Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Black Panthers of Texas: An Impossibility?

Reports of large black cats continue to roll in weekly from around the state. Most of the accounts come from people living in the woods and river bottoms of the Eastern portion of the state; however, some reports have come in from Central and West Texas as well. Science tells us that there is no such thing as a black panther. It simply doesn't exist.

But is this true?

The only big cats that are sometimes melanistic are leopards and jaguars; neither of which are found in Texas. People claiming to have seen large black cats are told they have misidentified a known animal of some sort. Others are simply dismissed as hoaxers, nuts, or liars. Case closed. There is no such animal.

But is this true?

Some who claim to have seen a black panther seethe at the condescending attitude of wildlife officials. Other witnesses simply shrug their shoulders, not caring what others think and secure in their knowledge of what they saw, and go on about their business. It seems this dilemma is not unique to Texas, however. Indigenous people in various parts of the world have claimed sightings of large black cats for generations. Government and wildlife officials in these locales have taken much the same position as officials in the U.S. That is, with the exception of jaguars and leopards, there are no large black cats roaming the mountains, jungles, or plains of the planet. Native people who see these animals are dismissed as uneducated, superstitious, mistaken, or victims of mass hysteria.

But is this true?

The serval is medium-sized cat distributed widely across Africa south of the Sahara Desert. They are spotted cats with large ears. Their coats appear a bit cheetah-like. For decades locals living in the mountainous regions of Kenya claimed to be seeing black servals. These reports were not taken seriously until fairly recently. It has now been documented that melanistic servals do exist. They are confined almost exclusively to elevations higher than 3,000 feet. It is theorized that the black coloration is an adaptation to help conserve body heat in these higher elevations. As servals hunt almost exclusively at night, another theory is that the melanism is becoming more common as an adaptation to their nocturnalism. I don't buy into this theory much as servals found in lower elevations are nocturnal as well and do not exhibit melanism. The point is that servals can be black. The indigenous people were right all along.



Some would say the melanistic serval is just an anomaly. Other than jaguars and leopards...and now servals, there are no melanistic big cats.

But is it true?

Let's travel to the sub-continent of India. Black leopards are not unusual and are celebrated in Indian mythology and literature. European novelist Rudyard Kipling even included a black panther, named Bagheera, in his famous collection of stories, The Jungle Book. What is not as well known, however, is that tales of black tigers have long been told in India as well. It has long been assumed that cats described as black tigers were actually leopards. This is likely true in many cases; however, some black tiger sightings are not so easy to dismiss as having been melanistic leopards. Probably the most famous account of a black tiger comes from naturalist C.T. Buckland. His account was published in an 1889 issue of the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. In brief, a black tiger, alleged to have killed a villager near Chittagong, was killed by a local with a poisoned arrow. Upon hearing the news, Buckland and several colleagues travelled to the location to observe this unusual specimen. Buckland described his experience as follows:

"I remember perfectly well that the body of the animal was lying in the low bush jungle about twenty yards south of the road, and we dismounted to go and look at it. It was a full-sized tiger, and the skin was black or very dark brown, so that the stripes showed rather a darker black in the sunlight, just as the spots are visible on the skin of a black leopard. I was young and inexperienced, but Captain Swatman, who was in charge of the Government elephant kheddas, and Captain Hore (afterwards Lord Ruthven), of the 25th N.I, were well-known sportsmen, and had each of them killed many tigers. No doubt was expressed about the animal being a black tiger..."



Another well-known story has an even earlier origin. Artist James Forbes, described a black tiger he saw in 1773 while he was in the employ of the British East India Company. He stated:

"I have also the opportunity of adding the portrait of an extraordinary Tyger [sic], shot a few months ago by the Nairs (a group of Hindu warriors) in this neighborhood, and presented to the chief as a great curiosity. It was entirely black yet striped in the manner of the Royal-Tyger, with shades of a still darker hue, like the richest black, glossed with purple. My pencil is very deficient in displaying these mingled tints; nor do I know how to describe them better than by the difference you would observe in a black cloth variegated with shades of a rich velvet."

Forbes did a watercolor painting of the subject but it has been lost over time.



