Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Black Panther Spotted North of Dallas

With all the excitement surrounding the recent discovery of possible sasquatch tracks in east Texas and my recent hiatus, I have not devoted much attention to the subject of out of place or cryptid big cats in Texas. A recent comment from a reader who claims to have spotted a large black cat in a rural area north of Dallas changed that. The email read as follows:

I saw a dark colored big cat today north of Dallas. It was on a rural road at dusk. We thought it was a dog walking down the dirt road at first. The closer we got the less it looked like a dog. We got about twenty feet from it and it turned into the brush. When it did there was no denying it was a cat. The tail was longer than the body. It was about the size of a big dog but lanky. It was black but very very dark brown. It seriously looked like a mountain lion. I have never seen a panther before to compare. It did not seem to be very afraid of the car but we weren't going very fast. I have found other similar posts of sightings in the area.


The text above was actually received as a comment to another post about big cats in the Dallas area. No other details were provided and I have not heard anything else from the poster of the comment. I would really like to hear from whoever posted this comment and get a few more details as to where this sighting occurred. If anyone has details on this I can be contacted at Texascryptidhunter@yahoo.com.

If the witness did indeed get to within twenty feet of the animal, there would seem to be little chance of misidentification. The statement saying the tail was as long as the body would seem to rule out any sort of canid, like a coyote, as well as the bobcat, the most commonly sighted big cat in Texas. The color would seem to rule out a bobcat as the culprit as well; however, it must be acknowledged that trying to identify the color of a moving animal at dusk can be tricky business.

The anecdotal evidence that mountain lions are making a strong comeback through out the state continues to mount. The stand the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department continues to take, claiming that the sightings are all misidentifications or escaped pets, becomes less tenable weekly.

What to make of the large black cats being spotted is something else all together. Theories range from the jaguarundi being the culprit to the possibility of a large unknown melanistic cat existing in the Lone Star State. As time goes by, I am becoming more and more convinced that there is some kind of large black cat out there. I personally know two people who claim to have seen black panthers in east Texas. I have another friend whose father says he saw a large black female panther with kittens crossing a rural road (also in east Texas). I firmly believe there is a biological basis behind these sightings. That being the case, it should be possible to obtain a photograph.



If you are a landowner who has seen a large cat on or near your property and wouldn't mind my placing a few game cameras on your place please contact me at the email address previously given. If a photograph can be obtained maybe we can figure out whether they are wild or escaped pets (if tawny colored) or just what the heck they are (if black in color). I would love to slap down a photo of a black panther on the desk of a TP&W official.

I suspect a lot of people would get some satisfaction from that as well.

29 comments:

  1. I believe I saw a large black cat on the Mineral Wells Rails to Trails bike path today. I was riding along and spotted about 20 feet in front of me a large, black animal. Lanky, with a long tail and short ears. My first instinct was that it was a cat, but I thought how could that be??...It was moving slowly and deliberately. It saw me and slipped into the woods. I guess I got a little frightened as I rode by and decided not to stop and investigate further - but I really wanted to. I was trying to convince myself it was a dog..but I believe I saw a cat.

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  2. They don't exist. Misidentified.

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  3. Two people I know have seen large black cats near Quitman, TX and another heard the screams of what sounded like a panther. One of my friends who saw the big, black cat was able to pull out binoculars and take a closer look. Maybe not a panther, but it was definitely a large, black cat.

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    1. In 1991 I was driving by Lake Hawkins in the Fouke community which is about 20 miles south of Quitman in east Texas. It was about 3 a.m. and I saw just the very back tail part of a large black cat crossing the road and there were 3 cubs prancing along in a straight line behind it into the woods. They were definately of the wild and were in my opinion black panthers. Not anything else but, black panthers.I am now 55 years old and was at the time 33. I grew up hunting and fishing all throughout Wood county and heard tails of the black panthers from all the old time hunters and back woods folks. It was said you could hear them screaming in the night sounding like a woman's scream. This was in the Lake Fork river bottom and the Sabine river bottom. There is no doubt in my mind they existed in 1991 because I saw them with my eyes. They probably still exist. I sincerely hope so. Vester Skiles Austin, Tx.

