Black Panther Seen in Louisiana

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on July 8th, 2013

A family 4th of July get together turned into a late night search for a possible black panther. Thursday night, at around 7:30, Karen Fory said her brother-in-law spotted a large black animal in the field behind her friend’s home located on Captain Cade Road.

“You could see it from the fence and it was pretty big. So, I came back to the truck and got the binoculars and we were looking at it through the binoculars,” she explained.

Cathy Irwin, who lives in the home, said Fory called her over immediately to see what they considered to be a black panther.

“We were standing about 100 feet away and you could see it. It was very large,” Irwin said.

Fory explained that she grabbed her HD camera and put an extended lens on and quickly snapped several pictures.


“We got pictures of it sitting, jumping like it was playing and standing like it was proceeding to take off,” Irwin said.

panther 2

After considering it to be a large dangerous animal, they called the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office. Deputies, Wildlife and Fisheries agents and Zoo of Acadiana officials investigated the scene late Thursday night. However, the mysterious animal was never located. They re-visited the scene early Friday morning, but found nothing but what they believe to be bobcat tracks.

Read the rest of the article here.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

29 Responses to “Black Panther Seen in Louisiana”

  1. Adam Prawlocki via Facebook responds:

    Now THAT is a good photo

  2. Derek Markle via Facebook responds:

    Finally a clear photo with great height comparisons. Obviously this is a big cat. Now we just have to wait for our boys in green to finally admit that there’s a growing population of these things here in the States.

  3. Ken Morrison via Facebook responds:

    looks and acts like a house cat to me….

  4. Richard Judge via Facebook responds:

    yeah, a BIG house cat. Come on, that’s a panther!

  5. Angela Nowlin Turacy via Facebook responds:

    Let’s go!

  6. Matthew Duley via Facebook responds:

    Uncle Si was right!

  7. Chad Adler via Facebook responds:

    Sie Roberts is not crazy there is Black Panthers in Louisiana

  8. Jarrod Higgins via Facebook responds:

    How do we know this was actually shot in Louisiana?

  9. volmar responds:

    Domestic cat.

  10. Dr Kaco responds:

    Love the way the News clip ends with them trying to show a black cat kitten and then the alleged beast in the photo….classic! ;p

  11. James Brownlee via Facebook responds:

    Sometime I need to show you why a friend of my brother had trouble getting his wife to go out and start his car. The picture was taken up in New York in the middle of winter.

  12. Drex Ferguson via Facebook responds:

    Umm..ok..So why is this a mystery? They live in the swamps of Florida and Louisiana. .I know this because I grew up seeing them. So do half the people I know..Why are people not believing they exist or something? Confused here…

  13. darkhb responds:

    The Authorities have spoken – “Nothing to see here, just a bobcat folks, move along.” Bobcats aren’t black – what is in that picture is clearly black. Bobcats don’t have long tails as this animal does. While I grant that it may be hard to judge the actual size of the animal from these two pictures, it clearly is not a bobcat.

  14. chadgatlin responds:

    Uncle Si tried to tell you! (some people will get that)

    Seriously, though, no scale reference so you cant say for sure. It is intriguing that they found large cat tracks.

  15. sasquatch responds:

    Someone should put a house cat on a leash, tie it to that tree and let it walk around there…then take pictures with same camera and lens from the same place…then we’ll be able to tell if it’s a jaguar or a tabby. Or at least put a basketball or something recognizable for scale there and take pics.
    This critter does look big for a house-cat; very long and yet muscular at the same time…???

  16. volmar responds:

    It’s clear some people have never had a pet cat. I have. This animal is evidently a domestic cat, but one can’t really expect people who see Bigfoot in every bear picture out there to see anything but a black panther, whatever they may be…

  17. Ploughboy responds:

    Some people wouldn’t believe in melanistic cats if one sent them a Facebook Friend request, ya know? Skepticism is a useful tool, but if this won’t convince you of the likelihood of these cats existing, not a thing would except a carcass.That seems just a wee bit extreme to me, given the body of good evidence. For those who live in ecosystems like where this photo was taken, their existence is pretty much confirmed, and has been for generations.

  18. Tim Barnhill via Facebook responds:

    Uncle Si was right!!

  19. Tim Barnhill via Facebook responds:

    @Drex – People believe that the panthers exist, they just think melanistic big cats are rarer than they actually are.

  20. cryptokellie responds:

    This is a black domestic short-hair. Why not a big cat;
    The tail is too short, not curled at the end and no small tuft of fur at the tip.
    The front paws are too small. Big cats all have huge splayed front paws.
    Big cats do not show a deeply curved spinal area as this domestic is.
    Big cats are more slab-sided with deep rib cages – not round-sided as this domestic is.
    Go to You Tube and watch some large cats walking and moving around, especially black panthers
    which are of course melanistic examples of Leopards, Jaguars or Mountain Lions. Watching these will show you why this isn’t a big cat although it may be a large domestic or feral black cat.
    I would guess that the other images that were taken are not shown because they would further identify this as a domestic – if feral – black cat.
    …Yes I know that Mountain Lions are classified as small cats because technically, they are unable to properly roar. Oddly enough, the Mountain Lion can be larger than the Leopard…a big cat.

