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Wild Animals/Big Cats in Louisiana

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brian wrote at 2008-12-31 08:45:02
I am adding to this because a few months ago I saw a strange "cat" cross the road in front of my vehicle. I did not think such a cat existed in this area and assumed that someone's exotic pet had been released. ( a couple years back someone found a Serville cat near here which proved to be an escaped pet) I told my girlfriend my sighting but simply left it at that. Today I spoke with a man who is in the woods a lot around the Caddo Lake area as he locates and restarts abandoned oil wells. Without my prompting ,he told me that he has seen 2 strange cats recently and described them just as the one i had seen. So, I have been searching on the web and it looked just like the pics I am seeing of the juguarundi. (the ones around here apparently are a dark reddish brown color)Anyway, I now believe that they exist all the way up her in north Louisiana. maybe it explains some of the sightings. However, I saw it at close range and it would be hard to confuse with something as large as a panther. But maybe if you saw it from a distance, it may be harder to accurately judge the size.


John Ferguson wrote at 2009-02-25 15:22:34
I used to live in Pineville, Louisiana and used to hunt the Saline swamp area a lot for deer, squirrels,and ducks. I also used to live in Idaho and my dad was a professional guide and outfitter. I started hunting bear and cougars when I was about 7 years old. I killed my first bear and cougar when I was 8 years old. I have seen probably close to 100 cougars so I know a little bit about what I speak. Around 1975 I was hunting in Saline with my dad and my cousin. I finished hunting around 10:30 a.m. and walked out to the road where the truck was parked. Before I made it to the truck I looked down the road and approximately 250 yards away I saw a large black cat with a long tail standing in the ditch. With an effortless spring it cleared the ditch with water in it that was about 12-15 feet wide. I got real scared because I only had a shotgun with fine shot in it. I hurried and got in the truck and saw the cat stroll across the road. I did not go check for tracks but I know what I saw. It appeared to be about 7 feet long nose to tail and looked to be around 150-200 pounds. No one can tell me that I did not see what I saw and they can't tell me that I mistook another animal for a large cat as I have had many years experience hunting them. I hope this helps.


bubba wrote at 2009-08-12 03:57:58
dear mark,

  i am with you on the panther subject. the way i found out what the creature that is living in the sugarcane field across the street from my house in Kaplan was a panther is that i am a teenager and when i was a young child my father hunted in Esther and he heard a sound that sounded of which a baby yelling him and his friend grabbed their shotguns and got in my dads truck and went drive through the woods to check and when they got there my dad noticed a scrape on a tree six-foot off the ground with hind leg paw prints on the ground. and last year we saw a black creature that made the same sound it came less then 150 ft away from me and my family so i went get my rifle to look through my scope for a closer look and my dad had a perfect broadside shot on it and my mom would not let him shoot it. guess what its back, i don't think it ever left it just got scared!!!!!!!! but now my dad will get wildlife and fisheries to remove it, and when that happens i will post an update and let you know what they say. hope i will help with your confusion,

         sincerely,

         bubba


dsfjsdfjdlkf wrote at 2011-03-16 15:46:59
There are black cats in Louisiana. They want tell you they are there because they do not want to cause a panic with people. I live in Bastrop louisiana. Wildlife and fishiers tried to tell me there was none until I told them I have seen one. I have heard and seen them were I live at during the night. No more than 100 feet from my home if not closer. They do have a scream of a woman or small child.  


mojo wrote at 2011-04-06 02:39:53
The L.D.W.L. think they know whats in our outdoors, but they lack the experience. I had a very large black cat jump out of a tree in front of me in 1978 near caddo lake on a deer hunting trip. It was within 20' of me as it made the ground, then it looked at me fully exposing its broadside, and walked away slowly. I thought, well if this was the movies I would've been a goner.


anne wrote at 2011-04-09 01:18:30
My father said that a little over 10 years ago in Estherwood, La., in Acadia Parish, he saw a large cat.  The cat was sitting on a large tree branch watching him as my father was hunting.  The animal did not bother him, so my father did the same.  He had seen bobcats and wild cats in the area and the cat was significantly bigger than those.  It was in the middle of the woods and bayou area.  My father didn't tell anyone, b/c he didn't want them to try to run out and kill the cat.  I believe that you probably saw something also...


Wade wrote at 2011-04-18 06:12:54
I live in caddo parish and have seen what appeared to be a 50-80 black cat that looked like a panther.  


Russell Riviere wrote at 2011-09-30 04:02:26
I recently saw a large black cat (about the size of a seventy pound dog, based on the size of my dog) when I was mowing my yard near Slidell, LA, it was at about 6:30 / 7:00 PM on 15 Sep 2011. When I came to the ditch by my street, I noticed a large black animal coming out of the ditch by the vacant property next to mine, it stood upright and looked at me and I could tell by the shape of it's head that it was a cat. Then it ran acroos the road and by the way it ran and the type and length of it's tail, I knew it was a large cat.


Wes wrote at 2011-12-06 23:14:20
Back in 1987 when I was going to work in Grande Cheniere, LA on a crew boat.  I passed through a gated reserve with cattle guards on the entry and exit along this state highway.  I am not certain what parish I was in.  I came upon three big cats with fur like that almost the color of a lion. These big cats were laying in the road and as I came along they just lazily moved out of my way to the shoulder of the road.  These cats had very long tails like a lion. I was stunned to see such animals in Louisiana.  


