NJ Black Panther Photos

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 2nd, 2007

New Jersey Black Panther

Here are the photos of the “black panther” seen in and around Vineland, New Jersey, from Saturday, April 28, 2007. Many local residents have seen it and after a news report appeared on local television on April 30, Monday night, police headquarters was deluged with calls. More than 30 people dialed in saying they had seen the animal during April 2007.

New Jersey Black Panther

This animal was big, really big. It could be the size of a German shepherd. More than 80 pounds for sure. They’re saying they found a 20- to 30-pound cat in the field. But something that size would be a speck at 150 yards.eyewitness and Vineland resident Zoe Paraskevas

Panthers are not native to New Jersey. But I suppose anything is possible. We are not taking the report lightly, but at this point there’s nothing that tells us there’s a panther in the area.Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Darlene Yuhas

What is being seen in New Jersey? You be the judge. Could a panther be around and the wrong cat have been photographed?

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.

43 Responses to “NJ Black Panther Photos”

  1. robin_bellamy responds:

    Neither of these photos looks like a panther to me. There may be one about, but I don’t think this is it.

  2. joppa responds:

    Looks like this one says meow instread of growl.

  3. shovethenos responds:

    From the profile of the head/face in that picture it looks like a feral or runaway domestic cat.

    Call out the National Guard!

  4. kittenz responds:

    I’d be the last person to say that there is not a panther prowling around there, but the cat in these photos certainly is not a panther. Nor could it “be the size of a German shepherd. More than 80 pounds for sure”. You can see from the size of the flowers in the photos, relative to the size of the cat, that this critter is just a house cat.

  5. Bob Michaels responds:

    It`s a Black Maine Coon Cat around 45lbs.

  6. Ayala responds:

    I have a 25 lb. black male housecat and these photos look like my kitty in the tall weeds. 🙂 Note the wildflowers in the second photo – there’s no way the animal in these photos is larger than a german shepherd. I also noted the pointed ears visible in the second photo. Do panthers have pointed ears?

    My kitty Binx, has a sister (named Panda) who is at least 22 lbs. Binx has now been switched to diet food (poor Binx). 🙂 He’s also not allowed to roam free, but if he could, those photos above are what he’d look like. 🙂

  7. mystery_man responds:

    I won’t dismiss the claims of a panther running about, but I seriously doubt this is a photo of it. The profile looks like a common housecat to me and the size comparison to the plants does not lead me to believe this cat is the size of a panther. A large housecat maybe, but certainly not a panther.

  8. simianfever responds:

    Ahhh! More photos for the cat fancy mundo club. As a lifetime dog owner I must protest, all we get are pictures of bloated roadkill. 🙂

  9. James Paige responds:

    A few months ago, I was walking my dog, and I saw something that shocked me for a second. I turned in to the alley near my home, and looked down the alley across the street at the end. My heart skipped for a second, because I saw clearly a big black panther, easily twice the size of my dog. it was walking along the sidewalk on the far side of the street, with it’s glossy black fur glistening in the sun as its skin slid over the powerful muscles in its shoulders and hips. It looked like something straight out of a nature documentary about the amazon jungle– except that it was walking down an urban street. I only had about two seconds to stare before it passed in front of a wall… a wall on the near side of the street, a wall which was only about two feet tall. My mind corrected for the perspective error it had made at first, and I laughed, realizing that I was looking at a large, healthy, perfectly ordinary house-cat on the near-side of the street, not, as I had originally thought, a huge jungle cat on the far side of the street. If the eye can be fooled by optical illusions like this in a suburban setting, how much easier is it to make the same mistake against a backdrop of trees and grass?

    I won’t say I think all ABC sightings are optical illusions– In fact, a few I have read about are particularly compelling, but lacking better scale/perspective clues than the ones found in these photos, I must remain skeptical. The large number of reports is actually more convincing to me than these photos.

    If I was the person who had taken this picture, I would have wanted to go over and get some close-ups of those yellow flowers.

