One of the world’s most elusive cats has been photographed by a night time camera trap, after a year-long search for the animal.
The ghostly image of the Saharan cheetah has excited conservationists, as perhaps fewer than 10 of the cats survive in the deserts of Termit, Niger, where the photograph was taken.
Almost nothing is known of the Saharan cheetah, except that it endures extremely high temperatures and appears to survive without a permanent source of water.
Saharan cheetahs remain an enigma, even to scientists who specialise in studying rare cats.
For example is it not yet known if Saharan cheetahs are more closely related to other cheetahs in Africa, or those living in Iran, which make up the last remaining wild population of Asiatic cheetahs.