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Mysterious Panther Roaming

By Ralph Dickerson

A mysterious large cat or cats roam the woods of Hancock County, and no one knows exactly what type of felines they are. Over the years, some people claim they saw a Mountain Lion, while others claim they saw a black panther. Is it possible for either animal to exist in Hancock County? Before broaching this particular subject, a discussion of sightings needs to be made.

The latest installment of a sighting happened Saturday morning at Evelyn Martenet’s house in the Horsley Hill area below Hawesville on state Route 69. The incident happened before noon, just after a repairman finished working on an appliance at her home. Martenet said the repairman was standing on her porch writing her a receipt, and she was writing him a check. She looked up, and spotted the animal in a field across from her house.

Martenet said the field contains about four acres, and is sloped upward. She said a ditch runs across the back of that property, covered by grass and shrubs, but no trees. Martenet said a driveway sits on one side of the property, and across the field and towards the top sits a neighbor’s house, with a pond behind and slightly beside the house. Martenet said the cat leapt from the driveway side of the property and headed across the field.

“It was walking along,” Martenet said. “It stopped a few times and then it kind of loped and then at the end it stretched out and ran.”

Martenet judged the distance to be approximately 100 yards. Martenet said she observed the animal, which she called a black panther, for over one minute. When she first spotted the animal, she asked the repairman if it was a black panther. She said the repairman turned and looked and remarked, “It sure is moving like a cat.”

“Its body was as long as a Great Dane, of course it was not as tall,” Martenet said. “It was very sleek. It was a slinky, sleek looking thing.”

What type of cat did Martenet see? The Clarion called the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to find out. John Hast, the department’s Bear and Furbearer Program Coordinator, discussed the sighting. He immediately shot down the idea of the animal actually being a black panther.

“We do not have any black feline species in Kentucky,” hast said. “A black panther is a South American, Amazonian Jungle kind of deal.”

In addition, the climate of Kentucky, specifically the winters, does not allow black panthers to survive here.

Is it possible Martenet spotted a wandering Cougar? Though the closest breeding area for Mountain Lions exists 900 miles away, it is not uncommon for young males to branch out and travel long distances. In fact in 2014 a Cougar from South Dakota was killed on a freeway in Connecticut, and that same year a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officer shot and killed a young Cougar in Bourbon County. It must be noted these are wandering animals, and do not represent an established Mountain Lion colony in Kentucky. As a breeding population, Cougars are considered extinct in the state. For her part, Martenet insists she did not see a Mountain Lion, but a black panther.

“I think a Cougar has a different shape,” Martenet said. “I think of a Cougar as being tawny colored and muscular with bulging muscles. This was a sleek, black cat.”

Is it possible Martenet simply spotted a dark colored Bobcat? She says no.

“It wasn’t a Bobcat, they are much smaller than this was,” Martenet said. “The shapes are so different too. A Bobcat really does look like an oversized house cat.”

Hast tends to agree with Martenet. He said Bobcats simply are not black.

“It is really rare to have a completely black Bobcat,” Hast said. “I am not sure if there has ever been one recorded.”

Hast said in his experience, most of these Black Panther sightings tend to just be extremely large house cats. He said distance, and viewing one on a sloped hill, tend to alter the perception of the size of the animal.

“We had one in Louisville that was a large cat,” Hast said. “But it was clearly domesticated.”

Martenet sticks by her description of the animal as being the length of a Great Dane, solid black in color with a long tail.

Her report of a large cat is not the only one in the county in the past few months. Martenet told the Clarion of a sighting by another resident of Hancock County. She said the grand daughters of Sandy and Donnie Young also saw a large cat.

Mrs. Young said her granddaughters’ sighting happened in the fall. She said the granddaughters, Emily and Kaitlyn Raley, were walking on B. Rice Road by property owned by Jimmy Newton when they spotted something they at first mistook for a deer due to its coloration. When the animal turned, the granddaughters saw the “deer” had a very long tail, and quickly realized they were not looking at a deer.

“They did not go walking after that,” Mrs. Young said.

Past sightings

Reports of people spotting large cats in the area go back many years. The most recent outbreak, not counting the above mentioned sightings, date back to 2014.

In September of 2014 Marie Freeny called into the Clarion concerning a large cat she encountered at her residence one night. According to the story, around 9 p.m. on the night of September 11, 2014 Freeny let her little Yorkie Jodi out to use the restroom. Freeny said Jodi went only a few feet out into the yard before turning around in a panic and bolting back to the house. Freeny said the dog was terrified. She stepped out to see what scared her dog, and spotted a set of glowing eyes about 20 feet away.

Freeny said several different powerful lights illuminated her back yard. When she saw the glowing eyes, Freeny said she thought it was a coyote, and yelled and stomped her feet to scare it away. Instead, the animal moved toward her, and into the light. What stepped into the light scared her. She said it definitely was a Cougar, not a Bobcat. It was long and slender, and had a long tail. Freeny said she darted into the house and grabbed her shotgun.

When she came back out, the Cougar was still there. Fearing to shoot the gun due to a neighbor’s horses in the field by the house, Freeny simply chambered a round into the gun. When she chambered the round, the Cougar slowly turned and walked away. Freeny said she firmly believes the Cougar planned to have her Yorkie Jodi, or her, as a meal.

