Fake Black Panther News Hits Social Media

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Fake news is a common term now thrown around in the political world.

But there are elements of wildlife news, especially in the Wild West of social media news that qualifies as genuine fake news.

The latest is regarding alleged black panther photos that have been attributed to numerous locations in Texas and beyond. Watch this video and learn the truth about these photos.

There is no such species recognized as “black panther” anywhere on the planet much less in the United States of America.

The “black panthers” seen in zoos, wildlife demonstrations and in media are melanistic (black) leopards and jaguars. They are anomalies within these species and not a separate one altogether.

There is no large cat on the planet that is officially recognized as a “black panther”. The only ones that qualify are the aforementioned melanistic leopards and jaguars. And there are no black cougars.

Other than a grainy black and white photo from Costa Rica in the 1950s there has never been any real evidence of a black cougar (mountain lion, puma, panther) killed by a hunter, mounted by a taxidermist or born at wildlife facilities around the world. At least none that I have seen and I have investigated this phenomenon heavily for more than 20 years.

If melanistic cougars were the source of the thousands of black panther reports in America the sizable captive population would have already shown melanism. We have even verified an albino cougar born in Europe but melanism is not in the cards in my opinion.

Fellow investigator Todd Jurasek heard about a large black cat mounted at a restaurant in his home state of Oklahoma from researcher Glenn McDonald.

What he found is what he believes is a black cougar that had been dyed black.

“I saw on the hind parts what looked like areas where the dye didn’t take or is wearing off. It definitely looked like a cougar and didn’t have any spots like a melanistic jaguar or leopard would have,” he said.

Todd Jurasek photographed this mounted “black panther” in Oklahoma but on further examine said it was a cougar dyed black.

After Todd checked it out and reported to his source,  McDonald  provided two links to taxidermists who have in recent years created “black panthers” from cougars to show that it has been done.

There are dark-colored cats in the wild but in my opinion the “black panther” phenomenon has numerous explanations, not one.

If you have photos or videos of a black cat you would like to share, email cmoore@fishgame.com.


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