Black panthers probably remind you of the popular Marvel superhero, or Bagheera from The Jungle Book, or the revolutionary Black nationalist organisation, Black Panther Party, but what do you actually know about the big cat itself?
Black panthers are technically classified as black leopards or black jaguars from Africa, Asia and South America and the term ‘Panthera’ is the genus of which these cats are under. They are just leopards or jaguars who have an all black fur coat instead of their usual black spotted tan coat. However, if you look closely, they do still have their spots, just that their tan coats have an access of dark melanin pigment. This is due to a recessive or dominant gene, depending on the species. This happy anomaly only happens to 5% of the Panthera species, making these magnificent creatures very rare.
Black panthers are so often used in the literature, art and media, but why is that and what do they represent? In short: power, strength and protection. The dark and mysterious beauty is both adored and feared.
STRENGTH AND POWER
Panthers rely on their strength since running is not their best skill. Their huge build and massive jaw help strangle their prey and feed on them.
Lladró’s Black Panther with Cub Figurine (left), & Lladró’s Origami Panther Figurine in Matt Black (right).
Panthers have a natural protective instinct. They are extremely protective of their babies and their territory and value everything that belongs to them.
Lladró’s artisans are experts at hyper-realistic form as well as the abstract form. Their Black Panther with Cub Figurine is of a black panther protectively carrying a cub in its mouth while walking on a cloud of snow. The matt finish highlights the panther’s coat and definition of its powerful muscles, while it creates an illusion of softness in the snow. There are hints of glossy finish that highlight its eyes, nose and mouth and breathe life into the figurine by giving it a spark in its eyes.