Just have to share this with you guys.

I took the dog out this morning at 4am. Some weird noise woke us both us and the dog insisted on going outside. We did. She sniffed around, peed, and came back inside.

At 7:15 this morning we went back out and the dog started going nuts. She doesn’t bark at anything — deer, dogs, cats, nothing. And she was going absolutely nuts. All the fur on her back was up. her tail turned bushy. I looked to see what she was barking at and it was a giant black lab in the tall grass of the natural gas easement behind our house.

I stepped forward to shoo the lab out of our yard and it was no lab. It was a big ass black panther. Scared the mess out of me.

Dessa, our dog, and I quickly exited the scene as the panther lumbered toward the woods.

So I called the Department of Natural Resources, which kindly informed me I had seen a dog. There are no black panthers in Georgia. There are occasional South Florida Cougars, but they are not black, so I must have seen a coyote. Except it was a coyote with a three foot long black tail and a cat’s head.

The neighbors’ cats have all gone missing and the deer that usual dwell behind all our houses have not been seen in days.

That’s some coyote.

By the way, my wife saw it walking up the street late last night into the woods and said it was the most big cat looking dog she’s ever seen.


  1. John Vestal says:

    I also just confirmed with Eric Holder…..there are no Black Panthers in Georgia, much less with nightsticks near polling places.

    Also, please have a syntax discussion with Mrs. E.

  2. IndyInjun says:

    That might be more rare than spotting Lee Anderson at a debate or any other place where questions are asked.

    DNR folks have been denying panther sightings for many years now. I have spent most of my life in the woods. I have seen 2 panthers. DNR laughed at me too. Four years ago a guy PROVED there were panthers in Georgia by shooting one.

    The authorities were not amused at being proven wrong.

  3. Engineer says:

    Are you sure the animal wasn’t in a shady spot and just looked a bit darker than it was? If so, it could have been a Florida panther or a cougar (although technically Florida panthers are a type of cougar). They are more common than the DNR would probably like to admit. I know I remember hearing a couple times a year about people, spotting panthers walking around the woods or sitting in their tree stands down around Pierce, Ware, and Brantley County. I also hear about sightings every now and then in Charton and Clinch County too. I still remember my grandfather spotting one in a swampy part of the back of his property about 15 years ago.

  4. SallyForth says:

    @Erick, one word: camera

    We’ve been reporting panther sightings in N GA for years, always get the same answer from the Wildlife folks – “unsubstantiated.” Tell all your neighbors to start putting their coolpix or cell phone in their pocket every time they leave the house, whether to take the dog out or go for a walk/run. Everybody be prepared to take pictures of this critter and submit to the authorities as proof.

  5. Howard Roark says:

    Ask Justin Tomzack, the woods of Georgia are covered with digital trail cameras. None have ever produced a photo of a black panther. Not to say there are none here, just that there is no evidence.

    • SallyForth says:

      Hmmm. Howard, I do quite a bit of hiking in N GA, have never seen one of those cameras – and according to all the people who say they’ve seen black panthers, apparently the cameras are not in the areas where the critters are.

      Erick, you, your wife, and all your neighbors make this a quest! Somebody out there take a picture(s) and post ’em on here publicly – you know our P/P community is a believable bunch to vouch for you! ::)

      • Howard Roark says:

        Several years ago, if I remember correctly, Steve Burch, owner of Georgia Outdoors News magazine offered a reward for a picture of a black panther. There are about 50,000 readers state wide of his magazine and none were produced. There might be a black panther out there, but the topic has been greatly discussed on other forums related to outdoor adventures.

        Sally you should sign on to the GON forum. There will be something there you like.

        • SallyForth says:

          LOL – Thanks, Howard – great one! This account bears (no pun intended 🙂 ) repeating:
          “An’ I rough-talked him, I sed’ git… git away from here.” Tim Peeler to Bigfoot while poking it with a stick – 2010 NC mtns

    • IndyInjun says:

      Excellent point, Howard! I would say that I haven’t personally seen one in about 35 years, the other being about 40 years ago. As I wrote, I spend a lot of time in the woods. A bobcat can get surprisingly large, albeit not to 7 feet long.

      Trailcams are ubiquitous these days. If there was an established population of panthers, one has to figure one would be captured on a trailcam.

  6. proudpaulite says:

    Panthers are actually cougars (mountain lions, pumas, etc. are cougars as well). Thus, black panthers are cougars that happen to be black. We have certainly have cougars in Georgia. I have heard cougars cry out from my back porch, but I have not personally seen one. I don’t know why they would think a black cougar could not be found in Georgia, though.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Now, some folks might think this is semantics, but there might be something to the language.

