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New Panther Sightings in NY

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 18th, 2009

With the number of wild animal sightings being reported this spring, you’d think Rockland County was more untamed than a suburb.

This time, a large feline was spotted roughly 10 miles from three other sites people have claimed to see them.

Dennis Ryan of Pearl River said he was walking his Labrador retriever along Ehrhardt Road early yesterday [April 17, 2009] when he saw what he described as a mountain lion under a streetlight.

“The animal was walking south. It crossed the road and went into the bushes, then came back out, stared at me and moved toward me, though it wasn’t stalking me or going to attack,” Ryan said. “I could see it was thinking about it, though. The animal never showed fear.”

Its size and the tan color of its fur made him think it was a mountain lion.

“It was definitely not a bobcat. It was bigger than a German shepherd and longer,” he said. “It had the typical mountain lion coloring.”

The animal then slipped into the bushes near the Neighborhood Alliance Church, he said.

It wasn’t the first time he’d seen one. Ryan said a smaller such feline appeared near Pearl River Middle School not long ago, and people on his mail route have seen them in Upper Nyack.

He didn’t call police because the sighting occurred around 2 a.m., but Ryan did think twice about walking his dog at night.

“I walk my dog late at night,” he said. “I’m not sure I’ll do that again.”

Ryan was the latest of a string of people who claim they’ve seen large felines in the county.

On Wednesday [April 15, 2009], two workers at Rockland Lake State Park said they saw a sizable, dark-colored animal that resembled a cat near the clubhouse at the north golf course. The animal spotted some deer and ran into the woods before police got there, according to reports.

This month and in mid-March, several others called police to report sightings of black, “panther-like” creatures in Palisades and Tallman Mountain State Park.

Pat Coleman, Clarkstown’s animal control officer, said the sightings have people’s imaginations running wild.

If panthers or mountain lions were prowling around Rockland, she said, there would be evidence in the form of animal carcasses or worse.

“It doesn’t make sense,” she said. “This has been going on for too long for something bad not to have happened.”

Cameras that were planted in Tallman Mountain State Park have picked up only raccoons and coyotes, she said.

Coleman suggests snapping a picture of the animal with a camera phone or regular camera and showing it to police.

“There is no doubt in my mind that if people didn’t hear ‘panther,’ they wouldn’t think they were seeing panthers,” she said. “People think they’re seeing something, but is it reliable? I don’t know.”

Staff writer Emily Kratzer contributed to this report.

Source: “Feline sightings spread to Pearl River” by Jenna Carlesso, The Journal NewsApril 18, 2009.

:-) Thank You.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


4 Responses to “New Panther Sightings in NY”

  1. cryptidsrus responds:

    I have to disagree with Pat Coleman on her idea that “(T)his has been going on for too long for something bad not to have happened.” I’m not an expert on any of this, of course, but despite their ferocity, most “panthers” avoid humans like the plague. There is plenty of room in the woods for these creatures and their carcasses to hide in.

    I could be wrong, of course, so anybody out here can feel free to “enlighten” me.

    Thanks for the report, Loren.

  2. Averagefoot responds:

    Is the first rule in some animal control officer handbook to deny all sightings of big cats? Or are most animal control officers really that ignorant and uneducated on wildlife?

  3. DWA responds:

    Let’s parse Pat Coleman.

    “Pat Coleman, Clarkstown’s animal control officer, said the sightings have people’s imaginations running wild.”

    What does that mean? People see things and go crazy? Really? We’ve been able to keep it surprisingly together, given that, haven’t we?

    “If panthers or mountain lions were prowling around Rockland, she said, there would be evidence in the form of animal carcasses or worse.”

    Hmmm. Wonder how many mountain lion kills get found in the wild, in places they are known to exist, in a decade? And what is “worse”? A mountain lion carcass that would make Pat look dumb?

    “It doesn’t make sense,” she said. “This has been going on for too long for something bad not to have happened.”

    She’s talking about humans. She’s right there. Mountain lions tend not to do “bad” things. Unless eat is bad.

    “Cameras that were planted in Tallman Mountain State Park have picked up only raccoons and coyotes, she said.”

    No photo, no animal. Wow. She gets paid to say stuff like this.

    “Coleman suggests snapping a picture of the animal with a camera phone or regular camera and showing it to police.”

    You have an equal chance of getting a wild moutain lion and a wild bigfoot on a camera phone. On any camera held by a casual photographer. Even in places where lions are confirmed. Only human-habituated critters will pose for an amateur.

    “There is no doubt in my mind that if people didn’t hear ‘panther,’ they wouldn’t think they were seeing panthers,” she said. “People think they’re seeing something, but is it reliable? I don’t know.”

    OK OK. I understand we’re not paying her to understand human nature. But people hear “bigfoot” all the time, and it doesn’t appear to have helped bigfoot’s existence any. People tend to report what they see. And one of those people above, even if he didn’t see a mountain lion, sure couldn’t have described one any better. As in, if he didn’t see a mountain lion, he was lying. Figure out why he would want to do that, and you’ve solved a real mystery.

    We need to get these wildlife people and these “animal control” people out of the way. They’re not doing their jobs, says here.

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    Just remember, all Colemans don’t think the same way!

    :-)



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