In October of 2014 Steve and Kathy Woodward contacted the Clarion about something killing sheep on their 12-acre farm on Hawesville-Easton Road in southern Hancock County. The Woodwards said starting in 2012 something started attacking and killing their sheep. In two years the Woodwards said they lost approximately 40 sheep to some type of large feline animal. They erected a five-foot tall fence around their property, and this animal managed to kill and drag a full-grown sheep up and over the fence. In addition, sometimes the Woodwards would find some of their sheep with deep claw marks on their hindquarters, sometimes deep enough to cause the sheep to die.

At that time they owned a Great Pyrenees, a herding dog. Though bred to protect livestock, the Woodwards said whatever type of cat this was, the dog wanted no part of it, and refused to challenge the cat, or go anywhere near it.

For his part, Steve Woodward said he encountered the cat one day, and it definitely was not a Bobcat. While working in the woods on his property one afternoon, the cat charged him. It was about three in the afternoon, so he was able to see the animal clearly. He said the cat ran towards him, stopped and growled, scratched the dirt and ran about 50 feet away. He said the cat charged him three times, but never actually attacked him. He said it was definitely a Mountain Lion.

87 Comments

  1. Don on May 14, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    It mentions that cougars are extinct in Kentucky, then why did fish and wildlife kill one? Anyone have a link to story behind that, thank you.

    • Linda on May 14, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      Thank you for your comment. We hope this information might help answer your question.
      In 2014 a State Wildlife Officer killed a young male cougar because it was near a populated area. The ones spotted were young males. It is expected females will soon be here – but the females don’t normally roam, only the males. Females don’t move too much in less they cant find food. They mainly stay close to where they were born.
      Refer to link:
      https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/2014/12/16/first-puma-found-kentucky-since-civil-war/20487277/

      For quick reference – inside the link it states: A Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife officer killed a mountain lion on a Bourbon County farm on Monday, marking the first confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in Kentucky since before the Civil War, said Mark Marraccini, a spokesman for the agency. Marraccini said the wildlife officer shot the cat because it was about 5:30 p.m. and getting dark and he feared that it would slip away in darkness and threaten people in the nearby city of Paris. “If that cat had left that tree, it would have disappeared into the brush and it was a fairly populated area,” said Marraccini, who said it would have taken several hours and dark before a state veterinarian could retrieve the tranquilizer from her safe and get it to the scene had officials taken that route. “It sounds good but it’s pretty impractical,” said Marraccini, who said the officer who shot the cat made the right call.

      • Tommy Woosley on March 6, 2022 at 6:42 pm

        with all due respect there are black cats in ky.i saw one close up. a black bobcat that gets huge.its proper name is melanistic bobcat.one crossed the road about100 feet in front of my car near cub run ky.also there r several species refered to as panthers by the local folks here and there but none r actually panthers.there is no species of panther.the ones you refer to in south america r also in florida .they r melanistic jaguars

        • David Stephens on July 3, 2022 at 9:13 pm

          There have been many eye witness sightings through the years of melanistic jaguars in southern Indiana. The Martin County Lost River area as well as Pike County Patoka River bottoms..

          The old coon and fox hunters called the jaguar a panther and always referred to the mountain lion as a cougar. Saying the panther was hard on the dogs and gave deep growl and kind of roar where as the cougar made a loud screech cat sound and would run from dogs or tree.

    • Jody on December 4, 2020 at 5:44 am

      I have report several times years ago black jaguars or black cougars in Lockport KY. I saw several and there is nothing wrong with my eyes. So to say we don’t have them is a lie. And they have spots under their coats. I saw them. One crossed in front of our car and stood in front and stared at us for a few minutes then went up in too the woods. One was sitting and staring at me and a friend while we were putting clothes on a line outside less than a 100 yards which we ran inside. It walked around her place then disappeared. She lives in the woods and she has saw them for many years. So to say they don’t exist in KY is not true.

      • Deplorable Me on January 27, 2021 at 10:00 pm

        If it has spots it is a Leopard or Jaguar and not a Panther…how it got in Ky I don’t know. It is genetically impossible for a Panther to be black. Therr are no pictures of one anywhere, there are none in any zoo anywhere, there are no mentions or even legends in Native American lore and stories. Because they do not exist

        • LakeLady on March 31, 2021 at 9:10 pm

          What about Bagheera in the Disney movie, Jungle Book? He was a Black Panther. 🤷🏼‍♀️🧐

          • William Baize on July 26, 2022 at 5:59 pm

            I am a former resident of Ohio, and Hancock counties in Kentucky. I now have lived in Henderson county Kentucky. Native American legend does speak of Black Panthers in Kentucky! One such legend inspired an episode of the Daniel Boone TV show in the 60s. Books on Forteon legend describe Black Panthers in Kentucky. A friend of mine here in Henderson co. Describes how her father shot and killed a Black Panther which she saw in the 50s. She said he turned the carcass over to the state museum. She saw one near Eaton axle near Henderson in the 80s and I saw one fighting with two Bobcats on Baron Church rd. A half mile from where I live near Zion Ky. In Henderson co. They are real they are here!