      I have a good friend who works for the GA DNR and he kept telling me there’s no such thing as ‘bream’. At first, I thought he was crazy. It’s one of the most common fresh-water fish in Georgia, and he had to have seen it as much time as he spent patrolling the lakes. But, no, the proper name is sunfish or bluegill. So, I guess he was right. There are no bream in Georgia.

      As for black panthers, I thought I saw one before, but it just turned out to be big-foot. I’ve yet to see the legendary black panther.

  7. John Konop says:

    I was told by a back hill southern historian (beer drinking dude with pick up, chew and overalls) that they are two types of animals CRITTERS AND VARMINTS.

    Critters taste better because they eat off the land. Since panthers are varmints, that makes them a bad meal. “Red Neck” Science lesson 101.

  8. saltycracker says:

    As a Florida cracker who has spent a lot of time in the swamps I have never known of s sighting of a black panther. Florida panther’s gene pool is being expanded with western cougars/mountain lions and they are probably roaming into Georgia, none are black.
    There is a big difference in size from a panther to a coyote to a wildcat (bobcat) to a house cat.
    I’ve seen some surprising large coyotes in Georgia, their multicolored fur can have a lot of black.

    Then there is the problem of exotic pets turned loose and they’d stay near homes/people.

    • saltycracker says:

      Ps I believe Paines Prairie state park in north florida is reintroducing an old native – the wolf – but doubt they have made it to Georgia except those disguised as male bulldogs.

  9. Bert L says:

    Not many folks who spend time in the woods would argue about the possibility of seeing a cougar or florida panther. However, there has NEVER been a verified BLACK cougar or panther or whatever you want to call it. This includes the thousands of verified trapped or shot cougars. Black or melanistic panthers just do not exist, not only in Georgia but anywhere else. Yes, black leopards exist, but not here. Black jaguars are known to exist and Georgia is barely within their historic range but not black cougars. This is why whenever you tell a DNR biologist that you saw a black panther they tell you you are wrong.
    Since as others have said there are thousands of trail cams out there all over the country and none of them, even the ones out west that regularly capture cougar pictures have ever taken a picture of a black panther you have to think that maybe the biologists are right. GON even offered a reward, that is still unclaimed for a verifiable picture of one.

    You might have seen a cougar, and in poor light they can look very dark, but you did not see a black panther.

  10. mountainpass says:

    My favorite post on this subject from Georgia Outdoor News:

    “I saw one yesterday on the way to my stand no bull. He eased into the lane about 200 yds in front of me and just sat there staring at me. I could actually hear my heart racing. He took a couple steps my way so I got ready to kill it. When I eased off my unicorn so I could reach my light saber it spooked and jumped into the woods. whew, that was close.”

  11. mountainpass says:

    Early 1940’s…North Fulton County…..

    My Great Grandfather hears what he recognizes as a Catamount screaming….so he tells my Grandparents(who live with him and my Great Grandmother) that he is going to the barn to make sure the newborn calve is secure. As he starts towards the barn(to the north of the house) the cat(described as large and black with a long tail) screams, and he sees it standing in the field(to the east of the house) screaming into a hole it had dug(to make it appear as though it was farther away). He runs in the back door(west side) and yells for them to shut the front door(east side)….

    My father’s older brother was a baby sitting on a pallet in front of the screen door(front door… east side)….

    Just as they shut the door the cat hit the screen door and tore it apart.

    I heard this story(first hand) from both my Grandparents, and have zero reason to doubt it.

    Fast forward middle 1960’s… father after arriving home from a date…inserts key in the door…hears scream….bends key…but is still able to open door.

    A few years ago near dusk up on a dirt road, at about 3000ft elevation, that I ride while on my mountain biking loop, I saw a large animal that I can only describe as cat-like in it’s movement with a long tail.

    • Ken says:

      I saw a panther (tawny) between Eastman and Rhine just before dusk, almost 20 years ago. It ran like a cat. It had a slender tail about 3 feet long and was surprisingly fast. When it ran across the road in front of my vehicle there was no doubt it was a panther. It was magnificent and I was glad I was in an SUV.

    • saltycracker says:

      Mountain versions of strange sightings get better depending on the choice of corn, apples or peaches in the makins…..

      One cold winter night in Helen after a significant portion of applejack I saw…..(deleted in the interest of national security)…..

  12. muddiver says:

    Do not dare question the pronouncements of the DNR. They are omnipotent in all non human thing currently or formally living. The “natural resource” thing is so yesterday. Disagreeing with them can wind you up in federal court for 7 years.

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