According to Nat Geo, the last recorded sighting of a wild black panther in Africa was in Ethiopia in 1909. While albinism causes whiteness due to a lack of pigmentation, the genetic variation melanism results in an excess of dark pigmentation.
Burrard-Lucas said it had been his dream to photograph the black leopard since childhood.
The creature - of nearly mythical status - was captured on film by Kenya-based biologist Nick Pilfold using specialist equipment including wireless motion sensors and high-quality DSLR cameras.
Reliving the moment he discovered the pictures on his photography blog, Mr Burrard-Lucas said: "As I scrolled through the images on the back of the camera, I paused and peered at the photograph below in incomprehension. a pair of eyes surrounded by inky darkness. a black leopard! I couldn't believe it and it took a few days before it sank in that I had achieved my dream", Burrad-Luca told The Guardian.
Nicholas Pilfold PhD, a biologist with San Diego Zoo Global who is now researching leopards at Laikipia's Loisaba Conservancy and helped Burrard-Lucas with his photography project, confirmed that the recent on-camera sighting was extremely rare.
'This is what Will's photos and the videos on our remote cameras now prove, and are exceptionally rare in their detail and insight.
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"I never get my hopes up, and after the first couple of nights I hadn't got this leopard and I was beginning to think I'd be lucky if I get a photo of a spotty leopard, let alone this black one".
"In South America it would be a melanistic jaguar - a black jaguar". He said the black leopards are famous for killing livestock in the region, where they refer to them as "calf killers".
And while 11 percent of leopards alive today are thought to be melanistic, says Pilfold, most are found in Southeast Asia, where tropical forests offer an abundance of shade.
In Africa, however, melanistic leopards are extremely rare.
Writes Burrard-Lucas, "I can still scarcely believe that this project - which started out as a speculative recce trip - has paid such spectacular dividends!"
The big cat was traveling with a much larger, more typically-colored yellow and black leopard, judged to be the juvenile's mother, Pilfold told National Geographic.
The high quality system made it possible to see the majestic black leopard, a big cat which is rarely caught on camera.