Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Big Cats and Giant Snakes in SE Texas

I have recently received two interesting emails from readers of this blog. The first email deals with a big cat sighting in Houston, Texas. The second email concerned a sighting of a huge snake in the Big Thicket National Preserve. The first email, regarding the big cat sighting and minus information that would compromise this witness's identity, is below.

I live in Houston. My house backs up to the area that is now being converted to the **********. Yesterday we spotted a large cat crossing across the field. Our first guess was Bobcat – but the tail was pointing up and was bent and short. I was just wondering what other cat might be in this area.

I have taken pictures of the coyote, but was not able to get the camera in time for the cat.


I replied with a few follow-up questions. This was the reply.

Thanks for responding! At a distance it can be a bit deceiving. My son, his girlfriend and I saw the cat around lunchtime on Tuesday. My guess is that if you ask each of us our descriptions will be a bit different.

Here’s my best description. It was a bit shorter than a boxer and a lot more sleek. I did not see any spots or stripes – the cat seemed to be gray. The tail stuck up slightly crooked probably less than a foot.

The pond has not been built behind us yet. Across ******* they have dug three of the ponds. They just started clearing the land. We back up to the easement that will be left as it is. I have attached a couple of pictures to give you an idea of our backyard or what we use as ours.

I would love to have a game camera. I feel since they are redoing the whole area behind us that we will start seeing more activity.

Thanks for your help.


The size described would seem to indicate a panther/cougar sized cat. While the gray color would seem to indicate a bobcat, the lack of any markings, and the tail described, would seem to rule out the species. Could the elusive jaguarundi have made an appearance?



I plan to keep in touch with this witness to see if the cat returns. If so, I will, with the witness's permission, get a game camera onsite to try and get a photo. Hopefully, that will allow me to identify just what type of cat is prowling this area within the Houston city limits.

The second email, concerning the sighting of a big snake is below.

Dear Texas Cryptid Hunter

You were looking for readers to send in their encounters with big snakes, well I had a good encounter with just a snake on March 28 of this year.

An avid hiker in the Big Thicket National Preserve, I was hiking the Beaverslide Trail, southeast of Livingston . The trail takes one around a large pond in thick woods. I was about halfway around it when to the left of the trail, this very large black snake appears and begins crossing the trail about 10 feet in front of me. The trail is pretty wide but this snake’s body was so long that while the head part was on the right side of the trail, the tail area was still on the left. It was high-tailing it for the water and it made a small splash as it slithered down the embankment and into the water. It left me shaken at what I saw and not sure I wanted to finish the hike around this pond.




I replied to the sender of this email with the following questions. Could the overall length and/or diameter of the snake be estimated? Was it solid black or was some sort of pattern or color variation visible? Have you looked at any photos of snakes in an attempt to find something that looks close to what you saw? To this point, however, I have not heard anything back from this witness.

As always, I would ask anyone who has seen an odd or out of place animal to contact me. My email address is Texascryptidhunter@yahoo.com.

I'll look forward to hearing from some of you.

7 comments:

  1. A cat like you described ran accross the road in front of our car. It was not a bobcat but larger. We were in Eagle Springs Subdivison at 12:04 AM.
    I know it was not some big dog as it loped when it was running. Dave Chapman chappytoo@yahoo.com

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  2. I saw a cat outside of a neighbors house when walking my dog. It was a young cougar. We have seen a pair over several years chasing down deer across the back of our property here in Marion county. I backed slowly away while it ran into the heavy trees! Awesome encounter but don't really want to have that close of one again soon. :D

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  3. Just seen a cat in front of me on my deer lease off FM 2090 Splendora, Tx, dark grey hair around 50lbs, 4' to 5' with tail, running. hair was longer than a cougar and solid. This would make twice, last glimpse i put it off as a cayota.
    KW

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  4. I live in Canada, but this morning at 6:30 when I went to take the dog out to her kennel, I looked up and there was this massive cougar 40 feet away from me. Honestly, I kinda have a memory block due to the trauma (cougars take a lot of lives around here) but the next thing I knew I was in the house yelling for my dad to get the gun. My dad tried to shoot it but it got away.

    At 11 30 this morning my mom, who works from home in june, looked out the window and there it was, sitting in front of our shop. She yelled at it but it wasn't afraid. My mom cant shoot worth bananas so she called our neigbors to see if they could come shoot it, but nobody was home. After going through all of our neighbors, she called 911. The conservation officer came out and said that yes, it is a cougar, an adult male that is very dangerous because it is not afraid of humans and it keeps coming into our fenced yard. So now we aren't allowed to be outside alone.
    I'm honestly freaking out right now. We have a lot of cougars around here, but this one is bigger and is not behaving as cougars usually do. They are always there, but you MIGHT, just maybe, actually see one once every couple of years. If someone sees it it will disappear for a very long time, but not this one. It's actually enough of a threat that the C.O. actually told us to kill it if we get the chance. That doesn't happen often.

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  5. I was at work driving on site. I saw a large cat running across the road, my first thought was a very large bobcat. But it was at least 2foot tall and 3 foot long, it was dark brown. I am sure it was some sort of cat by the way it ran. It was in the Spring area.

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  6. My parents have a resident Cougar on their property about 6 miles west of Normangee Texas, Sightings are regular, 3 or 4 a year the last one was this December less than 100 yards from the main house. I believe this is a female. I am not sure this is particularly out of place, but does seem unusual now days.

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  7. We live on a county road 2 1/2 miles east of Hilltop Lake, Tx and have killed 3 rattle snakes from 3 to 5 ft long, 9 copperheads and 4 or 5 corral snakes so far this year. Our dogs are the ones that spotted all of them. Pretty scary as far as I'm concerned. Any one know why so many of these snakes in this area?

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