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Wild Animals/mysterious black cat?


Billy wrote at 2009-03-23 01:50:13
I live in Oak Grove, SC. This is a small town just north of Florence. I have seen a big black cat, along with a few neighbors. It looks like a black panther!

Lee wrote at 2009-05-10 00:14:17
Liberty SC. On 2 occasions my husband has seen large, black cat-like animal. We are surrounded by over 5000 acres of woods and have several water sources. Both times was seen near water, once running through open field and once in a tree. He says it was about the size of our boxer dog, ran like a cat and had long fluffy tail. We call it a panther.

christina wrote at 2009-07-10 00:02:38

A few years ago I was in the Waxhaw NC area, which is fairly rural.  I was sitting in my car. Across the road is a wooded area with a little clearing.  As I was sitting in my car (waiting for my sister), I saw a large black cat with a long tail come out of the woods and into the clearing.  It was larger than a maine coone (which is a big house cat), but not as big as a panther.  I was shocked!  I watched as it walked across the clearing (about 50 yards ahead of me).  I ran to the apartment to get binoculars so I could get a better look at the animal.  By the time I got back, it was gone.

I know four other people (hunters) who have seen an animal of the same description, in ohio and w virginia.  There have been other sightings in the eastern US.  

In earlier times, the Erie indians lived in the ohio region.  they were also called 'the cat nation', because of a particular wild cat that lived in the region that had beautiful fur.  This wildcat became extinct.  Could it be that some have survived?  It wouldn't be the first time animals have thought to be no more, only to be found again...

Susan wrote at 2009-08-30 12:29:03
My husband and I just returned from Hilton Head.  After dinner at the Sunset Grille we saw a large dark cat matching the same description cross the road.  This cat was at least 2.5 feet long and really moved and looked like a mountain lion but very dark in color - almost black.

angie wrote at 2009-10-24 05:15:50
I found someone nearby. I'm located in Pickens, not too for from Liberty.  We've seen this same cat.  We live about 1/4 mile from 12 mile river.  I've saw this animal on my way home from work one evening around 7pm.  I thought at first some ones dog is loose.i I slowed down, because I did not want to hit it.  This animal was about the size of a German Shepard, but the tail was wrong.  It was as long as the body and curled up at the end like a cat.  I own a German Shepard that weighs about 90 pounds, I knew that this was no dog.  It was too close to the ground.  Before this sighting we've heard some really weird sounds.  My husband asked a local DNR agent about it. His response was it would need to fall in the river and drown.

Debbie wrote at 2009-10-26 22:41:15
I believe I saw the same animal on Edisto Island last Sunday. It was just a little smaller than my Dog (85 lb husky mix). While we were walking down a road early last Sunday morning a creature (I call it a creature, because I'm not sure what it is) came out of the woods and started across the road about 100 ft in front of us - it stopped in the middle of the road and looked at us while we slowly stepped backwards. Then it continued across the road into the woods/marsh on the other side. It was mostly black. It's black even thick furred tail was standing straight. It's body was mostly dark brown. It's face was black/dark brown with some white giving it a mask like look. It's black ears were not pointed and not large, but more like a cat. It is definitely not an ocelot. He/she wasn't sleek enough to be an ocelot. The coloring and markings are not the same as an ocelot either. I spent an hour at the Nature Center looking through books, but can not find anything that even looks close to what I saw.

And of course, I didn't have my camera with me that morning. Every day I took my camera hoping to see again. Vacation over and I didn't see it again.

Susie wrote at 2011-04-21 20:51:57
I live in Walterboro, not to far from Hilton Head, Something scared my horse and he ran through three board on the stable.  When my son went out he saw a very large dark cat with a long tail as large as our blood hound (100 lbs)- It was also spotted by several other neighbors, that same week.My son goes hunting all the time, even for hogs and he knows what a bobcat and coyotes look like.   I lived near the Ace Basin growing up and me and my Mother saw one as we were driving down the long dirt road, coming out of the plantation we lived on.  So I know cougar or pather I dont care--   I only know BIG cat, dark, with long tail are in this area.  Know matter what DNR says

Billy wrote at 2013-04-12 01:44:15
I just 4 /11/13 saw a large cat like animal behind Bi-Lo on Pope Ave. looked like a 20 inch bobcat brownish color. We were about 15 feet from it, it moved slowly back into the wooded area when it saw us. Just beware.

Billy wrote at 2013-04-12 01:46:07
I just 4 /11/13 saw a large cat like animal behind Bi-Lo on Pope Ave. looked like a 20 inch bobcat brownish color. We were about 15 feet from it, it moved slowliay back into the wooded area when it saw us. Just beware.

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.


I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

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I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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