So where is the proof? Most of the evidence supporting the existence of melanism in tigers comes out of the Simlipal Tiger Preserve. The area has become quite well-known for it's melanistic tigers. Most display what is referred to as pseudo-melanism. Most tigers exhibiting pseudo-melanism have abnormally wide stripes. The wide black stripes grow together obscuring the usually dominant gold/orange color of the animal. These animals, while not totally black, certainly show melanism occurs in tigers. Some examples of tigers exhibiting pseudo-melanism are shown in the photos below.





So, pseudo-melanism is possible in tigers but that is a far cry from a completely black tiger, it is argued. It doesn't happen. People reporting such are only seeing black leopards or pseudo-melanistic tigers in poor light conditions.

But is this true?

To find the answer we go back to Simlipal. In 2007, an article in the Indian newspaper The Hindu documented the existence of three melanistic tigers withing the borders of the preserve. The tigers were documented via camera-trap during a tiger census project. The tigers were described as having a light brown coat with jet black stripes by Chief Wildlife Warden Suresh Mohanty. Amazingly, the existence of melanistic tigers in the park was described as, "usual" by Mohanty. In addition, the former Chief Wildlife Warden for the preserve, Kumar Patnaik, said that black tigers were spotted back in 1993 and again in 2004.



In addition, take a look at this video on Siberian tigers. It is rather lengthy but fast forward to the 1:40 mark and hit play. The tiger on the far left is solid black. The cat that is second from the left seems to be exhibiting pseudo-melanism as it's hindquarters look black. The picture above and the video of these Siberian tigers seem to prove once and for all that true black tigers do exist.

Yet, wildlife officials here in the states continue to say that black panthers are an impossibility here in North America. Other than jaguars, leopards, servals, and, now, tigers there are no melanistic big cats in the world.

But is this true?

What about here in the United States? Of the big cats generally recognized to still live within the contiguous 48 states, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelot, and jaguarundi; only the jaguarundi is thought to show melanism. Oops, did I just add another candidate to our list of melanistic big cats? I guess I did. Could another be added? How about the photo below? The photo was taken in Florida and shows a melanistic bobcat.



So our list of big cats known to show melanism needs to expand yet again. Jaguars, leopards, servals, tigers, jaguarundi, and bobcats all exhibit melanism on occasion. While no melanistic cougar has ever been officially documented is it really an impossibility? Wildlife officials would tell you that is the case.

But, I would ask you once again, is this true?

43 comments:

  1. its an natures attempt to help the tigers survive little further!

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  2. As far as Texas goes I once heard that the black cats where released in the 70's to help control the Hog population. I know of several people in the Grimes Montgomery County areas who swear to have seen them.

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    1. I saw one 2 years ago in sherman Texas. I had a witness. Driving with the top down at 15 mpg to avoid potholes, it ran across the narrow road arched its back and darted back where it had come from. It had yellow eyes and dark spots but it was black. No question it was a black jaguar or panther. Long thick tail, the height of a Great Dane . It was thin, but the body was long and legs stout. The street was Loy Lake in sherman, near my home

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  3. ONE CORRECTION.....JAGUARS DO LIVE IN TEXAS...
    IN THE PANHANDLE....BIG BEND, MARFA, WACO...LAREDO..
    ON THE BORDER BETWEEN MEXICO AND TEXAS..
    ASK BIG BEN PARK SERVICE.

    SOME SCIENTISTS BELIEVE JAGUARS HAVE EXPANDED THEIR RANGE,DUE TO RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION IN SOUTH AMERICA,
    THEY ARE ...OR HAVE MIGRATED THROUGH TEXAS AND UP TO THE MIDWEST STATES WHERE THEY ARE SEEN REGULARLY....ONE HAS BEEN CAPTURED ON FILM,BLACK JAGUAR...POSTIVELY IDENTIFIED BY A BIG CAT EXPERT IN INDIANA.

    SCIENTISTS AND HISTORIANS CLAIM THAT SEVERAL CENTURIES AGO THE JAGUARS RANGE WAS ALL OVER NORTH AMERICA,MEXICO AND SOUTH AMERICA BEFORE SETTLERS AND MODERN MAN KILLED THEM OFF IN THE U.S....OR SO WE THOUGHT?

    ALSO...FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOLKS..RIGHT NOW THEIR ARE MORE BIG CATS IN CAPTIVITY BY PRIVATE COLLECTORS AS..."PETS"....THAN IN THE WILD.

