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black cougars in west-central Texas?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by texastele, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. bad375

    bad375 Well-Known Member

    I have personally seen 2 large black cats, that I would have called cougars. One in San Saba county early December of 1992, the other in East Texas in Smith county in March 1998. Wasn't that surprised to see the one in San Saba but the one in Smith county where I live was a huge shock.
  2. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    That's what they did in SW Florida. They curtailed deer hunting so there would be more for the panthers.
  3. splattergun

    splattergun Well-Known Member

    oh well
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  4. Mango88

    Mango88 Well-Known Member

    Jaguars still venture north out of Mexico and are occasionally seen in Texas but the state wildlife people aren't interested in publicizing it.
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Mountain lions are in a lot of places in Texas that few would think possible. They've been seen along the mid Texas coast, all over south Texas and, OF COURSE, west Texas. I didn't say there were a lot of 'em in some of those places, but south and west Texas has a good number.
  6. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

  7. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    You misrepresented the issue and your Florida example does as well. You said...

    The Florida panther wasn't discovered as a breeding population thought to be extinct from the state. Its population decline has been documented and hunting curtailed on it in 1958 and later got CITES protection in the 1970s in order to keep this particular subspecies from going completely extinct (not just extirpated from Florida).

    So no, just because a breeding population of carnivore might happen to be rediscovered where once it was extirpated does not mean the state will enact hunting restrictions on deer. The matter isn't one of geography, but one of species protection as noted with your Florida panther example.

  8. ambidextrous1

    ambidextrous1 Well-Known Member

    About 7 years ago, I saw a 'large black cat' skulking through the arroyo adjacent to my house in El Paso.

    I watched him, fascinated, for about five minutes, until he became concealed in the bushes. About that time, I realized it would be a good idea to photograph him...:mad:

    I have discussed that sighting with quite a few locals, and their response leads me to believe that 'large black cats' are exceeding rare in El Paso.
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Over the last thirty or so years, there have been a fair number of sightings of "black panthers" in southern Brewster County. All of them well south of Alpine and mostly at night. Reasonably reliable observers who lived in the area.

    I've always figured that it was high melanin count, with reality being more of a very dark brown than actual "black as coal".

    I missed a shot on a big cat, years ago, that was very much like a Sealpoint Siamese in coloring. The paws, ears and tail were a real brown, while the body was the usual tawny color.

    I guess I'd call it, "Uncommon, but certainly not unknown."
  10. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    I live in NC, I have seen a mountain lion (black as could be,but still had a shade darker spots). Evidently science will say it is a one in ten million mutation, but too many others over the years have seen the same.
  11. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    You're correct that "they don't have to restrict hunting" but wait and see what happens when a breeding population is discovered in a state where they used to exist. Therefore I change my original quote from "have to" to "will" ... and I stand behind that statement.
  12. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    And yet no hunter has ever recovered one and none are known from zoos, museums, or natural history collections. Apparently, black panthers are being raised by bigfoots which are also seen all over the country with regularity, but also mysteriously with no known physical specimens existing.
  13. shiftyer1

    shiftyer1 Well-Known Member

    I've never seen one but i've heard alot of stories, some from people I believe trustworthy. It seems whenever someone mentions a big cat of any color in an area people are slow to believe them.

    A few years back I was finding tracks pretty regular but folks looked at me like I was nuts, then I found a doe in a tree. Dang coyotes are getting talented;)
  14. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

  15. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    Well, I am not saying Panther.. I saw a mountain lion( had spots) that was black. I have seen two of these. One in the wild and one in captivity.
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Mountain lions don't have spots except when they are very young cubs.
    Did you read the article that accompanied the picture? It includes the analysis and opinion of "an accomplished outdoors writer and naturalist" as to what is seen in the picture.

    Some excerpts from the article.


    From the author:
    "As has been discussed here before, officially, black panthers do not exist. Science tells us that there is simply no such animal. It is true that other big cats occasionally exhibit melanism but they do not make their homes in North America.
    I think the animal in the photo is most likely a jaguarundi."​

    From the expert:
    The animal in the photo is definitely a cat and it looks the closest to a jaguarundi of any known species. It is definitely not a jaguar (no spot pattern found on the coat. Messed with it in photo shop and you could pull some spots by messing with contrast and lighting and none show) or a cougar. The body position and short legs point to jaguarundi along with the dark color.

    The cat looks a little fat to me which is what threw me off. Cougar and jags are both muscular but this cat is not. Jaguarundis are not a muscular cat and after reviewing a photo of a pregnant jaguarundi it looks like that might be the case. There are definitely jaguarundis in the Hill Country despite what officials say and this is the time of year many of our predators are pregnant."​
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  17. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Well-Known Member

    The one I saw in captivity was less than two months old, the other not sure. But I do disagree about the spots. They have them, they are just faint. My brother has one mounted and the spots are just a tad darker of a golden color than the base fur.
  18. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    Bottom line is that if you know where there is a black, spotted mountain lion in captivity, you are in possession of information that any naturalist in America would be extremely interested in, to say the least.

    Contact someone (maybe the naturalist who contributed to the article in the link from my last post) and give them the information. Just remember to ask them to provide you with the results of their analysis so you can post it here to prove that you've done what no scientist/naturalist in America could do by locating a melanistic mountain lion.
  19. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    LOL, it is a B&W photo taken via the IR setting of a game camera. The camera is improperly aimed and too close to the feeder, producing an extreme hot spot by the IR flash (or maybe external light), thereby making everything outside of the hotspot look darker than it should. Notice how the feeder legs all appear to be different shades, the leg closest to the animal being darketst.

    You just can't say the animal is black from this image. Sorry, but but you another one of those equivocal images and as noted, not identified as a mountain lion (Thanks John!). Furthermore, who here has a species ID key based on animal butts?

    Equivocal images are not proof. There are still no actual, tangible specimens despite the countless claims, like Bigfoot, chupacabra, Jersey Devil, etc.

    Here is a very nice discussion. I like how the lady notes the commonality of black panther sightings in Florida where they only have about 100 known mountain lions (none black), and that folks have suggested that the black cats may be other Panthera species possibly escaped from zoos and such, but nobody sees the normal colored ones, just the rare black ones. Ever wonder why the rare stuff is so common?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  20. lynntelk

    lynntelk Member

    Yes I have

    To answer the original question, yes I have seen the animal in question in the area you have asked about. I live in the Midland/Odessa area. There is a small population of the black jaguar close to this area. I was going to a location in the oilfield about 30 minutes after sunrise when I saw one ~30 yards off the edge of the road. The cat stopped on the road to look at me for ~2-3 seconds, then ran off. I told the foreman on location what I had seen. He worked in the area for many years. He said they have been sighted many times by numberous individuals. I have talked to other ranchers in the area that have also seen the same black jaguars.

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