Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Black Panther Reports

Readers continue to send in reports of their encounters with black panthers from across the Lone Star State and beyond. Most of these reports have been submitted via the “comments” option at the bottom of various posts on big cats and are submitted by people who prefer to remain anonymous. This is unfortunate as it does not allow for any follow-up on my part. I thought I would share some of the latest reports that have come my way with you all.

Remember that I have no way of verifying the veracity of these reports. Having said that, and I think you’ll agree, the reports are not overly sensational and do not seem full of hyperbole. Nearly all of the reports are short and to the point. They describe what was seen and don’t go into a lot of extraneous detail. Now, having got all of that out of the way, here we go:

Submitted 12/3/11 from the Hillsboro, Texas

“I can't believe we took our picture card out of our camera and a hunter on our ranch saw what they thought was a black panther! We live near Hillsboro, Texas!”

Submitted 12/6/11 from New York state

“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?”

Submitted 12/7/11 from Frisco, Texas

“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.”

Submitted 11/9/11 from Llano, Texas

“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.”

Submitted 11/24/11 from Denison, Texas

“I spotted a large black cat in the field next to my house this morning. I live in Denison Texas. It's long tail and the way it leapt through the grass assured me this was not a bobcat.”

Submitted 1/5/12 from Fort Worth, Texas

“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.”

Submitted 1/5/12 from California regarding a sighting in Hunt, Texas

“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 dinasaur 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.”

Submitted 1/9/12 from the Texas Hill Country

“Today, Jan 9th 2012, I spotted a solid black mountain lion. I live in the rural Texas Hill Country. The cat was the size of a medium dog with a tail as long as the body. It was 2:30 pm in the afternoon so there is no mistake of what I saw.”

Submitted 1/11/12 from Fort Stockton, Texas

“Coming up HWY 285 south of Fort Stockton, TX. I saw a black panther crouched down on the side of the road waiting to cross. I slowed down and saw it clearly and am positive it was a black panther. A local rancher told me he has seen them in that area as well.”

These are just some of the latest reports. I’ve received others. Could some of these people be mistaken about what they saw? I suppose. The fact of the matter, however, is that people continue to claim sightings of an animal that is not supposed to exist. What are they seeing? They can't all be mistaken can they?

I would be especially interested in any black panther sightings here in central Texas. I have game cameras ready and available for deployment and would love to take a shot at getting a photograph of one of these elusive big cats. Once we have a picture we might be able to deduce whether they are melanistic jaguars, exotic black leopards, jaguarundis, unusually dark cougars, or something else.

Let’s get this done.


  1. Let me tellya, this scares the begeebers outa me. Way up here in Northcentral WI there aren't supposed to be any large cats either...denied every time by the DNR, but since folks are getting trail camera sitings plus visual, they are coming around to the possibilities. Heck, folks have been seeing them for as many as 30 yrs. already, that I know of.
    My husband and I saw one ourselves, but it was a brownish/blonde cougar with the long tail tipped in black, huge head, body and feet. He crossed the road right in front of the truck just less than a half mile from where we live. Too many sitings, camera and actual, to deny. People are not stupid, geeez!
    My folks and uncle have seen a couple black ones, about 20 miles north of us yet. They seem to survive just fine wherever they're planted. No wonder we have no whitetail population left, to speak of, or rabbits.
    Glad I found your site.

  2. Back in late November 2011 I was able to get a picture of the head of a black panther on my game camera.This animal has been hanging around here for several years. We live in the Cass County area just southeast of Atlanta,Texas. Everyone I have shown the picture to says it is ablack panther,You be the judge .

  3. I have a new RV campground on the Llano river near Kingsland and last night we saw a black cat a large one meandering through our campground, bring you cameras here and catch a photo

  4. My wife and son both saw a medium sized black cat just behind our back fence. We live in a rural neighborhood near Aledo, Tx. I saw only the tail in the shadows and could not see detail. They had a much better look at it and described it as about the size of our black lab. At first they thought it was a bobcat but the tail was long and this animal was solid black. It was clearly stalking something on the hill behind the house. We have many deer back there and of course the fawns have just been born. Several birds were raising a ruckus for a few minutes afterwards. Time of day was about 4pm.

  5. My husband and I just moved back to Texas June 11, 2012, and friends we're staying with told us about reports of a black panther in the area. Yesterday July 18, on his way home from work about 4:00 in the afternoon, my husband saw what he described as a big, black cat crossing the road. The area was two miles past Kovar Road on the 535 outside of Smithville, Texas.

  6. I lived at Lake Sweetwater, Texas (West Tx) from the time I was born in 1987 until i was 17 years old. My grandfather had lived on the opposite side of the lake from 1940-1980. His family owned all the land ans actually built the lake. His family has lived on the land since the early 1800s. Growing up i heard my grandfather tell stories of seeing a black panther while him and my grandmother were on a date making out in their car. I always thought he was pulling my leg until I was 10 years old and was camping out on our land with my two older brothers who were 13 and 16. It was right at dawn and we heard all of our animals going crazy. We unzipped our tent to look out and there it was sitting underneath the guard light by our barn eating a chicken. We ran inside the house to get my father who came out just as he was walking across our lot and my dad almost had a heart attack. It was huge, 100% black and its tail was just as long as its body of not longer. When the sun came up we went to look at its prints and took pictures. The prints were twice as big as bobcat or mountain lion prints. I know what we saw was a panther, we also have heard its screams many nights. Theres no doubt in my mind theres more than one.

  7. Jan 18 3014 My husband owns a few acres of land in center point tx where he and his friend go hunting. Last week as they were walking to their blinds they heard a loud cat growl but they didn"t see anything. Today my husband standing by his shed and saw it was black long tail and the size of our yellow lab who wts 80lbls. My husband says he looked like he was hunting jack rabbits. He and his friend will try and see if they can trap him in a large pick cage. The ranch down the road has live stock cows, lambs and goats. My husband said he was a beautiful animal shiny black.

  8. July 8, 2014.
    My husband and I live in Lewisville TX, in an apartment complex close to the lake. There is a small field in front of our windows. When my husband was leaving for work this morning around 7:00 am he got into his car and saw a large cat jump up infront of him. It jumped a few times as if it were trying to get a rabbit or something. He saw it very upclose said it was medium-dark brown in color, looked to be about 3 feet long or longer. Long tail, large hind leg and paws. I came out onto our balcony to see if I could spot it and I eventually did (I did get it on camera, I would love to share it but I do not see where I can attach it.) It was in the tall grass that comes up pretty tall and you can clearly see it is up about that.

  9. Jessica, you can email the photo to