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  4. We have something here in Abbott, TX on 30 acre pasture area. Big and more black than brown cat with long tail. You can come down and help catch this beast on camera or cage. I want the truth to be known.

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  5. We actually have had two sightings in our area of East Texas (Anderson County). The first was about a year ago, when my husband and I were driving home down backroads in the afternoon. We saw a large black creature running through a pasture on the right side of the road. As we got closer, it darted across the road and disappeared into the brush on the left side of the road. As it crossed, there was no doubt whatsoever that it was a large cat. I had thought it must be a large dog when we first saw it in the pasture, but seeing the long tail and the fluid way that it was moving gave away the fact that it was, indeed, a very large cat.

    The second sighting was just two days ago. My brother-in-law was mowing the sides of the dirt road we share when he saw a very large brown/black cat with what he thought were stripes of some kind run across the road in front of him. He said that it was definitely much larger than a bobcat, and had a long tail.

    Having seen one with my own eyes, I know for a fact that there is some sort of large dark brown or black cat in East Texas that is NOT a bobcat or mountain lion.

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  6. 5 Miles Out Side Of Quitman on FM 69 (Wood County)

    Last night my son and I were driving home and right by our house a HUGE black cat ran in front of the car and stopped in our neighbors yard. It was the size of a Great Dane. HUGE! We went up the hill and back down to take another look and it was gone. The neighbors went out looking but he was gone. The cat was sleek black and slim with a long curved tail...for sure a large cat and as large as a Great Dane. Incredible! I know it wasn't a feral pig by it's slim shape or a bear...it was very much a cat.

    The neighbors said that there was a Giant black cat a couple of years back that killed some chickens and some guy watched it come in to his yard and snatched his puppy. But then it went away...now he may be back. And in the woods behind my house....neat and kind of scary! He was just so big...I just can't believe we saw it!

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  7. Sighting 2004-2005
    Argyle, TX (South of Denton). Verified by 3 people at the same time while out walking. Sighting from 20 yrds away. Cat was no more than 300 yards from I35W. Large black cat standing between 2-3 feet tall disappeared into the brush near sundown. Could not tell if it was spotted or not, certainly black though. Long tail, certainly not a dog or bobcat.
    Also verified w/ a local builder at a separate time in the same neighborhood except that he saw 2 cubs w/ her.
    Contact: wron_00@yahoo.com

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  8. Sighting:
    Just outside Hubbard, TX
    Date: 1-9-11
    Description: 2 long-tailed large cats sighted at dusk. 2-3 feet at the shoulder.
    Dark gray/tan/brown---not really sure b/c of lighting.
    Certainly not a bobcat nor a dog.
    Feces of large cat discovered afterwards (leaves scraped together w/ feline feces on top).
    Paw prints quite larger than grown woman's hand.
    Contact: carlaswims@hotmail.com or wron_00@yahoo.com

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  9. Sighting: 1-4-10
    Location: Hubbard, TX
    Description: Large gray cat sighted crossing road outside of Hubbard, TX mid-afternoon, no doubt not a dog, not a domestic cat. Too large in size. Tail full length of the cat's body.
    Contact: reconman68@hotmail.com

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  10. I'VE HUNTED MOST OF MY LIFE AND HAVE BEEN AROUND MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANIMALS ON SEVERAL DIFFERENT CONTINENTS AND I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT THESE ANIMALS DO EXIST IN RURAL/SUBURBAN AREAS OF TEXAS. I HAVE ON MORE THAN ONE INSTANCE SEEN THESE CATS IN AND AROUND THE CELINA AREA OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO'S SEEN THEM AROUND THIS AREA. THESE CATS LIVE CLOSE TO AREAS THAT ARE LITE IN POPULATION, BUT ABUNDANT IN LIVESTOCK. A PERFECT HABITAT FOR A BIG HUNGRY CAT.

