Following are the latest credible black panther sightings that have been reported to me. As I have said on numerous occasions, I am fully aware that there is not supposed to be any such animal as a black panther. Still, the sightings keep rolling in to me on a monthly basis. Check out the reports below and decide for yourself whether or not there might be a cat matching the classic description of a black panther out there.
"Able to observe this ‘black panther’ for sometime and make positive identification. Approximately 70 pounds, distinctive round yellow eyes, rounded ears, 2 feet approximately at shoulder, long thicker tail, very dark showing some signs of chocolate consistent with some sun bleaching of a black coat. Grapevine Texas Dallas metro. July 29, 2017."
TCH Comment: If everything Melinda reports is factual – and there is no reason to think it is not – then there are only a couple of possibilities when it comes to the identity of this cat. It would have to be either a jaguar or a cougar; at approximately 70 lbs. it is likely too big to be anything else. The color described would seem to make a cougar very unlikely. Could a jaguar find its way that far north? Interestingly, an account from Saginaw, which is approximately 15 miles to the southeast of Grapevine, came in just four days before this one (see below). Could these witnesses have seen the same cat?
"I live in Bee County, TX. I was sitting outside with my husband around 2 a.m. this morning. We live outside of town but in a neighborhood. Across the street in my neighbor’s yard I saw something black walking. I got up from my porch swing and pointed it out to my husband. At that time it climbed the neighbors shed. It was a huge cat, appeared to be black with a long tail. I screamed ‘black panther’ and we ran inside. He saw it too. We called police just to scan the area but they never showed. They must think I'm crazy but I'm alerting my neighbors I am scared now."
TCH Comment: Bee County is in south Texas near the coast. It is not far from the accepted range of the elusive jaguarundi; however, the cat described here seems far too large to be a member of that species. Mountain lion sightings are not unusual in south Texas so that must be considered a possibility in this case. The cat is described as huge and black. From the reaction of the witness, I believe she saw something big; however, since the sighting took place at 2:00 a.m. I have questions as to how well lit the area was and how she could be sure she was not seeing a cat in shadow which could make it appear black. If these questions can be answered, I will add this sighting to my distribution map but, until such a time, I will leave it off.
"Greetings! I came across your blog and just had to see what you think about what I saw this weekend. I was visiting my brother off of business 287 and Bonds Ranch Road (near Saginaw or Hicks Airfield). At about 6:45 Sunday morning, the dogs next door starting barking at something outside the fence. Full pasture land across the road. I took the still shot of large black cat (has tail). If you zoom in to center of stillshot (upper right of tail end of dog) you can see cat on outside of iron fence. It continued down to the neighborhood entrance and that is where I shot the video. Distance from me to entrance is approximately 200 feet. We are curious what your thoughts are?? Much too large for domestic cat IMO. Any comments are much appreciated!"
TCH Comment: Saginaw is a suburb of Fort Worth in Tarrant County. The county has been the source of numerous black panther reports over the years. The photo included, at first glance, is unimpressive; however, if one stops and takes into account the size of the dog in the foreground (large breed) and the estimated distance of 200 feet between the photographer and the cat, it must be concluded that the animal is pretty big. It is too far away to glean much in the way of details but it was a substantial cat. I will add this sighting to my sightings distributions map.
"My brother used to work for a school in Elysian Fields in NE Texas. He told me that he saw a very large black panther twice when he was going to work there. He was certain it was a jaguar."
TCH Comment: Elysian Fields is a small unincorporated community in Harrison County in far northeast Texas. The area has been a source of black panther reports for years. The report is basic and simple, however, since it is a secondhand account I will, for now, leave it off my sightings distribution map.
"I am working on a survey crew along the Brazos River, just south of Simonton in Fort Bend County. One of my co-workers stumbled upon a sleeping large black cat (4-5 feet long and German Shepherd height) in heavy underbrush. The cat rose to its feet and apparently just stared at him as he tried to back away without panicking. The landowner adjacent to this property confirmed that this was the male of a couple that also had newborns recently. Many other locals have sighted the same animals and we have repeatedly seen the track and scat of a large feline while surveying over the past 2 weeks."
TCH Comment: Fort Bend County sits in southeast Texas not far from Houston. The Brazos River forms the western border of the county and the area has been the source of black panther sightings before. The account is very interesting and the cat described fits the general description of an animal many southeast Texans have reported over the years. If photos of the tracks are available please send them to me at Texascryptidhunter@yahoo.com.
"I live in Blue Texas a very rural community north east of Elgin. When I first moved here in the fall of 2015, my husband (who grew up on this property ) was regularly warning me about the "black cats" living in the woods and creek bed behind our house. He described them as being larger than our chocolate lab, jet black with large yellow eyes, silently stalking him from the underbrush along side the hiking trails. I repeatedly informed him that there are no animals in this part of the world that fit that description, that it was probably just a bobcat with darker than usual markings, that scared him and childhood imagination turned it in to his monster in the woods.
In the spring of 2016, I was coming home from a night shift around 4am. As I turned in to my parking space and there were 2 large yellow eyes staring at me from the bushes to large and far apart to be a possum or raccoon, the dog is in the house, coyote maybe. So, I honked at it, then a dark gray cat that stood between 3 and 4 feet tall, and around 6 ft long including the tail that was almost as long as it's body darted across the yard and in to the woods. Told myself I need to get more sleep, and went to bed. Then I saw it again 3 more times that week and on my day off was woke up by what sounded like a woman being murdered outside my bedroom window.
I have young children so none of this was ok with me. Cougars are really awesome but not that close to my home, time to do some hunting. Her tracks were easy to find and follow, the surprise was the 2 sets of identical tracks (aside from being half the size) that started showing up, once the house was out of view. As I walked on occasion crawled down the game trail, there was a dead tree that looked like a scratching post and a sandy clearing very reminiscent of a litter box. The trail ended at an 8ft almost straight down drop-off into the creek bed with thick brush along the bottom, a jump I wasn't willing to take.
So, feeling defeated and possibly delusional, I just sat there and enjoyed the view for a few minutes, and there they were. Sleeping in the brush up against the bottom of the steep bank about 20 yards to my left, my friend from the driveway and her 2 black kittens. To beautiful to kill I fired a round in to the opposite bank and watched them run away. We didn't hear or see any sign of them for about 4 months.
There back now and have been for a while. The kids no longer play behind our house and we see them regularly out the window around dawn when getting ready for school. The descriptions of jaguarundis are an exact fit for the juveniles, but the adults are much larger than what my research says is typical. Whatever people choose to call them, they're living and breeding in Blue Texas. They're beautiful and honestly the coolest neighbors I've ever had."
TCH Comment: Blue sits in rural Lee County to the east of the Austin metropolitan area. The report is very interesting and detailed. I would be curious as to whether there are any photos of these cats? If not, I would like to place a couple of game cameras on the property. Megan, if you are reading this, please contact me at Texascryptidhunter@yahoo.com. The location of your property will be kept confidential and your population of cats will remain unmolested. I just would really like to get a glimpse of what you have been seeing.
The sightings above, unless otherwise noted, have been added to my black panther sightings distribution map. Click the link here to go to the map site. Once there, you can click on individual sighting locations and get a brief synopsis of each event.