Neosho Black Panther Video

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 23rd, 2008


There exists video of the live “black panther” leaping at the door of the home in Neosho, Missouri, shortly before it was killed.

Cryptomundo correspondent, reporter, and videographer David Shetley was able to obtain copies of news programming containing the eyewitness video. He posted them to YouTube for us, for easy access.

Here they are:

The species of felid has yet to be identified.

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.

23 Responses to “Neosho Black Panther Video”

  1. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Total tragedy. All things considered this animal looks like it was quite familiar with being around humans. If it was displaced by bad weather, it’s simply gone to the nearest humans for food.

    I wonder if the sheriff was a trained big-cat handler? I wonder whether a big-cat handler could have effected a different outcome.

  2. steelcut responds:

    It seems, Americans are just happy when they can kill something.. at least anything that seems unknown..

    This is so ridiculous… killing an obviously tame panther.
    I guess the deputy is a really tough guy, so strong and quick with is gun..

    It makes me wanna throw up..

  3. Galea responds:

    That is a little cat. It looks more like a cub then full grown. Personally I dont think I would have run from it unless it was full out sprinting at me.

    She had the mind to get her camera and take some pics…thats generally not somthing you think about if your life is threatened…

    I know I wasnt there and cant really know but this video just makes it seem that had it been someone alittle more familar with cats that it wouldnt have been shot

  4. sausage1 responds:

    The lady says the cat was declawed, and its actions are exactly the same as those my cat and dog do when they want to get in the back door. Obviously a pet.

    Agree with above post, very sad.

  5. Richard888 responds:

    What could have been a cat rescue story ending in an animal shelter concludes with the murder of an innocent cub.

    It is not the first time when a person with perceptual problems because he reacts not to what’s out there but to images in his head from TV is asked to make an “quick” decision holding a gun.

    Just like some “tough guys” with a ruined state of mind from too much beef and alcohol consumption view animals as monsters or video games, go to a safari in Alaska, and take down a few Grizzlies to satisfy their lusts.

  6. Endroren responds:

    *rolls eyes*

    Wow. For open minded people you sure do enjoy attacking people for their actions in a situation you didn’t witness. I’m not saying these things can’t be handled better but criticizing these people from the safety of your computer desk is inappropriate at best.

    Which of you have ever been in close proximity with a loose big cat? Which of you have ever faced down a frightened, potentially dangerous animal? Which of you have had to choose between the risk of someone getting injured if you refuse to act or the life of an animal?

    You act like these guys are out there shouting “Yee haa!” and shooting like cowboys. Did you see the interview with one of the officers in Chicago? He was shaking, out of breath, and clearly pumped with nervous adrenaline.

    Judging the actions of these people completely out of context with no direct understanding of what went on is just as bad as dismissing a cryptid account purely on the basis of “it doesn’t exist” without fully understanding the evidence. It’s sadly hypocritical.

  7. MultiSlacking responds:

    I think people are forgetting what kind of “pets” man has chose to keep. Pitbulls and rottweilers are kept as pets…how many news stories do we see about them attacking some child and everyone is ready to ban them? This thing runs at the deputy, so he has maybe a couple of seconds–tops–to decide what to do. And obviously the initial shots were not enough to frighten it away, since it turned around and came back at him. Unless you believe in animal psychics, who can say what the cat was thinking? Having raised and been around wild animals that were bottle fed before their eyes were even open, the only person with any amount of “safety” is typically their primary handler. The old saying “you can take an animal out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the animal” is true. Even the “tamest” of wild pets will not bend to man’s will 100% of the time–no more than your neighbor can make their dog quit barking. Any time you are around animals, you have to be aware of the fact that they are animals–they bite, claw, and yes, sometimes attack–regardless of how domesticated, cuddly, or cute they appear. Quit looking to blame the deputy for what he did. This is part of the consequences of man and animals living together. Yes, it is sad that an exotic animal was destroyed–but don’t add more grief to the situation by blowing it out of proportion and trying to lay blame on someone who was doing their job and trying to protect the public safety. All it would have taken is one bite from the cat, and the same finger pointers would be saying how the animal’s owner needs to be jailed and the animal euthanized, and all pets in general in cages and on leashes. There should be an outcry for the killing of common sense…

  8. shumway10973 responds:

    as sad as it may be–if I had a big black cat (size of a normal dog) bounding at me I would protect myself. My first instinct would not be “this maybe someone’s pet”. True, with the first call of this being an animal attack there should have been someone there with a tranquilizer gun, but this is real life and not Hollywood. I have had police in the past take over an hour to respond to a call. True it wasn’t an emergency (yet), but when it’s past midnight, your closing a store and someone is in your parking lot with their lights on facing you…you want response sooner rather than later. The officers informed me that they could have been there in less than five minutes, but the dispatch only told them three minutes ago. My point being, the police seemed to respond rather quickly on this one. His adrenaline had to be pumping. He’s probably only seen such a creature on tv, and on the tv they kill. I would have taken it out too. If this was someone’s pet, I’m sorry.