        • Charlie Adams on November 4, 2021 at 12:42 pm

          “Panther” is not a separate species. “Black panther” is just another name for a melanistic jaguar or leopard. While mountainlions are referred to as “panthers” or “painters” in some locales, they are a distinctly different species of cat. And no, it’s probably not “genetically impossible” for a cougar to be black, there just never been any killed, captured, or even photographed, so we can discount it as not very likely.

        • Thomas on January 17, 2022 at 12:45 am

          a panther leopard jaguar are all in the same family. Get out once in a while,and as long as your on line.,do some studying& you’ll see you WRONG.,Dah!.

      • Ronnie on May 12, 2021 at 8:34 pm

        Cougars are here in kentucky,black Panthers ,are seen and i have encounter both but but both where just as surprised to see me as I was to see them unfortunately didn’t get pictures I was froze and my breath was took away as I locked eyes with both.its not an easy feeling lucky I had the protection of my dogs in both cases but in second encounter lost both dogs both paid the ultimate prize defending and protecting me .those events will never leave my mind.

        • Carla Johnson on January 18, 2022 at 3:48 am

          We live not far from the Ohio/Daviess County lime in Masonville. This happened about 12 years ago. Our daughter lived in Ohio County in a subdivisions at the top of Hoover Hill. I left her house to go home in early Fall and when I turned my headlights on I saw a huge black cat hunched at the edge of the road not 20 feet from my car. It was a full moon that night too. It was a Jaguar, often people describe them as black panthers, there is no such animal. I clearly saw it and had to suppose when I went to my car I was the only moving target out there. It was much bigger than what’s been described here. I waited and hardly blinked my eyes and it was gone. I still waited before going back in to the house. I could tell my daughter and her husband thought I was nuts. Went to my car and went home. My husband believed me. Two weeks later he came home and told me Ohio County authorities reported a black panther and cubs at the bottom of Hoover Hill and no one was to bother or approach them if they saw them. I guess they didn’t think a Jaguar was possible. Since I know black panthers are not acsrparate species and don’t exist, I’m telling you this was a Jaguar. My lights were right on it and no way this was a big house cat. I wondered if it may have been male and hinting at night. Cubs had to have had a daddy. I know what I saw and at least it was confirmed that a female and cubs were in the area. My daughter never let her kids play out til the sun set ever again. I’ve often wondered if it heard me as I left the house and it had just gotten where it was as I closed my car door. Jaguars crush the skull of their prey and they can leap 20 feet in one pounce. That subdivision has a forest that lined the back of it. I’ll always wonder if I had been a few seconds slower if I would have been dinner. Neighbors had a big dog chained inside a fence. They came home late one night snd thst hige dog broke thst big chain and had deep wounds and almost didn’t survive. I think coyotes may have attacked him because he’d have never stood a chance with what I saw. I did go online and report the sighting. This was not a Cougar, I clearly saw it and I know the difference.

      • Michael Hammer on October 7, 2021 at 7:29 am

        I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
        a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
        a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.

        • Lucas on March 21, 2022 at 10:47 pm

          Anyway you could send me the video?

      • Mary Kling on February 25, 2022 at 6:46 am

        I had a mountain Lion last fall right next to my barn, I saw it clearly , it got four of my Guineas know my Guineas and chickens are in a enclosed pen.
        The game warden told me I could shot it but I wouldn’t do that unless it was attacking one of my pets. I do live in the woods so what can I expect.

      • Carmen on May 13, 2022 at 4:40 pm

        I saw one near my sons house 15 miles SW of Beatrice Nebraska about 9 years ago. It was as tall as knee high grass (if not taller) and looked muscular.

      • David Stephens on July 3, 2022 at 9:22 pm

        Those are melanistic jaguars. It really sounds hard to believe that they could be in the nations heartland but too many eyewitness accounts to ignore.

    • Maggie Williams on June 8, 2021 at 8:32 pm

      My friend saw the one in Bourbon County two weeks before it was shot

    • Jeff on July 23, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      There ARE black Panthers in Kentucky. Growing up there, I saw them on several occasions. One got our chickens, killed a coon hunters dogs. It was shot a close range with a shotgun.

      • Carla Johnson on January 18, 2022 at 4:01 am

        Truly, black panthers don’t exist but Jaguars are often called black panthers. They have several names they are called. Beats me how a Jaguar was in that subdivision in Ohio county, but it was.

    • Jody Khrestinin on September 19, 2021 at 5:09 am

      I saw several in Lockport Kentucky. One was crossing in front of our car, no more than 6 ft, paused and stared at us then went into the woods, Not threatened by us either. Sleek, long and Black. I could see a hint of spots under the fur. And I saw another one while hanging clothes on the line outside, 30 ft from us. I had no idea one was there until I looked up saw it sitting and looking at us. But they do exist so if anyone says they don’t then they are mistaken and not wanting to worry the public.

    • Michael Hammer on October 7, 2021 at 7:21 am

      I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
      a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.

    • Michael Hammer on October 7, 2021 at 7:26 am

      I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
      a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.