    Trivia Note…The Leopard is the strongest of all cats, being able to carry prey sometimes twice their own weight up into a tree to avoid competition from larger cats such as Lions with whom they share habitat…

  21. Cryptidcrazy responds:

    Hmmm…… Leopards aren’t common in Louisiana? I never would have guessed! What a dumb statement to put in a news report. In any case, I believe it’s probably a black jaguar that came up from Mexico. The swamps of Louisiana are actually an ideal habitat for a jaguar to migrate to.

  22. Ploughboy responds:

    Cryptokellie….you do see the size of the trees in the background, right? If you are saying this is a Photoshopped job, pasting in the profile of a house cat, I’m skeptical, but allright. If you are saying this is an un-doctored photo of a house cat , I can’t bend over that far back without hurting myself, sorry.

  23. Goodfoot responds:

    Hey… wow. I’m going to go out on a limb – where hopefully this very large black panther can’t get to me. And stay there. Sorry, crytokellie, I’ve seen one, and it looked to be about 16″ high at the rear hip. Not the front, the shoulder; I didn’t get as good a look at that, but the tail was thick; thicker-looking than this one. HEAVY looking, more like a Snow Leopard’s but not as thick.

    And tracks of a large cat, not house cat. As for the notion of tying a house cat out there for photo-comparison: hope you don’t need your cat back.

  24. cryptokellie responds:

    The parks and wooded stretches in my area are loaded with feral cats…many of them jet black. I have seen them often and under the right conditions, usually at dusk as in the above narrative and out in the open they can appear deceptively large. While the cat is not close to any real size guide, take a look at the brush in the background. That appears to be twigs, weeds and such that collect around the perimeter of a field. The cat is not really on the same plane as the bush to the right but actually in front of it. That is a small bush or shrub not a large tree. Please bend over a little and visit the site with the original article (linked above) which shows the full frame image. You can tell viewing this image that this is a domestic black cat that is dwarfed by the weeds secondary bushes and the full size tree to the far left. If this were a melanistic large cat, it would appear much much larger in the full image than it does there. At the right time of day, light and distance can make objects seem much larger than they actually are.

    But don’t actually hurt yourself…OK?

  25. cryptokellie responds:

    As I suggested to Ploughboy, go the original article where you can view the full size, uncropped image. There you can see that this is a domestic black cat and not a felid of mountain lion size.

    Much like the Wilson “Surgeon’s Photograph” the universally shown version is the cropped version. The full frame image shows that the Nessie image is rather small.

  26. maslo63 responds:

    This looks like a domestic cat to me. I’ve seen enough of those from a good distance to know that without something for scale, size can be difficult to determine. Some domestic cats can reach a good size. I had a black cat that weighed 18 lbs. My current orange tabby must weigh close to 15 lbs. That is a far cry from the weight of a mountain lion but it can be enough to give the impression of a large, muscular animal.

    The behavior the witness claimed to observe validates the house cat hypothesis in my mind. They watched it for a long time, even observed it leaping into the air and playing. This sounds like the behavior of a domestic cat used to being near people, not a highly elusive wild animal. Granted it could be a former pet panther but I’m not seeing it.

  27. hoodoorocket responds:

    Coming late to this party.

    While I believe there are cougars/panthers in Lousiana, this, however, is a photo of a domestic cat.

  28. cryptokellie responds:

    Yes exactly…I believe that some form of Felis concolor exists in Louisiana but, this is not an example. There is the smallest outside chance that this is a cub but, the juvenile proportions are wrong and the Mother and or other cubs would not be far behind or out of sight.

  29. NMRNG responds:

    I’ve seen a number of photos online and I believe on the TV show Monsterquest purporting to show a black panther and they all looked like a house cat to me.

    However, this one seems like it could be something other than a black American Shorthair. Its body seems longer in proportion than that of most domesticated cats and its legs a bit proportionately shorter. Its ears could be a bit smaller than normal, too, although it is hard to be sure because of the lack of resolution of the photos.

    One possibility that no one has mentioned, that could fit with most of the known facts here, is that the animal is neither a house cat nor a big cat, but a jaguarundi. They are a more medium-sized cat about 30% larger than a domestic cat, have a long body, a long tail, short legs, and a relatively small head, plus come in a dark color phase, all of which is consistent with the animal shown in the two photos. Although very rare in its original territory in the US (southern Texas), Louisiana does border Texas and perhaps there is a very small remnant population that has spread into Louisiana (or that always has lived in Louisiana). Additionally, there is a small population of jaguarundis in Florida, believed to have been released there in the early 20th century, that is thought to be moving north and westward, as there have been sightings in Alabama.

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