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  11. (Arp, TX)Smith County

    On three separate occasions three people including myself over a 6 year period have seen a large black cat on my property. When I say large I mean the size of say a Mastiff with a long tail at least the length of its body. I have plenty of domestic cats around and am very familiar with the movement of them as well as dogs etc. This was defiantly a large cat. Moved way to smooth and fast for anything else. Not to mention how it could jump and spring over my fence. The most recent spotting was about a month ago at dusk while putting out hay for our horses. We spotted the cat laying on the back side of my pond. We got to within 40-50 yards from it with the tractor and it jumped up and ran off. The fence line that runs with the edge of my property is very heavily wooded so there are plenty of places for him to hide. All of my surrounding neighbors with farm land have said they have seen one as well. I have never had a problem with any of my animals being harmed with the exception of one newborn colt that mysteriously disappeared the night it was born and its bones showing up a week later in my hay pasture (I blame that on coyotes) but it could have been an easy meal for the cat.

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  12. Black panther spotted on county road 2840 in the Mineola,Tx. area.. Families be prepared to protect yourselves. There was a few of them.. One was described as being about four feet in length. It was black with yellowish gold eyes. And a very long tail. They have been spotted and reported to the cops and the game warden who refuses to do anything because they don't believe that there are panthers in this area. They wont proof first before they do anything about it. This is a trailor park with young children and elderly. If anyone else has any more information about this.. Please comment back. Something definitely is out there because we let my nieces winnie dog out to take care of its business and it never come back.. He always comes back within ten minutes. We went out the next morning to look for it and it was found dead in the back where the panthers have been spotted. You could tell that it was attacked by something. They are not only being spotted in the back, but they are also coming up in the yard and hiding under the the trailors. So again, please if you have any more information.. comment back.. Or you can also send an email to desi_boyd@yahoo.com or sandcdavis1@aol.com. Hopefully the more information we have about the spottings will get the game warden off of their asses to do something about it... If necessary kltv7 news can be called. We cant even go outside without being scared of our kids being hurt or one of us.. We should not have to live in fear because the game warden cant come out here to do there job.. It doesnt matter if it ends up being a wild house cat. Something still needs to be done to be on the safe side for our safety and the safety of others.Thanks

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  13. Woman Cattle Rancher, Elgin,Tx.March 30, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Elgin, Tx. 25+ miles from Austin.I was visiting my neighbor to buy a couple of registered longhorned calves and he was telling me this Big cat story, at first I thought he was telling me one of those "good ole boy stories" How he'd lost 3 calves to a panther and he found remains buried under a pile of leaves, and you should see the scars on the longhorned cow that was trying to protect her calf. Then he called the cows and calves up from the pasture and I saw the scares for myself, she defiantly had been clawed by a large cat. He had donkeys with his cows to protect them after that happened and hasn't lost a calf since. I live in a rule area between Austin and Bastrop, the Colorado river is about 15 miles from my ranch and small creeks everywhere, I had donkeys running with my cattle after that story and I quit loosing calves too, that would "just disappear" I believe there are large cats around here....I hear to many stories from my neighbors.

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  14. WELL WE LIVE IN FARMERSVILLE TX AND ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS SEEN BIG BLACK CATS AND WE'VE HAD NEIGHBORS LIVESTALK DISSAPEAR ONE OF WHICH WAS 300LBS!!!WITH BITE MARKS AND NO DOUGHT IT WAS A BIG CAT, WELL KILLED.AND WE'VE HAD DOGS DISSAPEAR OUT OF THEIR KENNELS AND MY BROTHER SAW ONE TODAY IN OUR BACK YARD HE DESCRIBED IT AS A BIG BLACK CAT THAT TOOK A GUINNE BUT WHEN WE GOT OUT THEIR IT HAD DISSAPEARED AND IF YOU HAVE ANY INFO ON THAT PLEASE COMMENT!!!!STACY WEAVER>

