If I check Wikipedia there seems to be a basis though:
A melanistic morph of the leopard occurs, particularly in mountainous areas and rain forests. The black color is heritable and caused by recessive gene loci. (They are commonly called black panthers, although the term is not exclusive to leopards; it also applies to melanistic jaguars.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard
Melanistic leopards are particularly common on the Malayan Peninsula. Early reports suggested that up to half of all leopards are black, but a 2007 camera-trap study in Taman Negara National Park found that all specimens were melanistic. The benefits of melanism are difficult to interpret, but it may serve as camouflage in the rainforest habitat. It is also possible that the color variation is a relic adaptation to an epidemic; genes causing melanism can also affect the immune system. Genetic research has found four independent origins for melanism in cats, suggesting that there may be an adaptive advantage.
In Africa, black leopards are much less common, as melanism is not an adaptive advantage in the savanna. Dark coloration provides poor camouflage and makes hunting difficult. In the dense forests of the Ethiopian Highlands, however, the black leopard is much more common than in Africa generally; as many as one in five leopards may be melanistic.
Pseudo-melanism (abundism) occurs in leopards. A pseudo-melanistic leopard has a normal background color, but the spots are more densely packed than normal and merge to obscure the golden-brown background color. Any spots on the flanks and limbs that have not merged into the mass of swirls and stripes are unusually small and discrete, rather than forming rosettes. The face and underparts are paler and dappled like those of ordinary spotted leopards.
: The photos from our trip! Overhere! Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c