Saturday, July 31, 2010

Another Black Panther Sighted in Plano

I received an email this week from a reader who claims his mother saw a large black cat run across Windhaven Parkway in Plano, Texas this past Monday July 26th. His original email reads as follows:

Hello. I just wanted to say my mom saw a black panther run across the road in the Plano, Texas area on Monday, July 26, 2010. Please e-mail me if you want more information.

Thanks


I replied asking for more information. He got back to me with the following:

All my mother and I know is that the animal she saw was sleek, cat-like, pitch black, and very large. She couldn't see very well, because it was around 9:30 pm, but she swears it was a panther. The street was Windhaven, and it's either in Richardson or Plano. I don't drive yet, so I'm not sure. That's pretty much all she recalls.

When she got home she called the police and they said that Animal Control was already looking for the beast.


I have no proof, obviously, that this event actually occurred as reported but this is far from the first report of large panther-like cats in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Plano area in particular has been a hot spot for big cat sightings. While most will scoff at these reports, there seems to be a bit of a pattern developing.

It is true that these animals are being seen in highly populated areas. On the surface, at least, this seems, at best, unlikely. Each sighting did take place in areas near waterways with heavily wooded riparian corridors, undeveloped or agricultural land, or nature/wildlife preserves. This latest report is a prime example of this pattern.

Windhaven Parkway is only a couple of miles away from Lake Lewisville and also runs just north of the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. In fact, Windhaven Parkway actually forms part of the northern-most boundary to the preserve. The section where the Parkway skirts the Preserve also just happens to be the most thickly forested and lonesome portion of Arbor Hills. While this particular section of Windhaven Parkway was not specified by the reader, I'm guessing this was the general area of the sighting.



The City of Plano describes the Preserve as follows:

Located on the western border of Plano, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park featuring vast areas of natural beauty for walking, jogging, hiking, orienteering, and other outdoor activity.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a natural respite within our suburban city. It is a special place left largely undisturbed where visitors can have the pleasure of being surrounded by nature and experiencing animals, plants and ecoregions found in North Central Texas.

Portions of the Preserve feature three distinct ecoregions. The Blackland Prairie, Riparian Forest, and Upland Forest are all present within the Preserve.

Wildlife found in the Preserve include egrets, hawks, woodpeckers, owls, snakes, turtles, and fish. Small mammals like rabbits, raccoons, and opossums are also present. The City of Plano's sight says that bobcats and coyotes are still present within the Preserve as well though rarely seen.


It is entirely possible that we have a case of mistaken identity. Maybe the reader's mother saw a bobcat cross the road. Bobcats can get pretty big after all. The witness admits it was well into the evening and visibility was not good. The reader also mentions he is too young to drive. Maybe this is just a teen having some fun at my expense. While I didn't get the feeling this was the case it is possible, I suppose.

Still, according to the reader, his mother was adamant that it was a panther. A pitch black one at that. Something else caught my attention. The reader said that his mother reported the sighting to police. The response to her report? The police said they were already aware of the situation and Animal Control was out looking for the cat. If factual, this would lead me to believe others had seen the animal and reported it.

Again, I can't verify any of this but the pattern seems to be holding up.

22 comments:

  1. Is it possible that it was a Lynx? They are larger than Bobcats and seen occasionally even though Texas is at the edge of their range. I have seen one in Tyler, 100 miles east of Plano.

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  2. I saw a very large sleek black cat this morning around 3:30a on Park, just east of Ohio (on/near the parkway). It could have been a panther. I didn't realize how big it was until it spotted me, looked around for a few seconds trying to decide what to do, and then torn off across Park. The cat was so fast, it crossed the entire street (six lanes plus the median) in less than 2 seconds. It was a thing of beauty!

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  3. Witnessed a new sighting on Labor Day Sept 6 early a.m. on trail along White Rock creek between Tynneson and Spring Creek Pkwy on Windcrest in West Plano by a female jogger in opposite direction who screamed at a large black cat sighting on the trail behind me. Upon screaming the cat darted into the woods and down to the creek. I assumed it was a bobcat previously sighted here.

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  4. Another sighting on December 16, 2010. Near Medical Center of Plano complex. Cat spotted on Banff Court which is just off Eldorado. This is a VERY suburban neighborhood...but also very close to Ohio Drive and Park Blvd. Same zip code...and just a matter of blocks away. There is also a green belt contained within that sector, with creeks and cover.