    SO, THE POSSIBILITY FOR ERRORS ON THE PART OF THESE BIG CAT OWNERS IS HUGE...AND I AM SURE THIS LED TO MANY ESCAPES.

    ALL THIS WAS STARTED IN THE 1970'S...WHEN IT WAS "THE FAD" TO OWN AN EXOTIC CAT LIKE PARIS HILTON WITH HER LITTLE DOG, TINKER BELL... IS TODAY .

    AND REGULATIONS WERE LAX...NOW WE MAY HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM FLORIDA IS HAVING WITH EXOTIC SNAKES AND LIZARDS....

    WITH TIGERS,JAGUARS,LEOPARDS,EXT....ALL OVER THE U.S.

    PEOPLE GET A TIGER,EXT..GET SICK OF IT WHEN THEY REALIZE THAT IT TOO BIG TO HANDEL ONCE IT IS NO LONGER A CUB ,COSTS TOO MUCH MONEY TO FEED,AND POSES A SERIOUS THREAT TO THEM,

    THEY TAKE IT OUT TO A WOODED AREA AND LET IT GO...OVER TIME MANY OTHERS DO THE SAME...UNTIL WE HAVE A LARGE BREEDING POPULATION ...POSSIBLY...EVEN TIGERS BREEDING WITH LEOPARDS, EVEN CREATING A HYBRID "LARGE BLACK CAT."
    SOMETIMES SEEN "BLACK WITH SPOTS" SOMETIMES SEEN "BLACK WITH STRIPES"...
    MAYBE MELANISM IS NOT THE ONLY EXPLANATION.

    REMEMBER THE "LIGER" THAT WAS CREATED IN CAPTIVITY...RESULTING FROM A MATING OF A LION AND TIGER?
    RESULT...HUGE BEAST...BIGGER THAN ANY MASTIFF DOG...AND LARGE ENOUGH TO BE A PET FOR BIG FOOT....
    LIGERS HAVE STRIPES ON THEIR HEADS,LION COLORING AND MINI MANE , STRIPES ON LOWER LEGS AND HIND QUARTERS...BUT THEY HAVE A MELANISM OF SORTS IN ITSELF.

    THIS IS MORE LIKELY ANOTHER EXPLAINATION
    FOR BLACK CAT SIGHTINGS.
    AND WHY IS THIS EVEN CONSIDERED "PARANORMAL" AT THIS POINT?

    THIS IS JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF MAN TRYING TO CONTROL NATURE , CAGE IT, TAME IT...AND LIKE IN MIAMI , FLORIDA....FAILING MISERABLY !!!

    THE BURMESE PYTHON AND HIS EXOTIC BUDDIES WILL WIN IN THE END WITH A SPECIES TAKE OVER.....JUST LIKE THESE "BLACK CATS" WE ARE SEEING....IN SOME STATES DATING BACK TO THE 1930'S...WHEN CIRCUSES USED TO COME TO TOWN WITH BIG CATS..AND MOVIE STUDIOS LET THEM ROAM AROUND THE MGM LOT.

    WHERE DO YOU THINK THE MGM LION COMES FROM?
    LB MAYOR HAD A HUGE COLLECTION OF BIG CATS..HIS FAVORITE WAS HIS LION.

    AFTER HIS DEATH...HIS BLACK LEOPARD AND TIGER ESCAPED INTO THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN WHEN RELATIVES CAME TO PUT HIS HOUSE IN ORDER FOR SALE.

    THE MGM LION BECAME HIS SISTER'S PET AND LIVED IN LUXURY TILL IT'S DEATH.

    SO...THERE YOU GO....WHAT IS SO WEIRD ABOUT THAT?

    DOGS,HOUSE CATS,POT BELLIED PIGS,FERRETS,EXOTIC BIRDS HAVE ALL DONE THE SAME THING...ESCAPE.

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  4. I've lived in Texas my whole life. I have seen 3 black cats.
    My father has seen numerous.

