Rare Melanistic Genet Seen at Angama Mara

Angama Mara, a safari lodge overlooking Kenya’s Maasai Mara, is delighted to be home to a melanistic large-spotted genet – an extremely rare colour morph of this nocturnal and arboreal carnivore. 

The Angama Mara team first suspected that this rare creature was around the lodge when a blurred image was captured on a camera trap. However, as young genets often appear darker in colour than mature genets, it was impossible to determine whether this was in fact a melanistic specimen. 

Then, at the beginning of July, several members of the team spotted a normal female large-spotted genet, followed a few seconds later by the melanistic genet – confirming for certain that was indeed a confirmed rare pigmented individual. 

Melanistic animals are those with a higher than normal amount of black pigment – melanin – resulting in the dark colouration. Two years ago, a melanistic serval was photographed in Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park, while earlier this year, high-resolution images were taken of a melanistic leopard in Kenya’s Laikipia Country.

At this stage, it is uncertain if the black genet will become a regular visitor to Angama Mara, but the lodge team and guests were excited to get a first-hand perspective of one of the most astounding wonders and anomalies of the animal world. 

For the latest updates from the Mara Triangle, see: This Week At Angama