  9. ConsentRevoked responds:

    *applauds Endroren*

    i am sad that this is my first comment ever posted in about three years.
    in all that time i have never seen people jump to a conclusion like this. it IS a sad end for the animal, i agree, but were any of you there? none of us can really know how we would behave in that situation. lambasting the police officer is just ridiculous.
    if i read the accounts correctly, they did not find out the animal was declawed until AFTERWARDS. is that really the kind of thing you look for while a strange, potentially dangerous animal is moving toward you? i think not. and claws or no, it still had teeth. so it was behaving exactly the way your cat and dog behave when they want in the back door and that makes it ‘obviously’ someone’s pet? hm, have you ever seen video of grizzly bears who want in the back door?
    i don’t believe that exotic animals should be kept as pets, for a number of reasons, and this is definitely one of them. sad end for someone’s ‘pet’, but thank God no one was hurt.

  10. cmgrace responds:

    Whoa… Why is everone harping on the officer? He recieved a call that there was a black panther trying to get into someone’s house and then the cat came towards him. He didn’t know the cat was declawed or that is was possibly someones pet. And he certainly didn’t have the luxury of viewing the footage the woman had of the cat. He had to make a quick decision. Yeah it was probably the wrong one given the info we have now, but it was the decision he thought was right at the time. It certainly is a very sad story and demise of a beautiful creature.

    Shouldn’t we all be more angry with the person who kept this WILD animal as a pet in the first place?

  11. kittenz responds:

    Shooting this declawed cub was unjustified. No one was in immediate danger, and even though the deputy almost certainly won’t be reprimanded, he should not have shot the cub. The articles say that it “moved toward” people – not that it tried to attack. It was probably just trying to get someone to take it in.

    The video shows a young, obviously declawed animal, accustomed to being kept indoors, trying to get inside where it will feel safe again.

    Yes, I do have a lot of experience with “frightened, potentially dangerous animals”. No one’s life was in immediate danger here. In my opinion this incident illustrates flaws in either the deputy’s judgement, or training, or both. He should not have just started blazing away at it like Dirty Harry “making his day”.

    If it had been me I would have locked my cats and dogs in another room, put a plate of food into the large dog crate (or if I was someone who does not have a large dog crate I’d have put the food into a bathroom), let the cat in, and closed the door on it until someone from animal control could come and get it. A very young big cat, raised in captivity, trusted people to take it in and make it safe, and was brutally – not humanely – destroyed because of that trust.

  12. GiJin responds:

    I provided the video for this story and it is pretty visible that the big cat was prolly a pet. I agree with the last 3 comments, you can’t judge the Deputy for his action, because as far as I know there isn’t any video of the big cat charging him. Second, cops are trained to access situations and determine the best course of action, yes even “American Cops”. My last point is this, I am from the area that is in question and just because we are in the middle of the country and people think we are hillbilly’s doesn’t make it true. To sat at your desk, making comments and generalizations about a group of people based on 200 words written on the internet, just shows the limit of your intelligence.

  13. sschaper responds:

    Taming animals is what humans -do-.

  14. fmurphy1970 responds:

    That cat looks pretty big to me. The officer had to make a split second decision and it’s his job to protect the public. It’s sad to see such a beautiful animal killed, but you can’t blame the police officer for doing his job.

  15. cmgrace responds:

    kittenz, you may have alot of experience with these types of animals, hoewever the people involved in this story did not. You cannot expect them to behave the way you would have, I certainly wouldn’t have. The woman in the story credits her dog with “saving her life” and she obviously was scared enough to lock herself inside and call 911.

  16. red_pill_junkie responds:

    I agree that it is a tragedy this gorgeous animal had to die. It didn’t seem to be acting in an aggresive behavior. BUT, if I had been in the old lady’s position, I would have probably acted the same way… maybe throwing some chiken out some window to keep it distracted or something. And the deputy probably had no other choice; but that’s also because these people carry guns in lack of something better.

    With all the millions of dollars invested in the production of deadly weapons, wouldn’t it be sensible to use a portion of all that money to devise effective non-lethal weapons capable of stunning and/or immovilizing a potentially dangerous target? Think of all the lives that could be spared, and I’m not talking about ANIMALS only. Yes I know there have been taser guns for some time now, and other gadgets in the works (like that fancy ray gun developed to control large crowds) but the budget they get is laughable compared with other DARPA projects.

    Come one people, let’s devise a phaser weapon, and put it on “stun” mode!

  17. kittenz responds:


    I don’t bash hillbillies and make generalizations about them. I’m a hillbilly and proud of it!

    That does not change my opinion of this situation. The officer did make a split-second decision – a wrong one.