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  5. I was born in 1949 in Kerrville Texas, as a boy in the 1950's my dad worked as a ranch hand at several ranches in central texas, also called the hill country. As a boy he hired on one year at a ranch just out of Hunt Texas. His job was taking care of a guest ranch. He did carpenter work on the guest cabins, fixed what ever needed fixing and took care of around a hundred horses. Now towards the end of summer and the aproach of fall and the up coming deer and turkey season the owners had him take two 50 pound sacks of corn by horseback to a certin area several miles into the cedar cover hills. At a certin spot we ( I got to ride the second horse carring corn ) would leave the corn all layed out for several ft. One day as we were putting out the corn, I had noticed a small well hid shack about a hundred yards from us. When I asked my dad about it, he said he had built it for the hunters that would be coming before long from the big cities to hunt deer and turkey. He said the owners guarenteed the hunters a deer. I told him that since we had been coming up with the corn for several wks. now that the deer didn't even run from us any more and that shooting them would kind of be like shooting fish in a barrel and that at that range I could probably kill one with a rock. He just smiled and said, " Don't seem right, do it boy " but like I said, they guarantee them big city boys a deer. Now late one afternoon after we had droped the corn off and was about half way back to the barn our horses started going crazy, snorting, crow hoping, and tring to turn back. My dad turned around to me and said, " Hold his head up and keep a tight reign, cause your getting ready to see something " It wasn't even a minute after he said that, when a pair of black panthers ran right onto the trail in front of us not 30 ft. away. I can remember it like it was yesterday, The horses going nuts, and then staring at something I had only seen once before and that was at night, this was broad day light and up close. As I looked at them, I remember there neon bright yellow eyes first, then how they were hunkered real low to the ground. I would say the second thing I noticed was the size, they were pretty darn big, about the size of a small mountain lion, jet black with the long mountain lion like tail. They only stayed about 10 seconds at most, then was gone as fast as they came. After we finally got the horses to settle down and I had time to ask my dad what the heck I had just seen he said " That was a pair of yearling Black Panthers " Now my Dad was a real Texas cowboy, as was his, and his before him. He didn't talk a lot but when he did what he said was sure worth listening to, and I never knew him to lie are stretch the truth, Like I said, this was the second time I saw a black panther as a boy. So if you want to beleive they're not there, well,! I suppose thats your right, but as for me I know better. This by the way is the same area I use to wonder off for a bit while my dad was putting out the corn and play pushing sticks and leafs across a giant 3 toed foot print set in solid stone, only later in life did I come to know what I had been playing in. P.S. Even to this day I could go straight to that spot. If you doubt what I'm saying, I now live in Oregon, heres my email. charliehawk5@yahoo.com

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  6. I hope by posting another comment on here that I ain't wearing out my welcome. This is the first time I've ever wrote an online reply, but dad-gum-it I was there, I saw what I saw, and nothing gets my goat more than those so called Wildlife officals saying that these big cats just flat out don't exsist. After I posted my last comment I contacted my brother-in law who lives in Austin and told him all about what the so called wildlife experts were saying about the big cats in Texas. Now my brother-in-law spent 20 plus years as a Texas Department of Public Safty Officer ( What other states call( Highway Patrol ) After he left the highway patrol he became a Texas Ranger for awhile, then finished up his career as a U.S. Marshall, He would be considered the best Texas had to offer. He was born and raised not all that far from Kerrville, and raised in the Texas hill country. When I asked this man who had spent countless days and nights on lonely Texas hiways what his take on it was he said, That growing up in the hill country he had seen black panthers on more than one occacion, plus while on duty, and anyone who says they don't exsist was full of mud. So if you want to beleive the closed mined college boys and girls wildlife people, or a Texas ranger, it's up to you. Now, If those fine young men and women setting in their air conditioned offices in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and other big cities would get off there butts and climb in their nice new air conditioned trucks and drive to the hill country and visit a few of the old ranchers, tell them what their after, bring their own horses, ( Heck,! I bet those ranchers would even lend them some ) and along with a couple pack horses head out into the deep hills for a couple wks. I bet they'd come back with a different point of view. I'm sure the ranchers would even teach them how to get off and on a horse. Thanks Again for posting my say-so. Charlie. Charliehawk5@yahoo.com

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  7. Last week while hunting in my deer stand in llano, TX. I saw a large black cat. At first i though it was a bobcat and rejected the fact that it may be a black cougar but as i looked at it harder i noticed the cat was abnormaly large and had a tail as long as its body, and he was absolutly black. In a daze i grabbed my gun and shot twice at him. And missed before he tauntingly turned around a walked off. I later found out my guns scope had been knocked off sight. I told the land owner and he said he has seen him before. To me i have all the proof i need to know the cats are real.

