Wild Animals/Black Panther Cat


This morning around 7:30 am I notice a hugh black object in my neighbors field. My three dogs noticed it and started to bark abs it got up . Well it was hugh compared to a regular cat. Longer tail, body higher up off the ground . It processed to go towards the house and some tall juniper there and it stood up against them and it was as tall as it was when it was on its back feet. This animal was big and it was not a cat . Could have been a Panther or a Black Luma . I know there's been siting  in the area in the past. Today's date April 16 , 2015.

Dear Eathel

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

http://www.richwooders.com/appalachian/wildlife/sightings/mountain_lion.htm, http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/virginia-wildlife/feature-spotlight/pdfs/big-cats-i and other websites give accounts of 'puma sightings' in West Virginia. David Kocka and Dr. Bill McShea (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/virginia-wildlife/feature-spotlight/pdfs/big-cats-i) say that pumas seem to have expanded their range eastwards in the last few decades.

Please note that http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20140315/GZ07/140319907 disagrees about black pumas in West Virginia. David Kocka and Dr. Bill McShea (http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/virginia-wildlife/feature-spotlight/pdfs/big-cats-i) say that 'large black cats' turn out to be black bobcatsAs far as I know, the only black (melanistic) pumas have been found in South America. I had a look at one of the videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao62AiFiZ-o), but I reckon it shows a black bobcat or a variety of domestic cat.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals_of_West_Virginia#Order_Carnivora_.2 says that pumas are extinct in West Virginia, while bobcats are uncommon there. There are cases of black bobcats (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/179932947584693587/) and also cases of bobcats with long tails (http://masksofmesingw.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/henry-w-shoemaker-part-iv-long-tail), so this could account for the animal you saw.
Unless the animal had escaped from a zoo, it is very unlikely to have been a black jaguar or black leopard.

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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