Devil’s Lake and Black Mystery Cats Sighted

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 17th, 2007

Sightings of Mystery Cats occur frequently. This last week saw continued activity around Devil’s Lake, North Dakota (apparently tan-colored) and in the Lambton area of Ontario (melanistic).

The road out to the Cove, Lakeside Restaurant and Woodland Resort was deserted on Wednesday afternoon [November 14, 2007], no mountain lions in sight.

Mary Jane Stubbe of Devils Lake was returning to her home near The Cove Lakeside Restaurant recently when she spotted a mountain lion, or a cougar as some call it.

She claims to have seen the reclusive animal at the Cove road about a half-mile from Highway 19 close to some trees near the Peterson Welding building near the ditch.

The Devils Lake resident said the sighting occurred at 3 p.m.

“It took me by surprise,” she said. “It wasn’t huge, but it was definitely an adult. It was just a shock to see it this close to a populated area, and I’m certain of what I saw.”

Stubbe said she contacted the Game and Fish Department in Devils Lake shortly after the sighting. When contacted Wednesday [November 14, 2007], officials at the Game and Fish claimed they had not heard any reports of a mountain lion in the area.

Stubbe said she heard the nearest reported and confirmed sighting of one of the animals had been in Benson County, but there have been reports from at least two people who claim to have sighted one north of Devils Lake. ~ by Mike Bellmore, “Mountain lion spotted in area,” Devils Lake Journal, Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, November 16, 2007.

The Port Franks-Parkhill-Lambton-London, Ontario area has had repeated recent cryptid felid encounters and sightings.

Cougar sightings continue in the region with a Port Franks woman reportedly seeing a large black cougar-like animal near her home Thursday [November 15, 2007].

It was the second report this week and third in the Lambton area in the last three weeks.

“Officers attended and inspected the exact sighting location for tracks on the ground and claw marks in the tree (but) no tracks or claw marks were found,” said Lambton OPP Const. John Reurink in a press release.

“There has been no direct confrontations with a cat of this type or attacks on livestock or domestic pets reported.”

Police said the cat was seen from a side window of an Urlin Crescent home.

The woman said she first spotted the cat sitting high in a tree about 40 feet away aroud 2:46 p.m.

Police said the woman watched the animal stretch, then climb head first down the tree trunk, then leave the area headed north.

Wednesday, a Parkhill man reported seeing a large “cat-like” animal dart in front of his car near Watford.

A search of a bush area and surrounding neighbourhoods turned up no sign of the animal.

Police said they also contacted the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources officials who suggested it may have been a cougar but were unable to confirm.

Although the MNR hasn’t found evidence, officials have conceded there have been enough cougar sightings in the province that there are likely “free-roaming” domesticated cougars either freed by owners or who have escaped.

On Oct. 9, a horse on a Parkhill farm suffered serious injuries some suggested may have been caused by a cougar. The animal suffered a head injury and had a long vertical cut, like a claw mark, down its front leg.

That sparked warnings to parents and schools to keep a careful watch on young children and for residents not to be out walking alone after dark, especially near wooded areas.

Cougar sightings have become almost common across the region, including the city.

Last summer [2007], a wildlife specialist investigated 32 sightings in London, but found no hard evidence of a cougar.

The expert did find proof of deer, coyotes, raccoons, wild turkeys and possibly a bobcat, as well as a large den.

Cougars, also known as pumas, mountain lions and panthers, roam remote areas across the country, mostly Western Canada. Their presence has been confirmed in New Brunswick and Quebec and provinces west of Ontario. Wildlife experts concede they likely roam remote regions of northwestern Ontario. Most of the past Ontario sightings have been at night and in the early fall. ~ by Joe Belanger, “Port Franks woman spots cougar-like animal,” The London Free Press, London, Ontario, November 16, 2007.

Thanks to Helen McGinnis for open-mindedly sharing these items.

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.

7 Responses to “Devil’s Lake and Black Mystery Cats Sighted”

  1. squatch-toba responds:

    Hey Loren… There was a sighting in North-Western Ontario last fall, ’06, as well as sightings in Manitoba. Cougars are around, but there is a problem. Cougars do not have the genetic ability to occur in black color phase. They are not melanistic…the only large cats in North America that do occur in black color phase are bobcats ( kind of smallish to be seen as possible cougars) and jaguars!!!! HHHMMM , Canadian jaguars….mighty odd. There are large black cat sightings just east of Lake Winnipeg, and they do continue, but they are thought to be wet cougars comming out of tall grass after rain or early in the morning.

  2. sschaper responds:

    I find nothing surprising about cougars, lynx or bobcats up in that area.

    The fact is, they are back.

  3. michaelm responds:

    I lived in Minot North Dakota for 4 years, recently i went back for a visit and spoke with a friend whose mother went to the porch to get the paper one morning and saw a cougar laying in her driveway. So maybe they are returning to the area, there is alot of prey for them to choose from. Also contrary to popular belief, NoDak is not entirley flat. There would be a lot of habitat for them.

  4. helenmcginnis responds:

    The Cougar Network, which is very conservative in recognizing confirmations, does show several in North Dakota and adjacent Minnesota. So as sschaper says, a cougar sighting in North Dakota is no big deal.

    The two articles were from me via the easterncougar listserv, which is sponsored by the Eastern Cougar Foundation (ECF). We normally do not include articles about BBCs (big black cats) but made an exception in this case because the London Free Press and other newspapers in southwestern Ontario have been running articles about alleged cougar sightings for several months. I have about ten in my computer file. Recently, a horse named Rainbow had to be put down. A cougar was blamed. It turned out that something frightened Rainbow, and she ran through three fences, fatally injuring herself. There was also an alleged calf kill. Officials of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources checked this out. They found coyote tracks but no evidence of cougars.

    In fact, no evidence of cougars has turned up near London. But when the media repeatedly run stories about alleged sightings and instances of livestock depredation, more sightings will be reported, and some of the alleged cougars will be black.

    So far, all of the photos and video stills of assumed black panthers have turned out to be black housecats, with the exception of a single black dog in Alabama.

  5. squatchwatcher responds:

    There was also an attack on a horse here in S.D. last month (Oct.) The Game, Fish, and Parks denied claims of a mountain lion attack, even though people in the area keep reporting seeing them around the area.

  6. mitchigan responds:

    Ah-Ha, the old “escaped pet” theory again ! How many pet cougars are there anyway? They certainly seem to be able to escape quite well.

  7. cryptidsrus responds:

    I agree with MITCHIGAN. There may some sightings that can be chalked up to explained pets but I doubt highly ALL sightings are due to “escaped pets.”

    A question—

    Why do people keep using the term “panthers,” since technically that is NOT what they are?

    I’m not knowledgeable enough about cats to says whether or not that term can be used but from what I DO know these cats are actally in the jaguar family. “Panther” is just a general term.

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