    • Michael Hammer on October 7, 2021 at 7:31 am

      I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
      a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
      a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.

    • Michele on January 3, 2022 at 8:27 pm

      As a child, me and a cousin were playing on her yard and upon an embankment behind her home, we saw a large black puma like cat staring back. We took off running. I’ve never forgotten this. Occurred in Floyd County Kentucky.

    • Ace on February 3, 2022 at 6:20 pm

      I know for a fact in the early 2000 maybe mid there was a few of them in eastern ky. Lee county Kentucky old landing to be specific was the area we had lived there our whole life. Throughout my childhood I heard stories and tales of them but it wasn’t until I was I wanna say around 13/14 that I seen one for myself and it was absolutely a mountain lion it’s shear mass alone was crazy! The man had actually shot it as it was drinking from the pond in his back yard but was on the watch ad for years and years there had been countless cattle killed and had relocated them and to no avail. There are lots of sounds in the world but the scream/ Roar it made as it smacked the ground with its front paws trying to find and fight off whatever it thought may have bitten it or hurt it. The man had three children playing in the yard as well that day and really everyday and with the amount of mutilated/ mostly eaten cattle around the farm he was positive that was the issue and after many many calls he had to take it into his own hands

    • Tim Tackett on February 22, 2022 at 3:14 pm

      A black panther was recently sighted in Martin County, Ky and pictures of it are posted on Facebook.

  2. Deanna Davis on May 14, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    I saw A Panther at R back yard in 2018. We live West of Princeton Indiana. It was Winter time snow was on the ground. Sure was scary too. This is in Gibson County

    • Linda on May 15, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Yikes! Be careful. Thanks for reading!

    • Mary Frady on May 15, 2020 at 6:28 pm

      My mother says she has seen a black panther several times on her rural clay county indiana home/property.

      • Jody on December 4, 2020 at 5:46 am

        We seen several like in my comment in Lockport KY…they exist.

      • Mandy on January 15, 2021 at 4:23 pm

        I myself just this past October believe I saw a black panther on the edge of my field and woods. It stopped a few times and continued on until it reached the woods and I couldn’t see it anymore. My family thinks I’m crazy but this was not a regular domestic car and way to big to be a bob cat.

        • Mary Hinshaw on January 25, 2021 at 10:27 am

          Mandy, I saw something just this morning and honestly I’m not sure what it was. It Monday January 25. About 8:15 or so this morning my German Shepard jumped up on the window barking. I go to look and see the backside of a black cat looking animal crossing the road and going into the woods across the street…except it was way too big to be a house or feral cat. I live in brown county Indiana. I’m not comfortable telling anyone I know, they’ll think I’m crazy!!!

          • Sheila Goodwin on December 13, 2021 at 8:15 pm

            I saw a huge black cat in my back yard which is wooded…it was very large..a coyote came down from the woods n the cat took off…this black cat had white on its feet…which puzzled me..but the size was unreal..maybe 50 pds



  3. Karen Peter on May 15, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    This is fascinating, never know what’s roaming around in woods! Thanks for the great story!

    • Linda on May 16, 2020 at 1:32 pm

      You’re welcome. We appreciate your readership! 🙂

  4. Charlotte Loftis on May 17, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I lived in Ky in a while back 1997-2012 we lived on a farm we saw black panthers several times roaming on the farm l saw foot prints of a mother and her baby three ft from our back porch and other prints in the snow in the front on the sidewalk and sighed other places to we lived in Logan County Lewisburg

    • Linda on May 18, 2020 at 9:13 am

      Very Interesting! Thank you for sharing.

      • Grewuphearing on May 20, 2020 at 8:17 pm

        Grew up hearing my mother talk about seeing black panthers all the time when she was growning up the last storie i remember her telling us was right after her and her husband got married in the 80s in madison county kentucky

    • LakeLady on March 31, 2021 at 9:15 pm

      Small world 🌎 I lived in Lewisburg Ky for 18 yrs. 2020/2018. Never saw a panther but lots of coyote and we did see a bobcat.

  5. Craig on May 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    I pulled into my property in Warren County/Bowling Green just after midnight in July 2018 and saw a long sleek black cat which froze in my car headlights. I have described it exactly as the lady did in this article as a large shiny, sleek black panther. It was not a bobcat or any type of house cat. It also had a long tail. We have about 6 acres on top of a hill with several acres of woods. The cat darted off into the darkness down the back hill towards our woods. Our home is in between Drakes Creek and the Barren River near some large residential neighborhoods out Cemetery Rd past I-65 towards Allen County/Scottsville. After this encounter I too googled to find out about if the black panther had been sighted in Kentucky. After reading this article it immediately sounded exactly like what I had seen.

    • Jennifer Goodsell on December 2, 2020 at 11:53 am

      I live in Alvaton, KY, Warren County, off Scottsville Road and Claypool Boyce. On March 9, 2020, 9:30 in the morning, I just happened to look at the field behind my back yard, and saw what I thought was the neighbors chocolate lab. I watched if for a few seconds, and then it stopped and sniffed the ground. As soon as it sniffed the ground, the tail went up and I knew it was a big cat. The tail was really long with a curl at the end, and the body was longer than a dogs. The color was black. It moved very smoothly, and just walked away behind a hill. I called fish and game and they weren’t too alarmed. They told me it could have been a melanistic (dark) jaguar.
      Within 3 months, it was sighted twice in the neighborhood.

