Wildlife filmmaker and photographer Shaaz Jung has grown up in awe of the mighty jungle and has been fascinated by black panthers ever since the first time he saw one.

This passion became an obsession and it had become Jung’s ultimate goal to shed more light on these masters of darkness.

While chasing his dream, Jung spent the last couple of years exploring the Kabini Forest in Karnataka, India, and came back with some of the most beautiful shots of the most majestic animal we have ever seen.

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Image credits: shaazjung

Image credits: shaazjung

“I spent two and a half years in the Kabini Forest, between December 2017 and January 2020, on a filming permit,” Jung told Bored Panda. “This filming permit allowed [me and the team] to make a documentary on the black panther for National Geographic.”

He was the Director of Photography and said every day was like a journey into the unknown. The attempt to unravel the secrets of the enigmatic black panther has been one of the most challenging projects Jung has ever worked on.

Image credits: shaazjung

Image credits: shaazjung

“This black panther is a leopard with an abundance of melanin. Unlike other cats in the Kabini Forest, there is only one black panther,” Jung explained. “This of course makes him far more difficult to photograph. However, since 2015… photographers have been fortunate enough to see him and take pictures. We are, however, the first to make a dedicated movie on him.”

Image credits: shaazjung

Image credits: shaazjung

This demanding project has taught everyone who was working on it the art of patience. “It’s been an incredible journey,” Jung said.

“I would like to thank the Karnataka Forest Department for protecting these forests. Their hard work enables us to catch glimpses of these beautiful animals that are thriving in our Indian forests.”

Image credits: shaazjung

Image credits: shaazjung

If you think about it, it’s like Jung’s whole life had been leading up to this job.

Raised in South India, he grew up in awe of the mighty jungle and was fortunate enough to have some of the country’s best national parks in the area. “The jungle is a labyrinth riddled with secrets that are waiting to be uncovered. Every day in the forest was like a puzzle and I had to put the pieces of this puzzle together in order to successfully unlock its secrets.”

When he did, Jung was gifted with some of the most breathtaking moments that he could capture with a camera.

Image credits: shaazjung

Image credits: shaazjung