Snow Leopard in Kentucky?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 2nd, 2008


This alligator was captured and killed in Texas, although the photo is part of an e-mail circulating a rumor that an alligator is living in Rough River Lake, Kentucky. Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Reports of exotic animals in Kentucky are sometimes rumors and sometimes the truth.

While the giant alligator report in the Kentucky lake was false, three years ago in Bullitt County, Kentucky, a Himalayan snow leopard, one of the most endangered species on Earth, was captured near KY 44.


Other animals captured (not just sighted) in Kentucky, include:

Mountain lion, Mercer County, single occurrence.

Caimans and alligators: on several occasions throughout state.

Pacu (relatives of piranha), numerous ponds, streams and lakes, numerous occurrences.

Piranha, Ohio River, single occurrence

Armadillo, road kill, western Kentucky, single occurrence.

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.

6 Responses to “Snow Leopard in Kentucky?”

  1. kittenz responds:

    I remember the snow leopard incident very well. It had escaped from its cage and was missing for about 2 weeks, then it was recaptured when it was found hanging around a rabbitry.

  2. kittenz responds:

    At the time that the snow leopard incident occurred, Kentucky laws concerning exotic pets (including big cats but excluding native wildlife) were very lax. Since then Kentucky has passed laws that are among the toughest in the nation, but existing exotic pets were grandfathered, provided the owners were willing to comply with the new husbandry and licensing requirements.

    There are probably still hundreds or even thousands of exotics in Kentucky. You used to be able to buy nearly any kind of exotic animal here; big cat cubs were even sold in pet stores. That’s illegal now.

  3. shumway10973 responds:

    The armadillo shouldn’t be listed. Those buggers travel like mad. The rest does interest me (excluding the mountain lion just because they’re everywhere [wink]). Nobody is claiming that beautiful animal?

  4. cryptidsrus responds:


    That’s ironic what you say abouy the armadillo, since the critters are some of the LAZIEST animals in existence—right up there with sloths.

    They may travel once in while, but generally they are sedentary creatures.

    Good report there, Loren!!!
    I LOVE snow leopards.

  5. olejason responds:

    Hey kittenz I remember a guy owning some big cats in Floyd Co. Seems like he had a very large tiger and maybe some more. Wonder if they’re still around?

  6. kittenz responds:

    Not sure about the tigers. There was a family over in Floyd County last uear, who had a lion. They have since turned it over to a sanctuary. There was a guy near Dorton in Pike County who also had a lion, but I have not heard anything about that one for years so I don’t know if it is still living there.

    Aside from a guy near Belfry who keeps a pair of bobcats, those are the only ones that I’m aware of in my immediate area.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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