Is there room in the Para/Crypto/Fortean world for a gun-toting, paranoid, bipolar, opinionated bastard? A lonely romantic in search of his lost soul? A knight, Samurai, gunslinger, born in the wrong century? A self-destructive, doom-driven survivor seeking redemption? A heavy drinking gonzo outlaw cryptozoologist whose ego is exceeded only by his libido?
No, there isn't. That's why I'm here...

05 December 2010

Black Panthers In Alabama

Here's a news story from a few counties over from me about a black panther attack.
UNION GROVE, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama man says he's recovering after being attacked by a panther near his Marshall County home.
Frank Harmes says he was walking his dog in a cove behind his home near Morgan City when he heard something behind him and turned to see a black panther.
Harmes says he moved to try to scare the panther away, but instead it attacked and clawed his leg. He says he stabbed the animal twice with a knife and it ran away.
Residents of the area have reported seeing panthers in the past, saying they sometimes come out looking for food.
Harmes says he will undergo a series of rabies shots because of the attack.

And here's a Youtube link, also shot in Alabama, of a purported black panther stalking a buck.
Of course, wildlife experts, zoologists, and other scientists will tell you that there are NO native big black cats in North America. This was news to me, since I've heard stories all my life about them. Once when I was a kid, I was riding in a car with my mom and aunt when one crossed the road right in front of the car. (I didn't see it myself, since I was busy in the backseat at the time). But they said it just strolled at a leisurely pace across the road. Apparently it didn't seem concerned about being hit. (which would have surely happened except that it crossed at a particularly twisty section of road, so we weren't going that fast).
Just like most other mystery creatures, they're "not supposed to exist", but people just keep on seeing 'em!


Autumnforest said...

Seriously, I have a wicked sense of humor, but the first time reading this, I inserted in my mind the black activist group of the 60s. Then, I reread it the right way. One way, it was entertaining, the other way chilling. I believe it's entirely possible they're out there. We recently got photos from trap cams in the desert of a panther, so anything is possible. I'm sure some cats make their way up from Central and South America and keep moving on and settling wherever they can find resources.

Jessica Penot said...

I've lived in North Alabama for almost my entire life and never heard a word about black panthers! I really can't believe it. Of course, I didn't believe that they brought alligators in to kill the beavers either and after they pulled one out of our lake I was made a believer.

Gummerfan said...

@Autumn, yeah, sometimes it can be awkward discussing "black panthers" if people don't know about the critters! :)
Jessica: Really? I thought the were pretty well talked about around here.
And somebody photo'd a 10 ft gator near here this past summer. :D

Pangs said...

I wouldn't be surprised if jaguars were encroaching.

I always think about the "asinine" claims of a mountain lion in Chicago. Until they shot it in an alley behind some houses in the city a few years ago.

Gummerfan said...

LOL! Yep. There's also a rather famous account of a kangaroo getting the better of a couple of Chicago's finest. It's in a couple of Loren Coleman's books.
There's a sub-branch of cryptozoology that concerns itself with "Out Of Place" animals. Creatures that turn up in places where they just aren't supposed to be, with no explanation as to how they got there. (and in some cases, where they went!)