Florida panther sighted in the Everglades, deceptively dark

Very dark Florida panther sighted.

Timeline Photos – Everglades National Park.

On November 9th at 3:00 pm, park visitor Judith Haseitel was lucky enough to see a critically endangered Florida Panther while driving through Everglades National Park.

The photos make it look unusually dark. But there has never been a documented melanistic puma/cougar. Therefore, it’s more likely that it looks deceptively dark due to the backlighting. You can see this in one picture where it is facing the camera. It does not look overly dark. Florida panthers are rarely sighted.

black fl panther

Tip: Cameron McCormick

  9 comments for “Florida panther sighted in the Everglades, deceptively dark

  1. Daran
    November 18, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    isn`t a panther a melanistic leopard which is a different animal to the cougar?
    anyway the animal looks black to me

  2. November 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    It wouldn’t be called melanistic since it’s dark brown and has a light undercoat

  3. November 18, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Seems awfully dark to me. If it is the lighting then at least it explains some sightings, if it isn’t then we’ve got a vastly cool cat.

  4. Anthony
    November 18, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Just because there has never been a report of a melanistic puma does not mean there couldn’t be one. Melanism is a common mutation and several species of cat have developed this mutation. I have no problem with the idea of a melanistic puma. However I have no problem with the idea of an escaped black leopard either which is probably the most likely since we know they exist and that some people own them in countries to which leopards do not belong, such as the USA. This story is less fantastic than many usually posted here. A black puma would be newsworthy but so too would an escaped leopard. All the same.

    • November 18, 2013 at 8:03 PM

      It is an anomaly to see a Florida panther and this is a good example of how people may think it is a black cat, but is NOT. Since melanism has NEVER been recorded in pumas, it’s absurd to assume that it does or might in this case.

  5. John Nowak
    November 19, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    The lower left picture shows a tail tip kink which is a trait of Florida Panthers, so probably not a leopard or other big cat. It does look very dark but as was pointed out that might be an artifact of the lighting. Melanistic cougars have never been found, but there’s bound to be a first time. I hope this cat shows up in some trail cameras.

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