    My husband (not prone to flightiness...) saw a large animal three doors down from our house, and went to investigate. The animal was large...Great Dane sized according to my husband, and he would know as we live with two Great Danes. The animal was sauntering (his words) down the sidewalk, and when he heard my husband come out the front door, he/she stopped, turned to look at him for about four or five seconds...and turned back around, continued at a leisurely pace, and then disappeared into the side yard area of a home four doors down. My husband described the coat as "mottled" but black. This was at 2 pm on a sunny, sunny day. He remembered the tail, which was exceptionally long, and plush. And while he still thought it was a dog, when it turned to look straight at him, there was NO doubt it was a cat...a very very very big cat...so he simply walked slowly backwards to the door, went in the house and shut the door behind him.

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  5. I hope these animals are protected and the land that is untouched yields enough food for them to live peacefully and fully. If indeed these big cats are in the area they are in need of a wide area to roam. It doesn't seem the preserve indicates the respect needed for these beings but it should. We human beings are largely responsible and never excluded from sharing this earth respectfully with other beings. I wish these big cats sanctuary and adoration.

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  6. Now the panter is here in our town of Phoenix,La.50miles south of New Orleans

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    1. as a truck driver,,from lafeyet to fouchone..I saw 2 very big black cats,,they are not leapords..they are jaguars,not te first I have seen . in oregon I feed one while it was young,

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  7. wow i wish i saw a black panther i am in ny were there is no such thing but it was probally true that that happened but down here in ny its kind of hard to belive that did happen to some people....

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  8. i want to see a panther!!!!! so unfair!!

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  9. I live in Natchitoches, LA. The sightings are common in the ruals areas of this town and surrounding areas. I wish someone would get a picture, so that it can be proven that these large cats are in this area.

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  10. I saw a large black cat in Dekalb, Tx (which is 2 1/2 hours north east of Dallas)during July 2010. There is a lot of open land and a river is close to here. I was driving and it crossed the road in front of me. I had to slow down to avoid collision, as well as to get a good look at the creature, my wife was with me. I have done some extensive research on this topic of these cats being in this region of Texas. I would have to say that it was probably a black cougar, a lot of people refer to them as panthers in this area as well. But it was definitely not a bobcat, it was indeed a slick, smooth black coat, with a big square head. The muscular tone of the beast was spectacular. One of the biggest I have seen in the wild or captivity.

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  11. I saw the black panther @ 7:30 am this morning. The siting was at Marsh and Rosemead in and open field beside the creek.

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  12. @Anonymous above regarding the Marsh and Rosemead sighting.

    Would you be willing to meet me there and show me where you saw the animal. A friend of mine who is a tracker and I would like to look for evidence and perhaps photograph any evidence or the animal itself if its in that area.

    Was this between the RAM station and the Rosemeade Market? or was it across the street at the car wash?

    Thanks!

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  13. Black Panther sighting in San Antonio Texas Leon Valley Northwest of city near Grissom Rd and Heath behind a Charter High School. The back yard of the school is fenced but behind the fence is a wooded area and a creek bed. I saw the panther down in the creek resting by a log and looking straight at me with those beautiful emerald yellow intimidating eyes. I wanted to see it move so I rattled the fence where I was standing and it looked around and took off like lightning. This particular cat is young, not fully grown yet but other witnesses that claim they have had close encounters with this cat; and I mean close, like about 10 feet away. The person that had that close encounter was a security guard pulling the evening shift. He said that he was texting while walking around the school when he saw the panther; he didn't just freeze; he took off and the panther took off the opposite direction. I told him jokingly that their might not be a next time survivor story of you if you continue to text while walking in the dark; might just find a bone to identify you with if were lucky. Thank God the panther fears humans, otherwise my friend would of been a snack. I bought and ordered a wildview digital camera and will install near the bucket of water I place for thirsty wildlife such as this specimen I talk about. Also another incident where the security guard got off the truck to patrol around the school. He had another not too close encounter approximately 30 ft from the panther and what he did was what no one should do. He froze for a second and stomped his foot on the cement; the panther held it's ground so the guard just walked backward a few steps then got back in the truck for safety. I asked him if he had a camera phone and he said that it was too dark to take a picture. Minutes later he said the panther walked by the truck as if not afraid. Accross the school is a fenced wooded area where they keep goats; about 25 goats of all ages and a Donkey. The panther has prime realstate for food purposes and water. Another employee heard the scream of the panther; scary sound he said because he couldn't see anything because of the dark. I should of ordered a camera that had infrared capability for night purposes; will see how the camera works and I'll put them up on the sight somehow; will be tagged with ACTCHS Panther. The irony of this panther is that the School mascot is a Black Panther.

