Wild Animals/black panther


Three years ago in Boiling Springs SC while riding my motorcycle to work at 7:30 AM a big black cat ran across the road in front of me, this cat is really fast running. Two years ago after work about 5:15 pm I seen a huge black cat in a pasture in the attack mode, crouched down behind a bull in a pasture. I stopped and watched, then I left, he ignored me. About a year and a half ago in my yard I had a 20 foot ladder on my shoulders at dusk when I turned around to see the same black cat in my yard, I hollered at the cat, he turned and looked at me, I threw the aluminum ladder at the cat, he was about 10 ft.away and it didn't scare him at all he looked, and politely went into the woods. This cat all three times was near my home and weighed about 40 to 50 lbs. est. he was solid black and doesn't scare easily.  I know what I seen because I saw him three times. Is this a black panther?

Dear Eugene

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

http://www.mammalsociety.org/mammals-south-carolina lists two species of wild cats living in South Carolina: the cougar and bobcat. Of these, the cougar is about twice the weight of the cat you saw. There are also no verified cases of black cougars living in the USA, so I very much doubt that you saw a black cougar. You may have seen a bobcat (http://www.scwildlife.com/pubs/mayjune2010/bobcat.html), but the cat you saw seems heavier than an average bobcat (15-30 lb). There are cases of black bobcats (see http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/07blk-bobcat/), so it is possible that you saw a large black bobcat. Some bobcats also have tails that are longer than usual (http://www.nbrr.org/identify).

Another possibility is that you saw a large domstic cat. There have been several cases where people have claimed to see large cats and the cats have really been domestic cats. Last year, there was a case of a 'lion' near Clacton in the UK (see http://www.heart.co.uk/essex/news/local/clacton-lion-search-called/). I also remember a case of a 'lion' being a dog that had been shaved to look like a lion and a case of a tiger near Southampton (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/22/white-tiger-toy-alert-police-southam).

Despite this, I think the black bobcat is the most likely animal that you saw.

All the best


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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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