Doug wrote at 2013-03-24 00:45:50
Just last week on LA 28 by Catahoula I saw a large(Dead) cat that was a golden rediish color but had large black spots on it. It was very big. Any ideas? We went back to takepictures but the carcass had already been removed.


serena wrote at 2013-05-09 23:43:14
I have a pic of what looks like a mountain lion/cougar eating a deer, Gibsland Louisiana.


Country Life Farm Lady wrote at 2013-06-19 05:03:06
Just this evening I was working in my garden. I live in an extremely remote area in Union Parish, LA. I happened to look up - and coming down my dirt road right past my place (about 30 feet away) was a large cat. As big as a medium to large size dog. It moved just like a cat. It was walking kind if fast, but not running. It was about 8:00 pm. It was gray and black, kind of splotchy. It had a long tail. I knew I was seeing something special, so I tried to memorize every second. I shouted, "Hey!" like you can do when hunting deer - to see if it would stop like a deer. Instead, it startled and took off in a leap. I will have to reinforce my goat pen and chicken coop!  


chad wrote at 2014-04-03 13:13:10
In Vernon parish many people have seen the huge  creature. It is very real. My dad saw it and my uncle in the same area called Becky flats. This was in 2012 and 2013 around october. The animals were a dark brown with a lot of hair around the neck and a very long tail.  This creature weighs about 500 pounds. About 4 miles as a crow flies on the river an animal with the same exact description was seen at night by some fisherman. I asked a local game warden and he said theses animals migrate through Louisiana every year.


Debbie wrote at 2015-01-06 14:43:45
I am reading this in Jan 2015 because what I saw yesterday has prompted me to research. I live in a very remote area in Grant Parish surrounded by woods. National forest in back. Private everywhere else. As I approached the road from the 1/4 mile driveway, I saw a blonde cat with a tail about a foot or so long. The tail was partially striped with white. It appeared to weigh about 50 to 60 pounds. It was positioned to cross from the other side of the road when it saw me and ran off. It was a cat.  In about 1987 or so, I lived in Rapides Parish in the Kaolin community. Again, my back yard backed up to deep woods. We were about 1/2 mile from the Red River. One morning about 3 am or so, my little dog woke me, whining to go outside. As I stood on front steps waiting for her, I herd a child screamin in the woods. I ran inside, checked on my babies, and proceeded to awaken my husband. He told me it was just a panther. I wanted to call sheriff because I didn't believe him. He finally soothed my frazzled nerves and we went to sleep. Not the end...a week or so later, I was sitting near my dining room window drinking coffee, I saw  strange sight. The man who owned the land on the side of me had cattle. As I gazed out the window, I saw a dark brown or black calf crawling up the ravine which was about 250 yards from me. I wondered how in the world that calf climbed up the ravine. It was quite an angle. It then began walking straight toward the woods. The problem was, it was crouching down! Then I saw the long thick tail and realized it was the panther I'd heard a few nights earlier. My heart raced as I watched it disappear over the fence into the woods. We called wildlife and fisheries. We called game stations....they all blew me off. I suppose if they don't see it that means it cannot be real!!!! Again, same area, in 1970. My Daddy lived there in the  same area. We got home one night rather late. As we walked to the house, we heard this horrible screaming of a woman. His reply was, "it's only a panther"...only a panther! My great aunt who lived next door walked out one morning to see a big black cat draped across her chicken coop. She ran back in to get the gun...but it was gone when she returned. So...there are my accounts of wildcats in the central part of Louisiana.  


Franklin wrote at 2015-05-09 02:31:23
Ran across these reports of sightings researching the kinds of big cats in Louisiana, so decided to add my sighting to the list.

My wife and I just saw a big cat cross Hwy90 in the Honey Island Wildlife Management area. It was not what we would say was as big as a mountain lion or panther, the body was about 4 feet long, with the tail another 18". The tail did not stand out to be as long in proportion to a panther's, noticeably shorter. The color was splotchy gray or could have been covered in partially dried mud since this was a marshy area. The hair did not seam to be smooth but rough looking.  


scw wrote at 2016-07-07 18:17:14
When I was about 10 years old in the mid 1990s I was visiting family in Webster Parish between Minden and Homer. I was riding a horse by myself late in the evening. Right about dusk I saw the silhouette of what I thought was a dog about 100 yards away from me near the wood line. I watched and realized it was a large cat. I was sure it was a cat. I cannot recall the color of the animal, just its shape as visibility wasn't 100%. I went back to the house and told my family members what I saw. They didn't believe me. A few weeks later a neighboring cattle farmer lost some cows to a large predator. A family member of mine also saw what she described as a "large black cat with a long tail" cross the road in front of her car in the same area. I currently live in northern Sabine Parish along Toledo Bend reservoir.  At a certain area every fall (late in the evenings) loud growls can be heard coming from the woods that resemble sounds big cats make. I have heard it myself. Lots of people in this area have seen them and don't think too much about it. They know they are here.  


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Jonathan Wright

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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.

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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'.

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

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Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

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

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