Black Panthers in Kentucky? No way. Although my only experience with black panthers involves loving the animated Disney movie, Jungle Book, or loving the Marvel super hero, Black Panther, I have little to know knowledge of whether or not this is even possible.

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My new Facebook friend, Kira, posted the question of Black Panthers roaming around and living in Kentucky on the Facebook group, Kentucky Mysteries. I guess the subject comes up just about every year.

I found the possibility of black panthers in Kentucky very interesting. So, I started investigating. My first stop was Youtube. One of the videos of possible black panther sightings in Kentucky had a very compelling and passionate comment.

...One was at my mother laws it was between midnight to one in the morning i had stepped out to the front porch to smoke and noticed two large yellow eyes at the approach of her driveway and noticed it was another big cougar sized black cat ! This was in Elliott County Ky up a holler called Rocky Brach Road . All the other big black cat's i have seen so far have along the road sides late at night while driving on dark rural area roads ! The Kentucky wildlife and game officials say they're now big cats ! I KNOW BETTER AND THEY ARE HEAR IN KENTUCKY ! Like you that have seen them , Know better ! They are out there ! - Matt M./SmokeyBarn News/YouTube

Matt M. had a lot more to say and more stories to share. Read all the comments, HERE.

So Many Black Panther Sightings

Below are several comments from the Facebook group post.

Close-up of black panther in the wild
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When I worked for Louisville Metro Animal Services in 2012 we had several reported sightings of a black panther in both Jefferson County and Bullitt County. Large cat tracks were found in Bullitt county and several locals claimed they had livestock attacked and dogs come up missing in the area at that time. - Shawnn M. 

 

Black Panther
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About a year ago I lived on an 80 acre property. One morning I was sitting outside on my porch and I looked towards my barn and there was a black panther standing there staring at me. I told my husband and he confirmed it was a black panther. It turned around and left. Our neighbor said he saw it a few days before on his property. I lived in Crittenden county at the time. - Crystal Z.
Black Leopard Hunting in the Long Grass
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Oooooo yes in eastern Ky. Appalachian mountains you can find all of them. They are EXQUISITE - Misty D.
Black jaguar sitting on a log while looking at the camera
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There are Panthers black Panthers in Johnson county KY ... People have posted pictures and posted about almost hitting them with their cars ... But it's never in a highly populated area .. - Chuck M.
Black Panther, panthera pardus, Portrait of Adult
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...I saw one last years on my front porch. And heard the scream from my bedroom. Hair all raised all over my body…. Yes there was and still are black Panthers. - Lisa W.H.
Black panther (Panthera pardus), profile
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I’m in Simpson county, years ago several people reported sightings of a big black cat from the tip of his tail to his nose was reported to be 10’. Many did not believe it. I only heard about it but I was in a cave in the Pedens Mill area looking for arrowheads and there was a little washed out spot and in that spot I found a really big feline tooth so the people knew what they saw. - Paul J.
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It’s been about 15 years ago in Lewis county, me, my uncle, and 3 other people all saw one in the space of a week or two. My uncle was the first. I saw it two or three days after him. Then within a couple days, someone else saw it. A few days after that , it was spotted again. I don’t anyone else saw it after that. Never heard about anyone who said they did, anyway. - Shawn S.
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My neighbor’s dogs chased a black cougar from the woods ..she was walking down the road and it ran out in front of her …she quit walking after that experience … A week or two before that 6 of us were sitting outside on my porch and all saw a mountain lion (cougar ) walk across the lower part of our yard, across the road and into the corn field A game warden down the road told us they were moving back into Kentucky .. I live in rural Benton Ky area in western Ky. - Pamela W.W.
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Ok, so many people who live in Kentucky have reported seeing a black panther. Could they all be wrong about what they saw?

Are Black Panthers Really In Kentucky?

The Hancock Clarion interviewed Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife's John Hast. He is the department’s Bear and Furbearer Program Coordinator, John had this to say,

...We do not have any black feline species in Kentucky, 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...As a breeding population, Cougars are considered extinct in the state...

If not black panthers, I'm not sure what people in Kentucky are seeing.
If you spot what you think is a black panther, DO NOT APPROACH ANIMAL, move to safety and contact the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by calling,1-800-858-1549 or local: 502-564-3400. Or, visit their website, HERE.

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