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  15. wow I am so happy that others have seen what my daughter and I saw in October 2008.We live in Mesquite Texas right next to sunnyvale.It was early evening around 4:30 pm.The road we were on had many pot holes so we were traveling very slow,under walking speed.We were located right next to the Dallas water treatment plant when all of sudden this large black cat came out of a big drainage pipe turned left came up to the road crossing right in front of my car 12 feet from us.I stopped the car and we both sat there in awe.The cat was over 5ft long stood 3ft high, tail over 3 ft long color black with some grey mud dirt from the pipe.It turn towards us and I rolled up the windows.The funny part in this, when we first spotted this cat my daughter remarked daddy that`s not a bobcat which we had seen in the area.Well it walked up to us and it open its mouth and we saw its wonderful set of teeth large cannies and pink tongue.The cat walk closer to us and I called 911 and told them what we both were looking at and of course they did not believe us.The 911 operator told us we were looking at a large ratcoon; which I`d reply and said with a 3 ft long tail and stands 3 ft high are you kidding. she told me she would call back.The cat than stopped and I moved the car forward and we came within 4ft of it and it turned and walked halfway off the road than jumped from the middle to the far side and into he tall grass.911 called back and told me that the local police knew of the cat and she informed me that there were aligators near from a small swamp that was to our left.She than wanted to know if I had a camera with my phone,I told her I did and yes I forgot to take pic`s because my daughter and I were just so amazed and what we saw.BTW we both saw a caracal tonight and this is what got me to tell ya`ll of our BIG BLACK CAT EXPERIENCE.WOW.

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  16. I saw a black cat to large to be a house cat this morning @ 7:30am at the intersection of Marsh and Rosemead in Carrollton Tx

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  17. In 2008, I reported seeing a melanistic (black-dark grey phase) mountain lion, I saw the black mountain lion in Red Rock,Bastrop County, Texas in the Watterson Community. The large black cat crossed in front of my F250 truck and another pickup truck coming in the opposite direction. The Mtn. Lion crossed rural Watterson Road (Bastrop CR 207) in one jumping leap to the middle of the road then bounded off into bushes and trees following a dry creek watershed @ Wilheim Way (Bastrop CR 207). Direction of travel Southeast to Northwest. I had the approaching truck as a size reference, who as slowed down when the Black Puma crossed. Neighbors in the area report small pets and farm animals recently dissapearing and unaccounted for. Ranchers and Farmers in the area have for decades reported seeing large black cats. This is not a rouge Puma but a pride of mountain lions increasing in sightings. Evidence to confirm stories would be to caputure by camera, video, or road kill an actual animal. Wildlife Biogolist are to quick to dismiss because they have not seen one in a field guide.

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  18. I live in Waskom Tex (Harrison County) a very rural area on 145 acres. On two occassion I have seen a cat like animal approx 4ft tall, black in color with a very long tail. I determined that it was not a panther because its tail was long, curved in an upward position and fuzzy. I knew it was not a panther because its hair is short and sleek. It had an unusual gallop as well. Because we live on a private road I have notice large feces dropping on my road. The times I have seen this cat is early morining 6-6:30am and evening 5:30pm. Most recent sighting was 9/12/11. If anyone might have an idea of what I saw please let me know. (dm77584@yahoo.com)

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  19. I live in Frisco and once saw a large dark brown or black cat while driving at night, not more than a mile from my home. It was most definitely a cat with a long tail, although it was more like a German Shepherd in size.

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  20. http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/panther-most-likely-a-house-cat-expert-says-1297053.html

    We have been having panther sightings in our area, but the news and media is in denial about it and says that the cat is probably a maine coon cat which looks nothing like this animal... But Im not the expert.

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  21. well folks,
    Does 12noon on January 1st count at 50 yards, crossing road in 2 bounds.Have seen cougars in zoos and enough pictures to know what they look like and bobcats at 10 yards. Was taking a 13 and 17 year old home. Long tail with fussy end ,about 2.5 feet at the shoulder and 4.5 to 5 feet long.This took place on county road at a creek crossing. This was in Sherman TX. Both boys said it was black and crossed in 2 bounds. There are pictures of one at Paradise cove campground on Lake Texoma in broad daylight sitting in pasture at side of road. This one was light tan and white belly.
    Game wardens don't want to scare off campers and there are a lot more things in the woods than they want to admit. Often see bobcats.turkeys,deer and coyotes in my area and other critters.

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  22. Outside Quitman Texas, Have seen Paw prints and steaming feces in a pine thicket in a moist sand spot in a gas line right away and feces were on top of the track.Dogs and cats have vanished and found a colt head in woods covered by leaves and dirt. Ask cousin if anybody had lost a colt lately he said no.They have seen black cats on several occasions and I found a tree stripped of bark ,it wasn't done by a deer in rut.Had a strange experince in that area on deer hunt about 8:30 in morning.Slight southerly breeze. Something came over hill and down the gully where a tree had fallen on the fence.I was sitting in a tree over looking a sandy about 50 yards away road crossing and never got to see it.Every bird type in area was concentrated in this area following what ever it was. It was so loud you could not hear and they weren't afraid of me as they landed all around me and on my gun barrel. Looked for tracks on road but found none,checked creek crossing found smugedes going up bank. What ever it was was moving from west to east at a fair pace and birds were giving it hell.Later shot coyote at 20 yards and it was not concerned with me and was head down and tail tucked up under it belly and moving cautiosly.

