From the thorn and cactus thickets of South Texas to the swamps of Louisiana and the foothills of Oklahoma, people are reporting mysterious wild cat sightings.
That is why award-winning outdoors communicator/conservationist and Texas Fish & Game Executive Editor Chester Moore and Terri Werner of Tiger Creek Refuge and Animal Planet’s “Growing up Tiger” are teaming up.
“Chester and I are friends and every time we get together, the discussion ends up being about all of the reports of ‘black panthers’ that we both hear frequently and cougars and other cats in areas the experts say they do not exist,” Werner said.
“Because we both have a passion for cats we decided to pool our resources and knowledge to see what is really out there.”
Moore who has worked with cats in the wild and like Werner in captivity had an encounter 10 years ago that took his interest in mysterious cats to a new level.
“I saw a jaguarundi, a relatively unknown species of cat here in the U.S., about 400 miles north of where they are supposed to range. It walked out in broad daylight 30 yards in front of me,” Moore said.
That sighting along with other encounters and thousands of eyewitness reports over the years has given him unique incite into the phenomenon of mysterious “black panther” sightings as well as other cat related mysteries.
“Terri and I have already begun a two-pronged research project. The first is using both our media and personal contacts to solicit reports, game camera photos and other data. The second half involves using motion-sensing game cameras on a long-term basis in key areas to truly see what is out there,” Moore said.
“Wildview Cameras have stepped up to the plate and provided us with cameras and we are already excited by the quality of not only still photos but video we are getting. With their support we are one step closer to solving these mysteries.”
“We hope to help find out what is really going on with wild cats in the American South and at the same time raise awareness to conservation of their habitat. From what we have found so far, the public should expect the unexpected.”
For more information, visit southernpanthersearch.com.