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Wild Animals/Black Panthers in central Texas


firegirl3633 wrote at 2009-10-26 00:03:45
I live in a small town in Henderson county Texas. I use to hear stories people would tell of seeing a black panther around here. I always thought It was a lot of bull... well in 1996 I became a believer. I was walking from my sisters house to my house next door around 2am and heard a something scattering in her carport on the other side of her vehicle I was also in the carport on opposite side of vehicle... as I looked up the road and seen a large black cat running up the our white rock road and the moon was very bright that night, this was slightly larger than a large house cat. which I though dang that cat is big. then just then a much larger black cat stepped off of the grassy area onto the white rock road. I was in utter shock... this cat was not more than 15 feet away from me... and I never knew she was there till she stepped onto the white road... she was the size of a large dog larger than a boxer small than greatdane. and yes she was black. no mistaking for a dog or bobcat or pig... cat definately cat... graceful every step... she stalked me for a bit or rather followed me till I reached my porch... I had a two year old son at the time and was concerned that she might attack I called Texas parks and wildlife for the to tell me they would come out track her and kill her if she was taking down livestock...which she was but I did not want a thing of such beauty killed. I call her a her because the next day found a tracker to come out to see if we could track it after a few secounds of being there told us that the tracks in the carport was cub tracks one cub and they were all over our property. Dogs and cats are delicacy for them but they take what is the easiest for them chickens, turkeys, goats. of course trash is not out of the question either... the tracker told us it was a black jaguar. which actually has spots. and she has been interbreeding because of how her claws retract. she really has not bothered us since... we see her every few years going up a fallen tree or in a field during fireworks but nothing as close as that night.. all she was doing was seeing if I was a threat to her cub which I must have scared to death by the way it tore out of that carport... we were told she works an  area and moves on. and in a few years returns. following food supply... most dogs recognize the threat as do horses and cattle... my dogs that night never got off the porch or barked they looked at me as if to say did you see the size of that cat? As to where she came from originally. the tell around here  is a wealthy man in the area had all these exotic animals big cats, bears and had no license for them. He got word the state was coming in to claim them and he turned them all loose... As for me people can say what they want to. makes no difference to me... I know she is out there and some nights you can feel her watching you. She is beautiful and graceful and welcome.

Brad wrote at 2010-04-11 18:56:25
Dear Jonathan,

After reading the previous response I believe I need to add some imput into the subject! They "Meaning Black panthers" are actually out here! That's not the technical term but we has American's/Texan's just call them that. I myself when I was younger have seen one with my own eye's and I'm not a person who belive's in UFO's or bigfoot. This previous Easter when I was around some family members for Easter dinner I was talking to one of my relatives who does land surveys for an oil and gas company here in central Texas and he too has seen them. My father who is a computer programmer who by the way work's in a rather good size office building here in town was talking to a woman who whom he work's with who own's just under a hundred acres outside of the city. One day she came into work speaking of a rather large looking black cat that she had seen that looked like it was stalking a sickly baby horse that she had separated from the rest of her horse's! She had seen then animal "During daylight hours" and a few days later the horse was missing and there where drag marks on the ground upon which they followed to discover it had been eaten just about a quarter of a mile away from where it was before. Several of these animal's "During the day" have been seen and not all of the sightings have been reported! There mainly in Central to South East Texas and the Texas Department Of Wildlife has trouble identifying what they actually are or of there existence because there extremely rare and not one has been caught in several years.  

EastTexas wrote at 2010-09-28 21:19:51
I watched a Black Panther, or what ever you want to call it cross a county road in the very small town of Fruitvale Texas 2 years ago. I know what I was watching was no alley cat or colored brown it was BLACK. The one thing that impressed me was the length of the tail. Very long and bent up about 3/4 the ways down from the back of the body. I guarantee you there is a black something roaming the East Texas town of Fruitvale Texas.  

Leef wrote at 2010-11-27 01:05:03
11/26/2010 Today, I was riding with two other friends at the edge of the woods around 1:00 and a huge black panther leaped from a tree and hit the ground running back into the woods.  WE ALL SAW IT.  We have seen mountain lions here on occasion, and have seen several jaguarundi.  This was neither.  Almost as big as the mountain lions we have seen very long tail and VERY dark black.  Near the tree it lept from is another couple of trees that have had the bark clawed off of them.  How is it that no one seems to know much about them or say they don't exist?  We all saw it clearly.  Someone needs to do some research.

RynO wrote at 2011-02-11 08:23:16
You are correct as far as the cats not being natives but I live in central texas and just within a 50 mile radius I know numerous people that has spotted them over the years and also described them as a black panther. They said it looked to be around 4 foot long with a 4 foot tail and a head almost like a basket ball. With lights in its eyes at night they said it glowed red. Texas A@M University in College Station has came and molded some tracks found in someones yard and also said it was some kind of a panther. People always have wondered how would it be panthers but older people who have been in this area for years said there was a train hauling exotics somewhere before or around the 1940s and it derailed in central eastern texas close to North Zulch, Texas and when it did, lots of them got lose and but some werent able to be found or caught which makes sense because of it being a stealy panther.  

Jason wrote at 2016-06-18 18:10:54
 Im 41. Born & raised in N. East Tx my whole life. (Oakhill community) between Henderson & Tatum. I didnt realise so many people did not believe these cats exist. I have personally walked up on both brown cougars and black panthers out there. And as rare as it may be to hear or see them, once you do youll never forget it. There  out there. You just have to be at the right place at the right time or spend a lot of time in woods to come across one. Additionally when I have come across them they never threatened me. They simply looked at me curiously and went their own way unless I startled them then they merely ran away. I found the cougar to be much more scared of people than black panthers. But as I have said both are rather curious.

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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.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

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

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