Black Panther Roundup

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 21st, 2008

ms panther

Panthers, the mysterious felid kind, have been in the news of late. Here’s a roundup.

In Mississippi, the encounters are becoming so frequent the media is comparing them to Sasquatch sightings. Fancy that.

Jamie Daughdrill of Brooklyn, Mississippi, is one of those area residents who claims to have proof that a black panther roams the southern part of Forrest County. He has a photo (above) of a black feline walking across his food plot that he took with his game camera. But he couldn’t find any tracks near the game camera.

“All I’m saying is that it’s big and black and looks like a panther,” he said. “I never said it was a panther, but I’ve heard all my life there weren’t any in South Mississippi, but people are always hearing them.

“I’ve heard a bunch of people around Carnes in Red Creek that have said they hear one at certain times during the year. My wife’s grandfather said he had seen one once.”

Local radio show host Ben Willoughby worked together with a couple of local taxidermists to see if they could get anyone to provide proof of a panther for a handsome reward.

“We kind of laugh about it,” said Kyle Turner of Turner Bros. Taxidermy in Hattiesburg. “I can honestly say there were people scared to have their kids play in the backyard because of black panthers.

“We told them we’ll give them $13,000 if they kill a black panther and bring it in. Me and Drew (Kyle’s brother) gathered $1,000 each from friends, we could have gone to $50,000.”

Willoughby put the contest to rest after three years when no hunter was able to produce a black panther, he told the Clarion Ledger.

“People almost get mad when you tell them that black panthers don’t exist,” Turner said. “If they exist, I’d love to see one.”

Meanwhile, a Cryptomundo correspondent sends in this firsthand account:

June 15, 2008 ~ At 12:30 am while traveling on rt 77 in Strykersville, N.Y. I saw what I thought was a small black bear apparently just standing on the side of the road. The striking black color of its fur stood out much like that of a black bear, I turned around to investigate and was able to get within 10 feet of the animal, as it stepped off the road into some tall grass my wife and I observed the animals 3 foot long black tail, it was a black panther. My wife and I have been hunting for 20 years, we are very good at identifying animals, I would estimate the cat weighing 75 to 100 pounds. I reported to 911 in hopes that they could confirm any other reports of the cat or maybe some report of someone owning or losing such an animal, they knew of none.Robert Stevens

To date, 2008 is turning into a “hot” year for panthers, mystery cats, and phantom felines, as reports from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, and the Midwest USA (Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota) have been coming in at a steady rate. Even the fakery of those South China tiger photos has kept the radar on Asia too. Despite official apologies from the forestry department in China, local farmer Zhou Zhenglong, who claims to have taken the pictures, insists they are genuine.

Mysteries abound.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

14 Responses to “Black Panther Roundup”

  1. RichardC responds:

    Update on the Missouri event can be found here.

  2. Artist responds:

    Sad jaguar story – kept on concrete, declawed so it couldn’t compete or protect itself, and an empty stomach – animal was hungry, and came to people for food.

    And now it’s gone.

  3. Ole Bub responds:

    Good morning Cryptos….

    Black panthers definitely exist in Eastern Oklahoma, I have seen them near and far on a half dozen occasions, over the past thirty years.

    The ones I’ve seen are much stockier, lower slung, with a bulkier head than mountain lions, so a melanistic Jaguar may be accurate.

    My killer dawgs are 110# and 130# respectively, panthers are considerably heavier and about the same height at the shoulder as my largest male. They are beautiful and elusive, several years ago I passed a black panther roadkill on Dentonville road in Okmulgee County, Oklahoma, before I knew they were a “cryptid”.

    I think squatch are more prevalent than “black painters”.

    live and let live…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  4. shumway10973 responds:

    If Ole Bub is right (I’m not saying he’s not) then let’s think about this…The only thing I can see that might make it difficult for the black panther to get from Mississippi to Oklahoma (or visa versa) is the Mississippi River. But we do know that large cats who hunt and live solo usually have large territories. Depending on the number of cats in any of these areas will determine and dictate their expansion into different regions, especially areas like Mississippi where much of it is still country and similar to the environment that panthers are always thought to live in.

  5. Gummerfan responds:

    Growing up in the rural South, I heard so many stories about black panther sightings that I didn’t realize until I got older that they aren’t supposed to exist.

