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Anyone seen a "black panther"?

bjdeming

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I saw this in the news just now and wondered if anyone might have seen it and have photos or media.

That's a stock photo, not the Louisiana sighting.

It's interesting because there has never been confirmation of a black panther (cougar, mountain lion, puma) in the US.

Jaguars are often black, but that's hardly likely. It's major news if they make it as far as southern Texas or Arizona. Anyway, those cats are massive: no one would mistake them for anything else.

"Too big for a house cat" means it might be a melanistic bobcat (check tail length) or possibly a melanistic serval (very long legs) or jungle cat (my guess, since it already looks like a house cat and is larger).

Servals are used in breeding Savanna fancy cats; jungle cats, Chausies. Both frequently have melanism. One might have escaped from a breeding program. Neither is very dangerous to people or good-sized dogs when healthy and well fed, but they can raid poultry and might go after outdoor cats.

My second guess would be bobcat, since hurricanes have messed up its Florida habitat. Louisiana is far away, but perhaps not for a dispersing male.

Anyway, pix anyone?
 

JPWX

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I haven't actually seen one, but I've heard one. It literally sounds like a woman screaming. I kid you not. I didn't know what it was at first so I told my dad and he went outside to check. That was 4 or 6 years ago. Haven't heard one since.
 

Austin Dawg

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A very long time ago I was coming up Hatley Smithville Road in northeast Mississippi about 2:30 or 3 in the morning with a friend of mine. A very large brown cat jumped across the road one time in the center and then bounded up onto the hill going up the driver's side into the woods. I didn't say anything at first until my friend looked at me and said, "Did you see that?" I said, "I was gonna wait until you told me you saw it too before I said anything". I have no idea what it was but it was not a cat or a dog. It was very dark brown and I can see how it would be confused with black if the lighting was wrong, but it was in my headlights so I got a good look at the color.
 

bjdeming

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Did it look anything like this (only brown)?



That's in Missouri, 2018; a bobcat, which ordinarily would be brown. They're the only lynx known to sometimes be black.
 
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