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  23. Why don't these people who are supposedly seeing these "black panthers" take any pictures or collect any evidence that could be analyzed. If these existed some hunter would have killed one by now.

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  24. I was driving North from Jacksboro to Henrietta on 148 just after mid-night Sunday morning and saw something shiny black waking on the shoulder of the south bound lane. Pretty big / long tail - a little bigger than a good sized labrador retriever. I guess I was shocked at what I saw and was ready to shrugg it off. My 18 year old son saw it and said "was that a black panther?" I quickly responded "you saw it too?" I've heard about these things from pumpers in the oil field since I was a kid in the late 60s early 70s heck my dad saw one one night as well as one of our neighbors. I remember doing some research years ago and the best explanation I could find was that it could be an oddity in a litter of mountain lions - - I'm a believer now

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  25. Last evening, my wife and I left the home of relatives off C Taylor Rd in Argyle. We turned left onto Crawford Rd heading toward IH 35. About half way to IH 35 a black cat with a bob tail came out of the woods on the north side of the road and crossed to the south side. Right behind this cat was another slightly larger cat, but identical in description. The tail of these cats looked to be about 4-6 inches long. The heads were large and rounded. They looked like bobcats but were black.

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  26. I live in a Stamford, Texas. This is a small town north of Abilene. I know this site is dedicated to large black cat sightings but I have been puzzled lately by a smaller size of cat and would like to question you all. I have seen this cat or cats 4 times. 2 times at approximately 5am before daylight savings time and 2 other times just after dusk but before full night. This cat is small but larger than an average house cat. It has a very long almost pole/rod shaped tail that was almost as long as the body. It did not appear to have shorter legs like I see in pictures of Jaguarundi I have found on the internet. These have crossed the road from a mesquite/brush area over to a clearing. It was the tail that actually made me pause, being long but very full, yet like a baseball bat without the taper in size from end to end and the abrubt rounded end like a bat. My friends are starting to think I'm crazy because I keep asking if they see these at night. Thankfully my daughter was with me one evening and saw it also lol. So now I don't feel so alone. It was dark enough at all these times that I cannot tell you a color except that they did not appear black but more brown and the reflection of their eyes were noticable. I know we have bobcats around here but never have I seen a bobcat with a tail almost as long as the body.

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  27. Hi I live in St Hedwig Texas on a small 14 acre sheep ranch that borders cibolo creek where little other houses any where near the creek. I have had a problem with a mountain lion coming and killing sheep maybe every 6 months saw the tracks. Neighbor saw it training its cubs on my sheep several years ago. Anyway today I saw a large black maybe very dark brown cat larger than my german shepard with a long maybe 3 foot black cat tail. It was maybe 30 to 40 yards away from my house crossing an open part of my property. It wasnt the least bit bothered by my presence, it did not mess with my near by sheep. It was not stalking it was just walking. I have a bobcat that lives in the back and see him every now and again and this was no bob cat. I am an ex-cavalryman and I am a retired officer and medical professional and my observations are considered acceptable in court. What I saw was what I described above, I have no idea what kind of cat it was but is as described above.

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  28. My adult son heard something growl at him from by back yard and said it wasn't canine. I saw it walking like a large cat through my woods in late 2004. Found it paw prints in the mud later that year under my bathroom window. Early the next year I went with a friend to a nearby aggregate to fish and heard a large wild cat scream from the woods to find out that he knew of deer there had been killed with their necks ripped. I believe a mountain lion or some type of large cat is in the area. Then again this year (2014) I was outside and hear a loud growl from the woods, the kind that your guts tell you to seek shelter. I believe it is back....went inside quickly. I am just North of the Colorado river and the area is full of rabbits for a food source as well. The aggregate is just west of Webberville.

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