  6. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    It might just be me but from that trail cam photo I can’t really determine the size, perhaps it is just a large black house cat? As Loren said this is a big year for panther reports and extra media attention means that more people outside the crypto community are now learning about this, and if they think there are panthers about they may see a black house cat in a field or some area where it is hard to determine size, believe they saw a panther, report it and we hear about another sighting. I’m not saying that there aren’t panthers about (wild or escaped/released pets). I am also not saying all the reports are wrong. I am just trying to make the point that we must be wary and acknowledge this is most likely not as big of a phenomena as it might seem to be.

  7. kittenz responds:

    “The only thing I can see that might make it difficult for the black panther to get from Mississippi to Oklahoma (or visa versa) is the Mississippi River.” –

    The Amazon River is a lot bigger than the Mississippi, and jaguars swim it regularly. Jaguars are the most aquatic of cats.

  8. Ole Bub responds:


    My best sighting…

    I was plumbing in a 5X12 gun barrel oil separator on a new lease in the Winter of 1986 or 87…there was about 6 inches of fresh snow on the hay meadow below the tank battery. I noticed a black panther slinking across the meadow about 150 yards away.

    I climbed down and glassed her for a minute with my field glasses…and then with my Redfield 3X9 30-06 which has better optics than my binocs…I could see she was a female and definitely not a Tom. Once she had slipped into the brush…I walked down and examined her 1/4 mile track way…the pug marks were twice the size of my fist. Her belly had scraped the snow from the tufts of the tallest grass…best guessitmate thirty inches more or less at the shoulder…about seven foot from the nose to the tip of her tail and 180 pounds.

    A very big kitty kat…I saw her a year or two later when she bolted from nearby brush as I opened the gate to an adjoining lease.

    I have been bashed and chastised for not dropping her that day…live and let live…is all I have to say about that.

    Gummer…as a son of the South…I too…had never thought them rare until “experts” pointed it out…perhaps city folk should get out more often.

    ole bub and the dawgs

  9. cryptidsrus responds:

    Ole Bub:

    What a great sighting!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    This has been going on in England. Massive sightings all over the place. This is really “The Year Of The Cat.” Hope more are seen!!!

  10. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Hi Ole Bub! That sure was an interesting account. Whatever those felids are, they seem to be thriving and capable of finding enough food.

    One question: Did you manage to see the color of its eyes?

  11. dmpelley responds:

    Hey cryptomaniacs,

    Nothing makes me happier than to see cryptid felines in the news! These are some great postings, btw. Special thanks to Loren for keeping us up to date on the wonderful world of mysterious cats.

    See my update on my research in Florida, here.

  12. sschaper responds:

    Note to researchers: Stick a yardstick in the ground, or set some kind of reference, when you set up trail cams.

  13. DWA responds:

    sschaper: good thought about scale.

    All you have to see is one photo of an enormous, man-killing black tabby cat to wonder why folks don’t endeavor to put in reference points.

    I’d think the target images might be a reason this isn’t done more often; people think the picture itself – and of course they’re only thinking of the one they really want to get – is enough to establish species ID.

    Sometimes not. And size is a good thing to be able to estimate with relative precision, no matter what is in the shot.

    I will say this, though. I’m not sure what the photo at the top is. Looks like a long tail for a domestic cat.

  14. Richard Storey responds:

    The arguments and speculations about black cats, either panthers or jags is really funny. My parents grew up in S. Georgia, on the farm. My mother lived near Moultrie, GA, until she and my father got married. She’s seem the black cats twice, and her brother-inlaw (my uncle) once. She was little girl, about 10, when she and her older sister were planting tobacco in the field. At the end of the field, sitting on a tree stump was a big cat, jet black. I screamed like a woman, she said.

    My uncle used to tend to a man’s cattle, on a farm West of Moultrie. The farm was in an area that had a lot of wildlife, deep in the woods. Many times they had bears visit in the night, clawing up the side of the house. My aunt was terrorised many times by their visits. My uncle was far out into the fields evening just before sunset looking over one of the herds. Down at the end of the field he saw a cow running full speed across the field. Right behind it he saw a huge, jet black cat chasing it. The cat was as long as the cow, he said, including its tail.

    My mother know what she saw. My grandmother has seen them too. My uncle isn’t a liar or given to wild, imaginative fantasies. These are eyewitness accounts. What’s more, black panthers are known of by the country people.

    Except for the woman-like scream, I’d have figured this cat to be a jaguar, since I know that there are jet black jags. Of course, I’ve never heard a jag scream before, but I do know that people say that a cougar’s scream sounds like a woman’s, sometimes. Who knows?

    But the cat is real. No doubt.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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