House Cat or Black Panther? Texas Resident's Video Goes Viral as Viewers Debate What It Actually Shows


An Abilene, Texas resident says one of her family members captured a large black cat on video, which many believe to be a “black panther,” though others aren’t so sure.

Local CBS affiliate KTAB reported that a 22-second video of the mystery cat was captured near the Lake Fort Phantom Hill dam earlier this month. The woman who shot the video did not wish to reveal her name.

“Whether it was actually a panther, another animal, or a fabricated story to get a stir on social media, the video keeps a long-standing mystery alive — black panthers in Texas,” according to KTAB.

The National Wildlife Federation says black panthers are not actually a species.

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Rather, Panthera is the name of a genus based on skull features of the feline.

“The melanistic color of the Panthera species only happens about 5 percent of the time,” according to the NWF.

“This means that only 5 percent of Panthera species have darker pigmentation and, to the average viewer, appear to be a ‘black panther.’”

Do you think the video shows a black panther?

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says the supposed black panthers sighted in the Lone Star State may be melanistic jaguars, which have migrated north from central Mexico.

Alternatively, the large cats are some sort of undiscovered or new species.

Some have also pointed to jaguarundi, but they are only slightly larger than house cats. They range in color from light brown to black.

The mountain lion-sized cat appears more likely to be a jaguar than a jaguarundi.

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Matthew Monk, writing for Texas Hill Country, said the central region of the Lone Star State is where “black panthers” are most commonly sighted.

Whether the creature in the video is a panther or a jaguar or something else altogether, one thing is certain — that sure doesn’t look like a house cat to me!

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith