An almost-black Florida panther has been photographed in the Everglades. It might provide the long-awaited explanation for hundreds of “big black cat” sightings throughout the Southeastern USA in recent years. It is known that Eastern cougar population is rebounding, but until now there was no evidence that melanistic cougars existed at all, so black cat sightings were either ignored or suspected to be other species.


  • sflamand

    From what I understand about these pictures, this is a normal colored Florida Panther that appears dark because of the lighting.

    • Bob Berghaier

      Interesting pics. Since 1994 I have been a following cougar / puma / panther / mountain lion sightings and conservation issues in the eastern USA. Reports of black panthers have never been confirmed in North America but there have been a few recorded in Central & South America. So a darker than usual Florida panther is possile.

    • vdinets

      There’s nothing in the pictures to indicate that the cat could look darker than it was. The grass it’s on looks perfectly normal, the light is not into the camera. I’ve heard it said many times that all sightings of big black cats in the Southeast are a result of light conditions, but nobody has ever proved that such an effect is possible. I’ve seen more than a hundred big cats in the wild, and not a single one of them ever seemed black, except for the few that really were.

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