As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I will be making an effort to get caught up on several black panther sightings that were sent in to me over the last year or so. I was neck deep in trying to finish my book, Valley of the Apes: The Search for Sasquatch in Area X, and struggled to find the time to update all of you on these sightings. I am making the effort to correct that now. Following are a few sighting reports and one photo that I found interesting.
Reported November 20, 2022
"I saw a dead black panther on the right shoulder of the westbound lanes of I44E approximately 5 miles east of the Stroud sign on the Turner turnpike about 6:50pm Sunday, 6/5/2022.
A cat is so obvious it cannot be mistaken. I saw the large paws, long legs, square head. It was in a dead pose, legs toward the street and back towards the grass, head facing west. I considered pulling off the road, essentially to gawk, but decided the safety considerations weren't worth the reasons. Had I known then that people don't believe big cat sightings, I would have pulled over. My 10-year-old son saw it too. My step daughter was in the car and she didn't see it, she was looking at her phone.
With so many pick-up trucks in Oklahoma, I wonder if someone took it home, or if wildlife management can document it. I wonder if the toll pass cameras record what is in people's truck beds?
I haven't followed up with wildlife management, but I am curious if there are others to corroborate.”
TCH Comment: I will not be placing this sighting on my distribution map, but it isn’t because I do not believe the witness; rather, it is because she was traveling along the highway at a substantial rate of speed (likely 70-80 mph based on my experience on the Turnpike in question). While her description matches up well with historical reports of black panthers, the chance of misidentification while moving at such a clip is simply too great for me to feel totally confident.
The lesson here is to pull that vehicle over and pick that carcass up. If you aren’t comfortable with that, take lots of photos.
Thanks for reading."
If you would like to dig deeper into the black panther phenomenon, you might consider picking up a copy of my book, Shadow Cats: The Black Panthers of North America. In it, you get a thorough overview of the phenomenon, my thoughts on what these animals might be, interviews with big cat experts, and more. You can pick up a copy at the link above or, if you would like a signed copy, you can contact me at Texascryptidhunter@yahoo.com.