    • Jeff on July 23, 2021 at 7:34 pm

      I grew up in Casey County. They are DEFINITELY there! I saw one on several occasions. Unnerving as a 14 year old boy out squirrel hunting with only a .22 rifle.

  6. Mrs. Heiert on May 24, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    We have almost a 2 acre field behind our hose in PENDLETON Co just north of Falmouth. Three years ago we had what looked like a black panther run/leap across in about 4 jumps and was gone.

    • Asee on January 31, 2021 at 2:08 pm

      Interesting. Our home is in Campbell County, KY which borders Pendleton County. It was late evening/right before dark, 3 years ago, in June, when I saw what I can only describe as a black cougar. I had been sprucing up the front porch, looked up and saw a very large black cat slinking across the road and down in the woods.

    • Vanessa on June 23, 2022 at 11:56 am

      I live in the middle of the forest, it’s honestly like they cut a circle out of the forest of the oaks pines and dropped my house down. My house has 3 steep hills on both sides and the back, the front is going down the mountain. There are cliffs and caves all above and around me. I’ve never saw a Jaguar, but I’ve saw huge mountain lions several times, they come down from the ridge and cross my backyard then go down to where the creek runs at the base. I’ve saw bears, bobcats, coyotes. The big cats were in no way a fat housecat nor a bobcat, they don’t even remotely favor.

  7. Leigh Weaver on June 25, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Back over 40 years ago I was walking to the bus stop was about half way there when I seen something laying on the ground next to the road ahead of me. The closer I got the further to the other side of the road I walked. Finally I was directly across from the big black cat laying there on the edge of the road across from me. Well by this time I did not know what to think I must have been around 10 or 11 at the time so you could wonder what I was thinking. Finally I got enough courage to walk over and I tell you no lie it was a black panther it’s head was as big as a basket ball and a nose 3 inches across and velvet looking fur with a tale as thick as a black plum. I stood with in 1 foot of this cat laying there on the ground it did not move it’s eyes were shut and it did not breath. Well by that time I herd the bus coming so I ran up the road to the stop. To this day my brother our neighbor and my self can tell you they are out there in Berwick Pennsylvania , so no mater what someone tries to tell you I know what I stood next too and seen.

    • Linda on July 6, 2020 at 8:34 am

      Incredible story! Thank you for sharing this on the Clarion website.

      • Jody on December 4, 2020 at 5:49 am

        This is what I think…VETS brought them back during the Vietnam war or they were snuck in somehow…but I saw them and I did report this to the wild life and game wardens and I was told yes they are here in KY and to be careful because they are around.

  8. Jennifer on August 4, 2020 at 12:54 am

    We moved to Richmond Ky in 1997 at the time there was a lot of new construction going on the house we bought was 2 years Old well way up the Holler behind us was a large Pay lake the lake sat almost at the top of the holler there was a old bait house back there that we would stop at to get bait and pay for our ticket when my father went in to get our bait and pay the man inside told us to stay away from the other side of the lake which was the back side Of the lake it backed up to a dense forest my dad asked him why and the mans reply was the mountain lion has two cubs and she brings them down around this time I didn’t really feel comfortable fishing this lake anymore but my dad said that cat won’t Bother us if we stay over here sure enough a few hours of fishing and a big female cougar and two cubs came down out of the forest and drank some water Played for a few minutes and went back up the hill I will never forget how beautiful they was later on my dad asked the old man about the cat he told my dad he didn’t want the wild life people to come there that they would kill her and the babies he said ( they don’t bother anyone they stay up at the top they have plenty to eat up there with the deer and wild pigs)
    The mountain lions I believe have always been in Ky they just stay away from people and some people protect them just like that old man was doing he new what would happen if the wild life people found out I am glad he did protect that cat and her cubs they were beautiful my dad never did fish the other side of the lake and he made sure the car was close

    • Linda on August 9, 2020 at 8:14 pm

      Thank you for your comment. This is quite interesting!

    • Linda on September 13, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Its refreshing to know we still have good people willing to protect the mountain lions! Thank you for your comment.

    • Steve on October 7, 2020 at 10:42 pm

      It won’t be so pretty when one of tries to attack your kids or animals.

  9. Martin Redbird on September 17, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    Big and small wildcats and Bobcats have always been in Kentucky.

  10. Lori on October 7, 2020 at 1:08 am

    Wish I could post video taken in our Shelby county subdivision right outside Jefferson County. They thought it was a cougar but looks black

    • Margie on October 9, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Lori,

      Is there a way you could email me the video or share it on another media forum like Facebook? If you have a video, it would be of real value for wildlife experts to review.

