NJ "Black Panther"
There's a "black panther" story coming out of New Jersey, accompanied by the usual poor photographs. From the ABC affiliate:
"Zoe Paraskevas believes the animal in the photograph is a black panther.
"Over this past weekend, she and at least six of her Old Farm Drive neighbors have spotted the animal roaming the woods behind their Vineland homes." ...
"'It was definitely not a house cat. It was large and definitely some kind of feline,' said Felicia Fiocchi.
"Paraskevas said back in October her son told her he spotted a black panther. She didn't believe him until she saw the animal in March." ...
"Vineland Police have confirmed to Action News that they've had reports of panther sightings in the area, but so far officers have not spotted the animal."
The ABC podcast (same site) shows three photos of a black feline, but none have a full well-focused side profile. What can be seen is that the cat appears to be completely black (no signs of spotting), has a moderate-sized tail (which rules out bobcat/lynx), and has the wrong features for a leopard or jaguar. The ears also appear pointed or tufted. In other words, there's little evidence that the feline is anything more than a very large (feral?) domestic cat. As we've seen time and again, feral cats can reach a decent size, and people do exaggerate black feline sizes in their imagination, anyway. Without a good size indicator in the photos, this appears to be yet another feral cat panic.
Labels: black panther