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Wild Animals/panther's cry (scream)


Pippa wrote at 2008-05-12 01:09:02
I live in North Carolina. The animal you heard was most likely a bobcat. Several years ago in the early spring my teenage nephew and I were heading off around 4 am and we heard what he describes as the "sound of a woman's arm being torn off". I called my husband who said he thought it was an owl, and that he'd been hearing it as he ran in the very early mornings for several days. I heard the sound again the next day, and I ran through the woods, hoping to see the owl. The noise stopped and the only thing I saw was a glimpse of a yellow colored "cat" which I thought had disturbed the owl and ruined my viewing. Several mornings later, around 6 am I was standing in the kitchen looking out across our back pasture. Some of our chickens (who stayed locked up at night) wandered into view and I realized that we had left the door to their house open. Suddenly they began to run and I saw what I thought was a small dog chasing them. I raced through the yard and vaulted the fence yelling at the "dog". Once in the pasture, I realized that the "dog" was a red fox. He stopped and was staring at me and holding one of my favorite buff orpington hens in his mouth. "Drop it!" I snarled. He looked at me and I could see that he was trying to decide if he could make a run for it with the hen, I stamped my foot, he dropped the hen (who flopped around squawking) and took off under the back gate. I'm glad to report that the hen lived and did well:) Anyway, I went about my chores- occasionally going to the back gate (which affords a view along a power easement into another pasture)to dump manure on our muck pile. As I stood at the gate on one of these trips I looked across the pasture wishing to see the fox, and there he was! He trotted across the pasture (this is about 1/4 mile off) as I watched, I saw another "golden colored fox" a little larger, trot into view on the slope above him- the red fox then went over to the "golden fox" and nipped at his heels- at that point the "golden fox" screamed in that familiar woman getting her arm ripped off way, and I realized that it was a bobcat (it had only a short tail and was slightly larger than the fox)! As I watched the bobcat was harassed and nipped at by the fox until they both moved out of sight. I heard the noise again on several occasions and one time I again ran through the woods and managed to see the bobcat jump onto a downed tree and walk up it- and as I watched the red fox leapt up after it, again nipping at his heels! Within a few weeks the bobcat sounds stopped, and I only caught sight of it those three times. I have often wondered why the fox was chasing the bobcat. Was it defending territory, or trying to make a meal? Last spring I was out riding across a farm located in a very remote area and heard that distinctive scream- but once the bobcat heard our horses hooves it was gone.

Julie wrote at 2009-07-03 05:47:46
The animal I  heard in the 1970's had a woman's scream (we thought it was a woman).  It was loud enough for our neighbors 1/2 mile away to also hear.  It made the dogs shiver.  The oldtimers said that the panthers were breeding.

Mike wrote at 2009-11-06 15:55:32
I also live in North Carolina outside of Clayton. Prior to about 2 years ago, we had a lot of squirrels, rabbits, foxes, deer, possum and an outdoor cat. About 1 to 2 years ago I started seeing large paw prints (over 5 inches across) around my house, in the fields out back and around a pond in the woods nearby. One of my lawn chair cushions was blown onto the ground, and when I went to pick it up it was torn with parallel cuts about 6 inches long through the heavy outdoor fabric. The spacing looked like it was about the same size as the paw prints I had seen. I never heard any screems or saw the animal making the tracks. I did try to look up on line what could make the tracks and the only thing that I could find with the right paw configuration and size that lives in North Carolina was a mountain lion, but these are not supposed to live around Clayton. By about 1 year ago we no longer saw any outdoor wildlife except birds. About that time I also stopped seeing the tracks. Now, all of the wildlife has come back (though not as many rabbits a before). Just last night I heard a long continuous sound like a woman screaming, without stopping for a breath for maybe 10 or 15 seconds. This repeated a few times. I have not gone looking for, or seen any tracks yet, but I guess that the large cat is back. I do not know for sure what kind of cat it is, but it cannot be a fox, and it seems to big for a bobcat.

reba wrote at 2016-06-13 03:41:40
i live in Alabama and I have seen a black panther 3 times in my life here. I have also seen a brown mt lion near where I live. so if they are here in bama then believe me they can be in nc or sc. etc. the panthers do sound like a woman or child screaming at high pitch. a lot louder then a fox  

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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

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BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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