    • Sheila Goodwin on December 13, 2021 at 8:26 pm

      I saw a black panther in Ashville Al.and a mt lion in blountsville al. A black bear was also found dead on the side of the road in Blountsville Al.with a tag in its ear from Georgia

  11. Steve on October 7, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    Wrong, they are in kentucky and tried to attack my sister 10 years ago and have attacked my dogs and chickens since then. I even wounded one at least which some stray dogs chased found and ate and dragged the carcass into my driveway, bones and sinew was all that was left and it was in pieces.

  12. Melissa Freestone on October 19, 2020 at 11:51 am

    I KNOW I just saw a black panther in a wooded clearing while on my way home! I turned my car around and went back, spotted it again as it went into some brush. I know house cats and I have never seen one that would come up to my kneecaps if I were side by side to it! Very long tail, very sleek and looked like it was stalking something. Was going to call DNR but sure they won’t believe me. This was in a partly residential area so it is kind of worrisome to me.

  13. Greg P on October 30, 2020 at 11:09 am

    I purchased 10 acres with cabin on the Breckinridge/ Meade Co line approximatley 16 years ago… it is surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of wooded acres. There is a small cave on the property and several more surrounding as there is a 17 mile cave system main entrance about 2 miles away! I’ve had coyotes den in my cave..even stuck a shovel back into opening heard one yipe.. the opening down in my cave is to small for human but definitely is a vent into a much larger cave most likely the main cave! I snow track in the winter and have seen footprints of coyotes and possibly larger cat too!! If the Black Panthers were using these same caves to den in winter …then it COULD be possible for them to inhabit our colder climate and thrive!
    Since day one a local neighbor who built a house across the road and spent much time camping while doing so, told me he had seen large black panther cats… and even a female with 3 cubs right outside his camper near his grill with food on it from night before!! Thought he was pulling my leg with a story……until I questioned another person later who had grown up in that area and hunted the woods at the top of my property.. he was credible source 50+/- years old.. and told me a story of when he was 18 that he and a friend saw one at a small pond in the woods while hunting,, I know the pond because I’ve stood in the same spot he described!!
    While I haven’t seen one myself, I had an experience one evening that curled the hair form my toes to my head… while putting up my hunting blind something(bobcat/large cat) that sounded like a person( woman) screaming at the top of their lungs run across the ridge at the top of my land( not far from the “pond”)…in a very short period of time.. I stopped picked up my gun made sure it was ready and froze! As it disappeared down the ridge, I hurriedly packed my gear and left for home with a new respect for the woods at night! I haven’t heard it since ….that was 12 years ago .. but still see the large footprints!
    While I’m not the ultimate woodsman, I have spent most of my 57 years hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, rock climbing, etc.. since I was a kid…and have put my time in outdoors to be considered at least a seasoned outdoorsman! It is my belief that there are large cats(black) that inhabit our state in remote areas and thrive! Besides I have one on game cam, a black cat with very long tail about 20 feet from the camera…. it could be the elusive panther or the cat from across the road hunting on my property???????
    Ironically, I grew up in Daviess Co. and learned to hunt/ hike along a creek in the river bottoms with my grandad on no less….Panther Creek!!

    • Lori on June 12, 2021 at 12:43 am

      I left a comment where I saw one of these black cats in LBL. But I have heard so many times on Dogman encounters where these dogmen sound like a woman screaming. Do cats sound like that?. But these dogmen can run bi-pedal or on all four legs, have huge wolfish heads and human-ish racoon hands. Witnesses have seen them in different colors but some of them are jet black. I’ve heard of so many stories of things in the woods, I can’t even go to get something out of my car at night! lol

      • Charlie Adams on November 4, 2021 at 12:51 pm

        Lori,

        I don’t believe a word of the “dogman” stories people tell, but yes, both bobcats and cougars make a sound like screaming, especially when they’re in heat. Go to YouTube and search for “mountain lion screaming”, there’s some great videos of them. They also meow, squeak, purr, and chirp…

  14. Greg Puckett on October 30, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    as before

  15. Jim Collier on November 4, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    I live in Cumberland, Ky and there are two mountain lions and three kittens bedding down on the hill above my house. So, there are breeding mountain lions in Harlan county, Ky.

    • Kordell Graham on November 13, 2020 at 11:13 am

      Hey Jim, send me an email would ya? I’d like to get more information on these cats your talking about.

    • Kordell Graham on November 13, 2020 at 11:14 am
  16. Kirk Folse on November 13, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    I was fortunate to see both of them in my life the Black Panther like was in 1982 it was about a 40 to 50lb cat. The. other look like a Florida panther was in 2010 it look like it weight about 160lbs and over 6ft long .Both times I was in a vehicle saw the black panther at the DuPont Plant and the other one about five blocks down from my house.I always heard them screaming as a kid . I live in the Shoreline park.

  17. Tazmage on December 5, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    My relatives over in Russellville, KY, since before the 70’s, claim there’s a black panther in their woods. I stayed the night there as a teenager with my grandma and grandpa and we heard it growling/roaring out in the woods…can’t nobody tell me there aren’t black panthers in them woods out there…they even saw it a few times and I think they might even have pictures of it…

  18. Karla on January 7, 2021 at 12:09 pm

    I live in Lexington, Indiana (close to Madison, Indiana). There was a huge black “cat” by our lake this morning. Has any reports from this area been made? It looked just like this! Sooo long, and just BIG!