    (BREAKING NEWS: Vineland, New Jersey. Tourist James Paige was found dead Sunday morning, apparently mauled by an unknown animal while picking wildflowers. His friends and family were distraught, and his girlfriend was quoted as saying “I don’t understand it. he never showed any interest whatsoever in wildflowers in all the time we have been together. Why now?”)

  10. treeclaw responds:

    You guys are not serious enough here. Any fool can tell this picture proves Big Foot keeps defanged black saber toothed tigers on the prowl to entertain the neighborhood!

  11. titantim responds:

    Shape of the neck head and snout not the right proportions for a panther. Tail is not long enough. This is a large housecat.

  12. Richard888 responds:

    The pattern in these threads is almost always the same.

    1) This cryptid looks like a…
    2) This cryptid is a…
    3) We are smarter than the hoaxers. And to prove it, here’s a silly joke to discourage further serious discussion.
    4) Infact, maybe cryptozoology isn’t all that serious afterall.
    5) Loren! Next picture/video, please?

  13. DARHOP responds:

    Here we go again with the NJ Panther… Haven’t I’ve seen these photo’s already…? Definatley here kitty kitty… Unless those are 3-4 foot Dandilions ( not )…. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt there is a Panther wandering the wood’s in NJ… But this is not a photo of it…
    Man I wish some one would come out with some real good BF video….!!!!!!

  14. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    I’ve heard some compelling accounts of big black cats, from folks who have spent a great deal of time in the field, but what we are looking at in the photos above is a housecat. Maybe a good sized one, but a housecat nonetheless. When you compare its size to the dandelions and weeds growing around it, it just doesn’t look tall enough at the shoulder to be anything else (unless those are some crazy huge mutant dandelions). Also the shape just isn’t right. This critter isn’t lithe enough to be a panther, but it’s shaped just right to be a big ole wandering (or feral) housecat.

  15. DWA responds:


  16. DWA responds:

    Sometimes it’s just a housecat.

  17. captiannemo responds:


  18. Scott C. responds:

    I live approx. 45 min. from Vineland. We never get cryptid-action around here, so I’d be ECSTATIC if something cool actually happened in my neck-of-the-woods.
    Our only claim to fame is the Jersey Devil, and as a local who’s studied the phenom. out, I still don’t know whether JD belongs in legitimate cryptozoology or just in the paranormalism that ruins our reputation.
    Hey I just thought of something (and I hope it isn’t terribly off-topic)…Do those of us associated w/cryptomundo ever conduct field-research for cryptomundo? In other words, do ppl within a certain part of the country ever get together for a little mini-expedition and report back? What do you think?

  19. things-in-the-woods responds:

    Its a cat.


  20. things-in-the-woods responds:

    Its a nice cat though.

  21. size 13 responds:

    I’ve had cats most of my life and this ain’t no panther, cougar, mountain lion.

    It’s a comman house cat.

    So it’s up to us to find crypto worthy material. I realize that good crypto stuff is hard to come by, especially on a daily basis. For what it’s worth, I really want to thank everybody at cryptomundo for all of their efforts.

    These blogs are what I look forward to everyday.

    So I’m gonna have to get out the vidcam and see if i can’t bag some bf video this weekend. iIhave seen a few tracks and a few teepees in the woods, so I’ll go n capture that if I can.

    Does anyone else do field trips? Let’s get something for these guys.

  22. things-in-the-woods responds:

    That, Size 13, is just the right attitude.

    Good luck to you (and try and hold the camera steady… 😉 ).

  23. sausage1 responds:

    Oi taut oi taw a puddy tat!

    You did, you did tee a puddy tat!

  24. ShefZ28 responds:

    Thats a very small Panther.

    When I see pictures like these, I hope that someone has a sense of humor.

    If not, then I begin to doubt other sightings of “crypto” animals.

  25. sbdance responds:

    Not a panther. A bit more bulky and healthy for your average starving wild house cat. Could be another feral melanistic species of feline.