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  8. Heck,! Don't shoot one of these beautiful big Panthers. Remember you were in his back yard, not to mention, him and his kin were in Texas long before yours. Thanks. Charlie

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    1. I agree with Charlie. I've seen one in sherman Texas 2 years ago. It was black with rounded donut shaped blacker spots. Yellow eyes. About 100 pounds- thin considering how long it was. Rounded ears, long cat like muzzle. Exactly as the pictures show. I've since heard others seeing them in fields in the sherman Texas area, I would never shoot or hurt one. They kill vermon

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    2. We have seen them in Mills Co., Goldwaithe area before. 1988 and 2014. Usually one every season

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  9. I'm located south of fort worth and people around here,including myself have spotted large black cats,as in panther size,I've been told many a story yet every game warden denies it

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  10. Tell your doubting game wordens to go to Hunt Texas, from there drive a few more miles to what used to be called the " HEART OF THE HILLS GUEST RANCH " Maybe it still is. Once there go to the main building which should be about dead center of the other smaller buildings, The main building is backed by a large mountain/cliff as are most of the smaller buildings. One will have to work your way around to get to the top, I'm sure the owners will know the route, once on top get your bearings by walking towards the main building so as you can look down on it, you'll know your there because you'll find several 3 toed dinasore tracks set down 5 or 6 inches in solid stone, I know, there the one's I played in as a boy in the 1950's . Now your in Black Panther country, this is where I saw the yearling pair of black panthers as a boy with my dad. Now, just set up some of those fancy tree cameras, don't check them but every couple wks. as to give time for your scent to wear off, and I'll bet you dimes to dollars you'll get the proof them city boys says ain't there. If nothing else, you get to see some tracks made a few million years ago. Chuck, charliehawk5@yahoo.com

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  11. Black Panthers were here in Texas 10,000 years ago ......
    and they are back....for 2012!

    ....Black Panter......

    Maya Black Jaguars

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  12. Well Dang, I done told you where to find them, how to find them, and if you take regular cameras along with you you'll get some really " HOT DANG " Pictures of those huge 3 toed tracks set in solid stone, ( Probably a T-REX ) I bet people would love to see those. I've been an out door, tromp threw the woods and mountains type man my whole life. I know what I'm talking about, Heck,! If I was back home in Texas I'd go myself, but I an't so it's up to some young bucks to get out there and get the proof we need. It's there, and the big Black cats are there, Somebody get off their butts and go get some pictures, by the way, I found out the HEART OF THE HILLS GUEST RANCH IS STILL THERE, Just a few miles out of Hunt Texas. Be sure and takes a good gun, just in case, just try not to use it. REMEMBER,! Once you can look down at the top of the main building several hundred ft. below and your standing on solid rock, your there. Good Luck. Chuck charliehawk5@yahoo.com

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  13. Mike, I would just like to say thanks for taking the time to contact this old Texas cowboy, I know your a busy man, but the personal Howdy, ment a lot to me. I thank you must be a good man, an't many of those left. Keep up the good work. Charlie, charliehawk5@yahoo.com P.S. For those of you who might be wondering about my e-mail name, it's cause My Dad was White, and his name was Charlie, = Charlie = While my mom was Chiricahua Apache = Hawk = Put them together and you got me in the middle = Charliehawk.

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  14. For the past several years we have been hearing some strange animal with alarge raspy growl in the woods just behind our home,wanting to find out what it could be I set up a game camera on the edge of the woods just behind our home. At the end of November 2011 I was out back working on putting up a flood light to have extra light out back because I am now too afraid to sit out on our backporch once it gets dark, all of a sudden I heard the animal make that horrible noise behind me, so naturally I got inside as fast as I could and told my son to get his gun, because as I had been calling this animal THE CREATURE was out close by. By the time we got back out we did not hear it anymore.The next day I checked the game camera and what I saw was a shock to me.Although all I was able to get was a picture of its head and eyes everyone I have shown it to says it is definitly a black panther.Last night Jan.18,2012 my husband and I heard it again,so today we went out checking for tracks and were able to find some near our neighbors pond.Took pictures of tracks maybe someday someone will come out and help capture this animal so I can feel safe in my own yard again.We live in Cass County Texas anybody close by know what to do Thanks, Kathy Holcomb

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    1. Kathy, I'd sure love to see that game camera picture as well as any other pictures of tracks and such you've taken. If the photo shows enough, I know some folks that might be able to identify the animal and that would be the first step in getting you some help.

