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REAWR | Big-Cat Conservation

Rare animal likely has genetic condition that changes fur pigment.

National Geographic (Christine Dell’Amore)

A leopard can’t change its spots, but apparently it can change its color.

African leopards normally have tawny coats with black spots. But a male leopard with a strawberry-colored coat has been spotted in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve, conservationists announced this week.

Tourists in the reserve had occasionally seen the unusual animal. But it wasn’t until recently that photographer and safari guide Deon De Villiers sent a photograph to experts at Panthera, a U.S.-based wild cat-conservation group, to ask them about the leopard’s odd coloration.

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