  26. UKCryptid responds:

    It does look a little stocky to be an average house cat, sure it’s not a panther at all but this looks similar to some of the cats in scotland, it won’t take you long to find what i mean. I reckon more cats are out there than we know of at the moment, but there are certainly more hybrid related breedings going on and this may be one. It’s head seems very ‘tough’ to me, body is house cat, the face says ‘its a fight u want is it?’.

  27. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Do a search for a “Maine Coon Cat”. These are big bodied, fuzzy cats, but totally domestic. I’m not saying this IS a Maine Coon, the coloration and fur lengths don’t look quite right (from what can be told from this distant photo), but the Maine Coon is an example of just how big domestic species can be.
    At best, this is a feral cat descended from domestic cats. At worst though, he (or she) isn’t going to terrorize anything much bigger than a chihuahua.

  28. Matty responds:

    That sure looks like a house cat to me.
    The grass is not more than a foot high next to it, if it was a large cat, the photographer should of been able to photo its large tracks there too.

  29. dakwa responds:

    I do photography, and love to play with my film sometimes. Quite fun actually. But to take a manipulated photo and call it something that it is not, is wrong in many ways.

    1st photo; use the grass for size comparison, the cat is not much taller than the grass, maybe 3-4 inches. And having seen a black panther in Texas, I can tell you this is way too small.

    2nd photo; look at the angle of the shot. It is shot low to the ground giving the illusion the cat is bigger than it is. Again use the surroundings to get a size comparison of the cat. This is a common strain of grass found on many road sides, about 6-10 inches tall, the shoulders of the cat are even with the grass tops, which would put it at a normal size for a house cat. Second look at the profile of the face, a Panther has a longer muzzle than a house cat, and this is way too snubbed for a Panther.

    Another point is that when I saw the Panther in Texas, it did not ignore me, nor move away. It stayed there and studied its chances to attack. I fired a quick shot with my 12 ga. and the sound it made when I winged it with a few scatter shot left chills down my spine. This cat is paying the photographer no mind, which I will take from experience as out of the norm.

  30. John A. Lutz responds:

    Whether this animal is the black panther being seen in Vineland is a matter of debate, but some form of a large Black Panther-size feline IS walking around the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

    In last 3 weeks, we have received 5 independent reports on it. 1 came from a Fort Dix Major on April 17th. He claimed a battalion of troops were on a 5-mile night field run through a swamp on the ocean-side of the base. The BLACK Panther crossed their path less than 20 feet ahead & let go with a most horrifying scream, anyone had ever heard.

    Another report came from a retired NJ wildlife officer who saw large Black Panther type cat at his family’s summer home in the 600 acre Cedar Swamp. This cat or 1 of its ancestors has been seen in area since the 1950s. Both reports encompass the Pine Barrens, an area of great mystery.

  31. Jeremy_Wells responds:


    I have no doubt that there are big cats of some sort in the Pine Barrens. Despite what science says about the impossibility of melanistic mountain lions, I’ve heard too many stories from too many reliable folks in the Appalachian foothills where I grew up to dismiss outright the existence of big black cats.

    But I’ve also seen my share of “feral” domestic cats running about in the woods, and the critter in that picture is absolutely a house cat.

    The real shame is that when something that is so obviously a house cat is presented as a photo of a “panther” many people will “throw out the baby with the bathwater” and dismiss all such sightings out of hand.

  32. dakwa responds:

    John, I am not saying that the existence of the Panther is false, my comment was strictly on the photo. I have never been to NJ and as so, could not tell you if the story is true or false, but if I had the chance to go, within a week I could find out very easily. There are not many animals in the US I have not tracked, and can on any animal alive today. As I learned in Texas, there is a difference between a Panther and Puma’s paw print, though very slightly. On a Puma (mountain lion, Cougar) their claws will not show unless they are running, the black panther I tracked and found has just the tips of the claws visible in their prints.

    If this cat is infact a melanistic puma, then you will not see the claws in the prints unless in very soft mud and even then only occasionally.