      Mike

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  15. GREAT,! Finally some real proof, I can't wait to see the pictures. p.s. I'd not only keep yourselfs inside, but your cats and dogs. And remember, when I saw the yearling pair of panthers it was broad daylight, so be careful and don't let your guard down. All the best. Charlie, charliehawk5@yahoo.com

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  16. Me and two other guys seen two black panthers running low to the ground, after a couple of doe in jefferson texas about 20 years ago on a old logging trail where we used to hunt.

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  17. I pick up oil in the big brush country at night. I've seen them near Tilden just south of Jourdanton. Oh yeah, they are big. Your more likely to spot them just after sunset. That when they like to hunt. You know deer are bedding down for the night, easy prey. While i'm out of my truck, sometimes the wind is in my direction and slow. I can smell their scent of sweaty fur and other stuff around their mouth. Yeah, their that close sometimes. You might never see them but you know they are there. Cause the hair on the back of your head will stand up. Remember its nightime. The only thing between you and them is your truck and the lights and maybe the oil tanks. Take care care the biggest flashlight you can, it hurts their eyes. Wave it around you everso often. Means your are alert to the big cat.

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  18. I saw something while riding in a car a couple of years ago; in south Fort Worth. A heavily residential area, with a large creek running within plain view of the major road we were on. I have lived in this area for 8 years now, and frequently glance that way as it has declined and become overgrown, hard not to notice. This was late fall, everything was yellow. When I glanced to my left, I saw a -black as midnight, low crouching, very large sized animal. At first I thought large black labrador, but it was much too wide and too still...so still! and the head a face was short,It was pressed into the ground making it flatten out so I couldn"t tell . I gasped so loudly the driver was stunned. I exclaimed " turn around!!" I've never been one to be irrational- so the driver was shocked. As we passed back by the same location 60 seconds later there was nothing. I asked if we could pass one more time- nothing. I wanted to call authorities! but my friend assured me nothing like that would be around here. I felt like I was crazy but I still look when I go by. Something was there, way too big to be a dog, even a great dane is somewhat skinny. this animal was solid-wide. Like black velvet, not dog fur. Its the only time I have ever seen anything like that.

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  19. Well Mike, I haven't wrote in quite a while, and I've pretty much said all I got to say about the big black cats, but due to all the Hub-Bub about Big Foot, and the fact I done got me some cabin fever real bad, I've decided to take my trusty camera, my 12 ga. pump shotgun( LOTS OF BEARS AND COUGERS ) And head out to an area up in the Oregon Cascade Mountains where several years ago I came across about a half dozen caves, about a half mile apart at the bottom side of a long ridge, this was deep in the mountains with a small fast running river about 2 or 3 hundred yards from the caves. When I spotted the first cave I became curious and walked up to take a look. What I found was a half mooned shaped cave, with a fairly large entrance that sloped back 12 to 15 ft. I looked in and saw a fairly large bed, or at least it looked like a bed to me, and one that had a indentation in as though something quite large had bedded down on it not that long ago. Now I started looking for human tracks, but the ground was bare and hard packed, so no tracks. Then I started looking for other human tracks, like gum or candy wrapers, pop cans and the such, I found nothing, thats when it dawned on me that the large bed that was made up of small pine tree branches had something odd about it. I noticed that the pine branches all had the base of them about the size of a man's wrist or bigger, what struck me strange about them was that there were no saw or cut marks of any kind on them, they had all been broke and pulled off the tree, you could tell by the long wood runners at the base of each branch. Now Oregon has some pretty healthy fellas working out in the woods, but I don't know of one who could just snap a branch of that size and pull it off the tree. In any event, the winter snows will all be gone in a couple wks. and I plan on going back there and taking lots of pictures, if the beds in those caves are still being used, I'll send you the pictures, I'll bet money that with that many bedding places it's on a well traved route and still being used, We'll see,! Like they say, ( The proof is in the Pudding. ) I posted this here as I didn't know where else to post it, I trust if your interested in showing it, you'll put it where it belongs. I hope to be sending you some good pictures in a few wks. and let you decide for yourself. Thanks. Chuck. charliehawk5@yahoo.com