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  14. We have the panther sightings in Western Ohio now

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  15. I live in western N.Y. and saw a black panther in our back yard.We live in the country and have 10 acres that are next to another 100 acres belong to a family member.There is an old apple orchard on the property and deer, coyotes, rabbits,turkey,racoons- plenty of food for this cat.It does concern me, as our dog roams the land rather freely and wouldn't be able to contend with an animal this large.I have to say, it looked beautiful,lying in the sun, but what havoc it could wreck in our lives. I don't know the laws about protecting our pets and would really hate to waste the animal's life, but we need to be safe. Any suggestions?

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  16. I saw a large black cat within 20 yards of my car sitting in the middle of our dirt road in Grimes County the day before Thanksgiving. Yesterday a large deer was hung in our fence. We cut her out but she had a badly broken leg and we had to shoot her. Went back this afternoon to drag her off into the woods.
    Saw hugh cat prints and found her about 25 yards away........ only bones left....... Weird. Should we contact the Parks and Wildlife Dept?

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  17. Saw a big cat in Plano, TX, 9/24/2012. Between Plano parkway and George bush, 190. East of Jupiter.

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  18. Black Panther is a very general expresion, it means a big black cat. In your country it probably couldn't be leopard it is more likely a cugoar - black puma.
    The only real Panthera in America is jaguar. In Latin America. It can be black.

    But in America, you can never know, some people keep wild animals at home and they can break loose.
    In Europe something like that is probably imposibile.

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  19. Today, in Plano, at Rochelle and Legacy roads, I spotted a large dark gray wild cat. 3'high to his head approx. First reminded me of a bobcat (short bobbed tail) but dark gray? Bobcats are light colored and spotted.He casually strolled away into a block of homes across the revine from me. Can not identify what kind it is.

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  20. I just wanted to put my sighting on the web. That way other people who see this animal can have proof they are not crazy! I know people probably get the same remarks as I do, and nobody believes me… But, I saw what I saw, and it happened. On December 25th – 26th, 2012 around midnight. I was driving home on Sam Rayburn Tollway towards Plano, and the roads were terrible "still had ice on them." Not very many cars on the road, but was driving probably 25-30 MPH. I just passed the Super Target off of Main Street/121, and saw the most beautiful/ athletic creature I've ever seen. This large dark cat like animal was about 3 to 3.5 ft tall, roughly 5 ft in length, muscular body, long tail, and either black or really dark grey. Crossed the entire Toll way in less than 3 or 4 seconds. I witnessed this animal leap from the field “near Arbor Hills Park” to the off ramp “cleared the service road”, then to the middle of the tollway, to the next off ramp, then leaped into another open field “clearing the service road”, and then sprinted North in an open field next to some apartments. Literally leaped and bounded over the tollway… It was so fast, and had so much momentum I never saw it take a step, until it was running in the field towards the Colony. It was very muscular, it’s movements were so natural, flawless, and athletic. I pulled over to the side of the road immediately, as well as several other cars just to see if what we saw really just happened. The car that was behind me pulled up next to me, and asked “what was that?” & “what did you see?”. We briefly traded stories to double check if we saw the same thing, and confirmed to ourselves we were not crazy... I've hunted my entire life "as a hobby", and I've never seen anything move or look like this animal did. When I got home I started to search the web for animals like I saw, and if anyone else saw it. I don’t know exactly what kind of cat it is, but I’m guessing was a black panther. I called the next day, and tried to report my story to animal control, but they didn't take me seriously. I know what I saw that night, and anyone else who has seen this animal know how amazing this creature really is.

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    1. I realize that this thread is a little old, but I was walking my dog yesterday mornng around 10 AM, int he broad daylight and came up over a hill where a very large black looking cat was crossing the trail about 100 feet ahead of me. I immediately turned around and high tailed it the opposite direction nearly dragging my dog with me. At the time I thought it was probably a bobcat or coyote since I knew both of them are found in our area but looking at pictures the only thing that I'm finding that even comes close is a black panther. Mine was not at night, so I know for a fact is was all black, it was creeping like it had it's eye on something on the other side of the trail (thank goodness not at us). Needless to say, I will not be walking my small dog in the very unused part of the trail in the woods anytime soon.

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