  33. mystery_man responds:

    Well, 30 comments later, I think the consensus here is that this is a photo of a cat. Now let’s see if any of the alleged panther turn up!

  34. Mnynames responds:

    Great, I knew this would happen…no sooner do I leave NJ then we start seeing some Cryptid action there…and I haven’t heard anything further on OK Bigfoot, now that I’m here…

    As for the comment about the Jersey Devil not being suitable for CZ studies, one needs to separate the baby from the bathwater, as someone else said. People are seeing something, have been for centuries, and while some of the details may vary, the overall characteristics remain the same. Yes, there’s myth and folklore associated with JD, and paranormal features added in for good measure, but is that any different from say, Bigfoot? Just think about the Pine Ridge sightings and all the business about 12-foot-tall men in tophats and trenchcoats…And if JD tracks suddenly disappear in the middle of a field, at least there’s an easy explanation (It can fly) without having to invoke the invisible 4-D spiritual being angle…

    And come on, if the Mothman and Dover Demon are CZ, both of which have far less reports associated with them, then surely JD is worthy of some consideration.

  35. mollymurder responds:

    this looks EXACTLY like the “photos” of the mountain lion in wisconsin. same body position and everything, only a black animal. photoshopped, i am sure.

  36. Loren Coleman responds:

    Excuse me, Molly. It might be time to get a new pair of glasses.

    Are you seriously talking about these photographs of a probable domestic cat compared with the new Wisconsin photos that clearly shown a large mountain lion? You have got to be kidding?

  37. larry battson responds:

    Do not totally dismiss the idea of a black panther roaming in North America. I am not saying that these photos are real or not but they are not clear enough to make a decision one way or the other. By the way I work with and have big cats and here in Indiana these same reports occur and not all of my eyewitnesses are putting together a hoax. Larry Battson, Wildlife Educational Services Inc.

  38. larry battson responds:

    Do not totally dismiss the idea of a black panther roaming in North America. I am not saying that these photos are real or not but they are not clear enough to make a decision one way or the other. By the way I work with and have big cats and here in Indiana these same reports occur and not all of my eyewitnesses are putting together a hoax. Larry Battson, Wildlife Educational Services Inc.

  39. cmgrace responds:

    Here kitty, kitty!

  40. dakwa responds:

    Larry, you make a lot of sense here. I have found tracks in both Arizona and Texas of cats that did not fit the norm of the areas. And in Texas I have seen one Panther.

  41. PJ responds:

    In response to the sightings of black cats I would like to share my experience. I moved to southwest Florida late last year and knew to expect that I would be seeing some “wild creatures” as I live in an area that is not highly developed yet. I have seen bobcats around my neighborhood several times. Several weeks ago I was driving down one of the roads on my way to the store, it was late morning, sunny and clear. All of the sudden I saw a medium-large sized black cat coming out of bushes crossing the street some feet in front of my car then walking into more bush.

    It couldn’t have been mistaken for a Bobcat or Jagurundi as it was much bigger, and definitely black, small ears and a long tail. A month or two before this sighting my boyfriend and I were driving down a major highway and I happened to notice a deceased animal on the side of the road. It looked to big to be a dog, as it was black with a long black tail so that rules out a boar or bear. Now I believe that that was probably a black panther as well. I didn’t think that these cats were here in Florida but I now know they are.

  42. lou-lou responds:

    I just wanted to mention that I live in southeast Wisconsin. For years, people around here were reporting cougar encounters but no one believed them. Finally, a month or two ago the DNR found tracks and tested urine to discover that there actually WAS a cougar in the area, probably from South Dakota, as I recall. This cougar was recently killed in Chicago. So I would never disregard any claims of sightings, although the above photo looks like a black cat if you compare it to the grass it’s hiding behind.

  43. twinbr2 responds:

    i believe this!!!
    i saw a panther in my backyard!
    i knew i wasnt seeing things
    it was bout 2-3 years ago

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