Large, long-tailed, black cats are being spotted in the wild, not in some remote rain forest jungle, but in the Lone Star State itself, Texas, U.S.A. Are these mystery cats actual black panthers, or is it something unknown? Large mystery cats have been reported all over the United States and abroad. Are there large cats out there we don't know about?
Following are a few more of the reports I have received over the last several months detailing sightings of anomalous big cats in Texas. Some of the reports involve sightings of normal tawny-colored mountain lions that are far outside of their accepted range. Other reports come in from witnesses who claim to have seen large, long-tailed, black cats, typically referred to as black panthers in my part of the world. I am attempting to get readers caught up on the backlog of reports that have accumulated while I was on a bit of a hiatus from the blog. As mentioned in a previous post, I will work backwards and report the latest sightings and work my way back to the older sightings. I do this on the off chance that interested parties might visit the areas of the sightings and possibly capture a photo or video footage of one of these animals should it still be prowling the area where it was initially reported.
“I also saw a cat that matches your description. It was autumn of 2005, I was driving on CR 532 approx. 2-3 miles from Gonzales toward Moulton, it was after work so approx. 5:15 - 5:30 pm, it crossed in front of me toward some old chicken houses on left. I was totally amazed he leapt from the side of road on right of me to middle of road and another jump he was on the side of the road so graceful and had a very large body it seemed to drop down from belly low toward ground.The size reminded me of adult german shepherd, But it in no way a dog.It was so beautiful the cat also had a bit of black stripey like marks of side of body. I was so graceful.and I told people and of course they did not believe. A year or so later I ran into the game warden that covers Gonzales area and told him about the cat. I dont know if it is his demeanor, but he seemed not to believe me.”
TCH Comment: The sighting location would be considered the area where Central Texas gives way to South Texas. The area between Gonzalez and Moulton is lightly populated and dotted with stock ponds and small riparian greenbelts that run parallel to small creeks. The Guadalupe River winds its way through the area just a few miles back to the south-southwest. I have visited the area and have no problem believing a large cat could successfully make a home there. The description of the cat puzzles me a bit. The witness does not say specifically what color the cat was, only that it had “black stripey marks on the side of its body.” Since darker stripes were visible, I am assuming the cat was mainly light in color. That being the case, I must conclude this was a mountain lion. I really do not have a great explanation for the stripes described but everything else the witness mentions points to a cougar being the culprit here. The smooth graceful movement, size of a German shepherd and the way it dropped its belly close to the ground are all fit the classic description of a mountain lion. I can only posit that since the cat was seen during the winter months, perhaps its coat was a bit thicker in spots and this difference in the density of the fur caused some areas to be darker than others. Since this cat was not black or completely dark, I will not add it to my black panther distribution map. One more thing, I am not surprised at all by the reaction this witness received from the local game warden when she shared her experience.
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