  18. Rogutaan responds:

    If the first few shots scared it off, why didn’t the officer just rush back into the car and call animal services?

  19. Andrew Minnesota responds:

    The officer was placed in circumstances out of the ordinary. It is unfortunate that the animal lost it’s life but as the lady said it may have been de-clawed but it still had teeth, and I personally can’t tell just from looking at it that the animal is de-clawed. If i was the police officer I would be shocked to see a panther (even a young one). All I would know at that point is that a lady called for help because she said this creature came after her. It started making its way towards him and he had to handle a situation which most people will never be put into. It isn’t his fault, it isn’t the old lady’s fault. The fault lies in the owner of that creature.

  20. CryptoGoji responds:

    The bottom line is the officer acted appropriately in the situation. There is no way that he could have know that the cat was de-clawed or harmless just by looking at the situation. It’s a shame when any animal has to be put down, but do not bash the officer for his actions. How many of us could or would have done any differently when faced with that situation.

  21. Mnynames responds:

    The bottom line is that there are plenty of people out there, and very few big cats. Put coldly, the death of the former is a statistic. The death of the latter is a tragedy. No species is more deserving of existence than any other, and those with the numbers on their side should not be the ones getting preferential treatment.

    Mind you, that species shouldn’t be free to wander Neosha either, but rather let loose in a more native habitat. And the poor cat should never have been a pet in the first place, of course, which makes everyone involved here guilty of some error in judgment, not just the shooter.

    I stick by my guiding principle, which has so far held true all these years- Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity. I’m not going to wish ill upon the cop, even if I do think he acted in error. He didn’t know any better, and even if he should have, fear overruled it. I don’t think he wanted to see something die, although there are people like that out there, make no mistake.

  22. nytedrgn responds:

    I’m going to apologize since this is my first post here and I might anger certain people right away.

    I came here looking for information about cougar sightings in my area(SE Wisconsin). And am quite disgusted by some of the statements made about the police officer in the comments here…specifically from Kittenz.

    Kittenz for some reason you sound like my former room mate with all her self proclaimed intelligence but no common sense. You may be an “expert” in felines as you claim…but that officer is a Police Officer who is trained in LAW enforcement not Animal Control. He has a sworn duty to protect and serve(the U.S. Constitution not the citizens as popularly believed). He is trained in making decisions in circumstances YOU will not face while sitting in front of your computer.

    Yes he it is a shame that beautiful animal was killed, but it never should have been there in the first place. IF anyone is to blame is the piece of filth who thought it was right to own an exotic and beautiful animal. Wild animals belong in the wild.

    I myself think he made the best decision he possibly could. I say this because I constantly find myself telling my nieces and nephews what I was told about animals(domestic and wild alike) “just because it looks friendly doesn’t mean it is, animals are animals and that doesn’t change…if an animal approaches you and you don’t know it…walk away”. The reason I tell them this, is because animals use instinct and not cognitive abilities(I will accept any proof they do if you can show my scientific proof). Yes some have had their instincts manipulated to be domesticated to a point. But any animal can and will turn feral. Animals of any size can cause bodily harm. I know this because I had a domestic rabbit bite me when I was a baby and had to have my fingertip amputated.

    AH and now on to red_pill_junkie:
    Yes tasers and less-than-lethal rounds are out and about in the possession of law enforcement officers and security forces….and they are trained in using reasonable force based on threat. But when in a split second decision you have no time to grab your taser and hope to god you hit an animal(which tasers are NOT designed for use on). I wouldn’t be surprised if the same people criticizing the officer for shooting it would be if he had used his taser and it had received severe nerve damage from a 50,000volt electrical shock?

    Let animals roam free. Wild animals belong in the wild. I respect animals for their beauty, but value human life. My neighbor has a rottweiler and she lets it out on a flimsy cable meant for a 35lb dog. If that dog were to get loose and maul one of my loved ones I’d want the owner held responsible because it would be 100% preventable. yet like so many other people in this world my neighbor lacks the common sense or responsebility to get past her feelings about her pet which she summed up by saying,”oh he’s never hurt anyone before don’t be worried”. But didn’t the owners of the dogs that killed that lady in new york say the same thing?

    The bottom line is none of us were there. The owner is responsible. And common sense has become almost non-existent online.

  23. hsepro responds:

    Sad shame. As an avid outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman, conservationist I recognize there were several alternative measures that could have been taken to mitigate this “mystery big cat” threat. I’ve raise some unusual wild pets (snakes, alligators, turtles, bobcats, birds, etc) and can tell you they all have different personalities and trigger points that set them off. If the cat was sinking his claws or fangs into someone, sure, I could see the point in killing it. But it was obviously interested in what was beyond the door or it’s reflection in the door and not acting in a berzerk manner.

    Shame on the sheriff for his actions; certainly a miserable display of law enforcement backed up by an equally challenged attempt at forming intelligent thoughts.

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