  19. Teresa Bartlett on February 26, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    Both are under Google
    Is a panther a Jaguar?
    The difference between Panther and Jaguar is that Panther is the broader term used to refer to any big cat. It is the name of a genus and not species. Jaguar, on the other hand, is a panther with black spots on its body and mainly found in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.///

    1. “Black panthers” aren’t a real species.
    Panthera is actually the name of a genus based on skull features that is comprised of contemporary species like jaguars, leopards, and even lions and tigers and b– oh, no bears. (Bears are in a different genus!)

  20. Jim Penix on March 5, 2021 at 8:24 pm

    Around 1976, In Johnson County, Kentucky at the two mile hill. A friend and I had been camping in a cave. We packed up our camping gear and was placing things in our car and returned to get the rest of our things from the cave. My friend and I seen a large “panther like” animal running from the cave in front of us. The animal was large with sleek black fur. The animal had a distinctive large head and a long tail, and it ran faster than any animal that I have witnessed. The animal was beautiful and majestic. I will never forget that day and what I saw, and I disregard any opinions stating there are no such animals in Kentucky. I suspect the animals are very intelligent and they move at night . There may not be many in our area, but they do exist.

  21. Lora Hitt on March 13, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    I have a picture from a trail cam of a big black cat with a long tail. Where can I send it to help identify it? It was about a week ago in Switzerland County indiana.

  22. LakeLady on March 31, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    I AM NOT A SPAMMER! Geesh just trying to get in on some conversation about some Big Cat sightings. There has been a sighting at Lake Barkley.

  23. Ronnie on May 12, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    Cougars are here in kentucky,black Panthers ,are seen and i have encounter both but but both where just as surprised to see me as I was to see them unfortunately didn’t get pictures I was froze and my breath was took away as I locked eyes with both.its not an easy feeling lucky I had the protection of my dogs in both cases but in second encounter lost both dogs both paid the ultimate prize defending and protecting me .those events will never leave my mind.

  24. Ronnie on May 12, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    My goal is to expose there existence and get hard evidence they are here

  25. Ronnie on May 12, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    My goal is to expose there existence and get hard evidence they are here.

    • david stephens on December 8, 2021 at 8:46 pm

      Harold Allison a naturalist from Washington Indiana can help prove the reality of Black Panthers (Jaguars) in Southern Indiana and Southern Illinois.

  26. S.G. on May 14, 2021 at 12:21 am

    I would’ve thought these stories were a little far out up until one week ago today (5/7/21).
    I stopped with my boss out near Hartford off 1414 to look at some property for sale. We kind of just wandered around identifying plants and trees and fungi for a bit before going fishing elsewhere. I decided to head up the gravel road thinking there might be a house for sale, but it turned out to just be acres of unkempt trees and brush. There were two paths near the top, one was heading down into the trees and there were deep tracks where it looked like someone had gone mudding in an atv. I followed them for about a yard and walked into an area with a few fallen trees and thick vegetation. I took out my phone to use google lens to help identify a plant and as I bent over, I heard a very deep low growl that almost sounded like a loud purr. My mind was saying “please let that be a branch bending that just sounds like something angry telling me to run”. I stepped back and it growled a little louder.. but still slowly like it was using it’s exhale to warn me that I was in danger. Back backed up a couple steps but didn’t panic. I said a few words that my mother would not be proud of, and continued to walk backwards towards the clearing to warn the boss man. The only thing I saw of it was the side of it either laying or crouching in a big pile of brush. Not at all a bobcat. Not anything I’ve ever seen around here thats THAT size. Great Dane is a decent size description. I saw it. It sounds stupid to a lot of people, but if you’ve seen one then you know. This was a solid tan no spots. I know they say “no confirmed sightings since 1899” but I’m so close to 100%. No other animal around here can make that deep of a groan/growl long purr type sound. Not bobcats anyway. It was predator low.. craazy!

  27. Lori Hamilton on June 12, 2021 at 12:25 am

    We went to Land Between the Lakes in southern Ky to see if we could see a “Dogman”, which is a whole different story and ball game. lol. But when we were down there, I first thought… awwww what is a black cat doing here in the park? But as we went by it, it was NOT a regular cat. It’s fur was shiny and black, just beautiful. It was waking up and stretching on a rock. I do not know the difference between cougars, panthers or jaguars, but it was solid, shiny and black. Not sure what to do about them, but I hope no one goes out and starts killing them. They are gorgeous. I’m thinking they were perhaps brought over illegally and let lose and now are multiplying and adapting…but… I’m just guessing.

  28. Will on July 17, 2021 at 8:47 am

    While they’re mostly thought of as a “jungle cat” now, Jaguars were native to Kentucky as well as the rest of the southeast at the time of settlement. There’s plenty of documentation of it.

  29. Michael Hammer on October 7, 2021 at 7:31 am

    I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
    a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
    a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.