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  20. We have a hunting ranch just outside of Tarpley, TX and this past weekend we were doing some prep work for the upcoming deer season. About 3:00 AM Sunday I had to get up to relieve myself and looked out the window and saw a large black cat (about the size of a large bobcat) He was near an outside light about 100 yards away and soon as I touched the doorknob to get a better look he was gone like a bolt of lightning! While I would hate to kill a cat like this I would sure like to ID this cat. I'll try baiting the area and setup a game camera next trip to the ranch

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  21. My wife and I were leaving a friends property in Tarpley Texas ( about 9:30 PM) on July 28, we were slowly traveling down the gravel road and there was an animal ( frozen by the vehicles headlights)that at first appeared to look like a fox, but had the face of a cat. It had very long upright ears, a tail like a cat not a fox, was about 2 1/2 ft tall and about 3 1/2 ft long ( without the tail) we were about 10 ft away from it and it was not spooked by my vehicle. it was a very light color of grey with darker grey on it's face, the ears like I mentioned were very large. the fur colors were solid ( no spots or stripes ) and was way too large to be a house cat.

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  22. Another point to the above post (unknown cat) was that the nose/ face structure of the animal was close to "flat" like a cat and not pointed like a fox/coyote and the tail had a "tubular" shape like a cat's tail.

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  23. I'm with "Charliehawk"! My familys from Kerrville, my daddys been a car dealer there for years, I've seen one myself out in Ingram just walking up the hills by myself a couple years ago. Luckily I was far out enough that I don't believe he saw me. I didn't know they were that far west but I do know that in between Richards, Tx and Huntsville, Tx an area know as "west sandy" is very popular for sightings of very large black cats. They actually hunt them. The cat I saw was in broad daylight, but these I hear are typically seen at night. My brother Matt and his friends came across one before while hog huntin. I've lived in Richards for 16 years now and "black panthers" are notorious. Hell, Richards school mascot are the Panthers!. You want proof? You're gonna have to get out there and find it for yourself and then try and convince someone that's never seen one. Grimes/Walker/Montgomery Co. is where they are most popular. Check in to it.
    Best Regards,
    Becky Leach

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  24. I saw a large black cat (what I'm assuming was a panther) today out in Anuhuac. My friend's little girl pointed towards the wooded area behind their property and said "kitty." When I turned around I saw it. At first i thought it was just a cat then i realized how huge it was.

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  25. We live in Rhome, Tx and three different people have described a large black animal larger than a large dog, in the road and also chasing dogs. We have had several posts in the gas stations of missing dogs. We are not sure what is is but it could be a panther or another large cat.

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  26. Been thinking it over, The only way people like the fish@game are ever going to admit that the Black Panthers everyone is seeing are really there, is to plug one and lay it at their door step, same goes for a Bigfoot. charliehawk5@yahoo.com

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  27. I have a memory of when I was 14 walking down river in Porter ,Texas.(Ironically there is an area close by called Black Cat Junction).And seen what looked to be a black cat ready to pounce from a sand dune,we started to back away when he chose to leave us be.Summer 1980

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  28. Irvine,Ca. I am a hunter and I see about 5 to ten bobcats a year a mountain lion every five years. I know what I saw was abnormal.
    There is a huge black and grey striped bob tailed cat that lives in my neighborhood which dwarfs my 95 pound yellow lab. This cat is easily as large or larger than a very large doberman pincher, long legged and lean torso. I saw the cat and my dog at the same time as to make a startling comparison. Now I know what sliced up my dogs face. My friend saw him up the canyon while he was grading a lot for a custom house 2011 it just stood there looking at him in front of the tractor. I saw him a year ago 2011 in front of my house in the street and my mother just saw it in the backyard when our dog tried to attack it but ran into the sliding glass door.7:13 this morning 10-29-2012. She thought it was a mountain lion, she said the head was huge!Robert at rac44@cox.net

