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HomeNews“It’s Not Possible!” Experts Say As Texas Man's Photo of 'Black Panther'...

“It’s Not Possible!” Experts Say As Texas Man’s Photo of ‘Black Panther’ Goes Viral

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A local man in a Texas City recently sighted a ‘black panther’
Source: Pinterest

A local man in Huntsville, Texas, snapped a photo of a “panther” on his property and uploaded it online. The picture quickly went viral for several reasons. Jerel Hall, who lives in the city north of Houston, took a photo and posted it to Facebook with the caption, “Well, we have officially spotted a panther on our property!” 

This picture showed a dark-colored cat, which seemed bigger than a house cat, with a long tail and the build of a wild feline. With his caption calling it a panther, social media users went into a frenzy. 

Many asked if the Panthers were back in Texas or if Hall wasn’t sure what he saw. Several news outlets also contacted Hall, asking him to confirm his detailed sighting. He did not respond to USA TODAY’s request but spoke to the Houston Chronicle. 

Hall took the picture from 120 to 150 yards away because he feared his safety going up close. He also estimated the cat to weigh about 80 to 100 pounds. Hall also claimed this was not his first sighting of a blank panther around his property. He claimed he saw one chasing a herd of feral dogs about nine years ago in 2014. 

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To Hall, this was not a surprising sighting because he always knew a black panther was somewhere around. The Texas local also said that the woods near his property might have more wild animals than people expect. “Growing up, I’ve heard screams like a lady before, but typically those are bobcats or lynx,” he said. 

Since Hall’s alleged sighting, the question on everyone’s mind is the same. Are there Panthers in Texas?

Experts are saying “no” to this question. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is debunking Hall’s claim, stating there is “no such thing” as a black panther.

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They’re saying that black panthers are fictional, just like the Marvel superheroes in the comics. However, dark-skinned jaguars and leopards are real, but according to them, “neither of those are in Texas.”

The department’s mammal specialist, Dana Karelus, spoke to USA TODAY, saying these wild cats are absent in Texas. “To note, though, there can also be melanistic bobcats. Jaguarundis, like jaguars, have not been confirmed in Texas for many decades,” Karelus said. She also noted that the last time someone documented a jaguar sighting was as far back as 1948. 

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Therefore, she believed the animal in the photo was just a house cat. As the quality of the image is low and grainy, she said it is harder to confirm the exact species of the cat. However, it is “certainly not a mountain lion based on the tail length.”

The expert also stated, “Size can be tough to tell in photos, and unless you have a good reference, ‘apparent size’ is often misleading.” Therefore, residents must remain calm until experts say otherwise. 

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