like chameleons to blend in. They are the most secretive and elusive of all the big cats, smart enough to find the perfect spots that match their unique print. This particular leopard just plopped down on the rocky terrain and was automatically camouflaged. Some people claim it’s a jaguar, but the animal is not as muscular and lacks the characteristic jaguar dot in the center of its spots.

A Twitter user later zoomed the photo and outlined the shape of the animal. Scroll down for a sneak peek. If you still can’t spot it at this point, you might just have to be taken to the scene to feel the leopard with your hands. 

The Leopard is commonly found in Southern Africa and scattered around Asia. In recent times, many leopard populations have become critically endangered, especially outside of Africa [2]. Leopard skin is a valuable item that sells at high prices on black markets around the world. Poaching, habitat loss, and human pressures are some of the serious issues affecting the global survival of the majestic Panthera species.

Bella calls on wildlife lovers to head over to Born Free Foundation to adopt a leopard in danger. Born Free is a British non-profit organization that “works to protect leopards from the threats they face, both in the wild and in captivity, rescue individual leopards from suffering and exploitation, and provide them with lifetime care.”

  1. Daisy Phillipson. Picture Of Leopard Hiding In A Ditch Is Leaving People Scratching Their Heads. Lad Bible. https://www.ladbible.com/news/animals-internet-left-scratching-their-heads-over-picture-of-hiding-leopard-20190929?c=1569749740648. Retrieved 07-10-19
  2. Admin. Leopard. African Wildlife Foundation. https://www.awf.org/wildlife-conservation/leopard. Retrieved 07-10-19
  3. Born Free. Official Website. https://www.bornfree.org.uk/animals/leopards. Retrieved 07-10-19

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