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  29. i live and hunt in east tx and this morning i hear something coming up behind me it stoped right behind my box stand, must have caught my scent and took off running saw it plain as day looked exactly like a black panther it was as close as 10 ft from me it was aprox. 6 to 7 feet long from nose to tip of tail im still cant believe what i saw

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  30. I live in midwest missouri and I my self have seen a very large soliid black panther white gold colored eyes run across 13 Hwy shortly after dusk about a year ago I remember yelling at my friend to stop the van she was gonna hit it, we swerved just in time and luckly the roads were clear it stoped lokked at us then took off & finished crossing the road

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  31. All I know is that where I grew up in the 1960s
    in south east Texas; that non existent black cat
    (call it what you want I call it a black panther) probably averaged 80 pounds did exist.
    So much so that I hunted them for a bounty paid at the county clerks office. Just bring in the pair of ears and I got paid $7.50 which in those days was a lot of gasoline at 16.9 cents per gallon. They may not exist any longer, possibly to over hunting of them but they did then. If the TPWD deny it then they LIE LIE LIE.

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  32. We saw 2 black Panthers here in Austin in plain daylight just today. We couldnt believe our eyes, we watched them for about 10 mintues before they disappeared into a wooded area. We are 100% sure they were panthers, not large housecats, bobcats,jaguars, mountain lions, etc. Black with yellowish looking eyes. This was in a heavily populated area, along a running trail in Central NW Austin. We called animal control to report our sighting.

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  33. I recently saw what I believe to be a Jaguarundi in the state park in San Angelo, Tx. It was April 14,2013, around 7pm - dusk. My wife and I were on a road in the park that leads up to the camping area when about 150 feet in front of our Jeep this creature crossed the road. It was low to the ground, completely jet black with a tail that made up at least half of its length. I estimated (then measured) based on how much of the road this thing covered as it walked across, that it was about 5 feet nose to tail tip. Small head, rear legs somewhat longer than the front, obviously feline. My first thought was a juvenile "black panther". I spoke to the state biologist and ranger in the area and they said what I described was a jaguarundi. I looked at pics on the internet and that is exactly what we saw. The park is about 11 thousand acres of scrub, mesquite, thorns etc.

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  34. in November of 2011 i was on my way to work in brownfield tx from tahoka tx i had a low tire so i stopped at the rest area and when pulling in on top of the table i noticed an animal on top of the picnic table that they have their at the rest area this was at 4:55 am it got up and then thats when i noticed that it was a large black cat it was no bobcat. then in january i was again on my way to work and about 30 yards east from where the rest area was i came across a beige/dirty blond brownish color big cat had a baby muel deer by the neck and was dragging it across the road.

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  35. Black Jags are alive and well in the Southern parts of the state. I know this because a fist hand account of an attack on a horse in Bastrop Co. I don't think Tx Parks and Wildlife will ever admit they exist though...

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  36. An acquaintance who lives in Franklin, Tx swears that there are medium sized black panthers living in the creek bed near there. She reports that when one was stalking her dog she called animal control. Texas Game and Wildlife agent came and shot it. It was probably big bobcat sized but with a tail.

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    1. Your acquaintance in Franklin, Texas is right! There are several "Big Cats" in the area. I love about 10-15 miles from Franklin & we have had one on our property, I have had one run across the road on FM 2549 in front of my car. They have their "Cry" that they do & it can be heard almost nightly. For them to let out a roar is something that will send chills up your spine!

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  37. Yesterday: I saw a large, definitely black cat cross the road 100 feet in front of me. This was late afternoon on North Shore Dr. about five miles north of Cisco Tx The animal was running and was about 20-24 inches tall. The tail was MUCH longer than a bobcat but not as long as panthers are described.

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  38. I live in Austonio, Tx. Late last summer we were out for a drive down a dirt road about 2 miles from our house. While looking out the passenger window I saw a large BLACK cougar sized animal jumping through the tall grass coming straight toward us. The grass was light in color and it really stood out.(not brown,but black.) It was about 60 yards away and moving fast. Every time it jumped I could see head and front paws, then when it landed only the tail could be seen as grass was tall.The tail was quite long and held straight up. My brother has also spotted one about five miles away twice in a pasture.

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