  30. Michael Hammer on October 7, 2021 at 7:32 am

    I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
    a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.I personally have spent extensive amounts of time day and night in the woods hunting over the last 55 years of my life starting when I was old enough to closely follow my dad into the wood before daylight in pursuit of squirrels. Since then I’ve managed to tag put well over 200 whitetails and several bobcats.one particular male bobcat which was so old it’s fangs(k-9’s) were worn off to the hight of its incisors. It weighed 47 pounds with pretty much all its lower gi tract removed by the bullet that dispatched its life. I’ve tagged several others not near as big and at no time could I have ever mistaken a domestic house cat for a bobcat much less a cougar as mentioned before as a explanation from wild life proffesionals.I have a 11 lb tom cat at home.Now I’m saying if it would be impossible to mistake a juvinile or mature (plausibly
    a kitten) bobcat for a house cat much less a cougar,or mountain lion, or panther, puma what ever you wanted to call that genius of large wild feline. DNA contributing to gene melanism is mainly responsible for color in that genius of cat. Now in the 30 us years I have seen 6 big cats. 5 of them were black. One was seen in the snow in daylight so there was no problem with mistaking the color due to low light as mentioned as an excuse by wild life officials previously. I have a video of another daytime sighting of a black one crossing a field. I first noticed its black head sticking up in the tall grass and after it knew it wasn’t concealed any longer it skeeked off. I videos it for the whole event. The most recent sighting was a brown or buck skin color one that bounded out of a tree after I walked by in a utility cut. I heard the thud when the cat hit the ground and in 3 bounds it covered a 30 yard wide opening dispearing into the woodbine. It left one track in some clay mud which I have pictures of. I put a snuff can down in the picture for scale and it appears to be a rear foot track that is around 4-5 inches wide. Not just from actually seeing the cat the track was clear enough to identify the distinctive lobing on the rear pad of the foot. Last year I found a deer kill that had been covered up with the hair that a big cat had snipped off with its teeth along with leaves and a few sticks. Big cats will snipp the hair off its prey before consuming it with almost surgical precision. I’ve got pictures fully showing the tracks and fang marks on the deers skin along with the incisors when it would bite a little to deep. This particular siting and the video is in South East KY. The others are in East TN. The one thing that makes a big cat sighting so unique is its tail. The tail is so thick looking and looks so heavy and strong. They use it as a rudder or balancing or opposing body part to aid them in switching directions while running and jumping. For any one that doesn’t believe me I have video and pictures to prove it. I’m pretty sure I know where one stays in some huge flat rocks that lie together in a location that I still have not figured out why or how they got their. I also got a strange strange video of a strange light I videod one night coming out of the woods. Maybe someone could exspmain it to me. It spooked me and I don’t get spooked easy. I’ve had a baby bear cub walk by and stop and smell my boot as I was hidden in some round bails of hay and the mother was just two more feet beside the cub and all I had was a compound bow. That spooked me also. Ha ha.

  31. Charlie Adams on November 4, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    Growing up in Southeastern Kentucky from the late 50s on, I don’t know at the sightings that were reported by people living around the hollers. I never saw any of them, but over the years, I have seen two of the regular dun-colored cougars – one in Pippa Passes in Knott County in 1974, and one in Johnson County near Paintsville around 2005 or therabout. Big cats have always been here, they’re just scarce and they mostly stay away from people. I hope people will leave them alone, whether black or brown. We don’t need to destroy everything, but their sanctuaries are shrinking rapidly.

  32. Nivra Senters on January 1, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    I am 83 years old, and in 1944 we lived in the country in Rockcastle County Ky,people can say and deny the fact that we have black panthers and mountain lions if they want to, but I know better. My dad was a fox hunter,and kept fox hounds he took them and went hunting one night, he wasn’t gone very long he came back home scared to death,he thought that his dogs had treed a fox,wrong he said it was a big black cat with a long tail, he said it screamed the scariest scream that he ever heard, he tried to call his dogs off and turned and headed back to the house,2 of his dogs were there when he got to the house,he found the other one next day dead it had been ripped open.Our neighbors on the hill above us heard it scream one evening right at dark and they thought that it was a woman screaming and came to check on my mom.

  33. Mary on January 5, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    I have seen a Black panther , puma , or jaguar.. mountain lion.. which ever you choose to call it . I 100 percent know what I saw here in Kentucky. When you come across one, there is no doubt what you are looking at by the size and way in which the hinged legs move. It was 2014 or 2015

  34. Carmen Everhart on May 13, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    I saw one near my sons house 15 miles SW of Beatrice Nebraska about 9 years ago. It was as tall as knee high grass (if not taller) and looked muscular. 🙂

  35. Kristin on July 14, 2022 at 1:14 am

    My daughter was horse back riding two yrs ago and spotted one. We also hear them late at night, tonight for example which is why I’m posting after searching for other sightings. It’s not something easy to miss. Sometimes it sounds like a baby and other times it sounds like a woman in distress. They have been spotted on this farm through out the yrs. Black and fawn. We have a 300 acre farm in Jeffersonville ky and it has been in the family for generations. Maybe they migrate here in the summers .. maybe they are evolving, everything else is. People saying they aren’t around is ignorance. They need to do their research. I don’t think private land is surveyed too often for them to give a matter of fact statement of what is and isn’t here.

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