The Original Florida Panther Was Black

I am a Florida native. My family goes back before Florida was a state.

I used to see the panther in Inverness (see map) when I was a child and they were black, they are now the color they are because they were cross bred with the cats from out west.

This happened back in the 1950s and the 1960s. Someone (a native Floridian) from Arcadia, Desoto county brought them here to keep the Florida panthers from becoming extinct.



Hi CJ…. Interesting. Wild Cats Of The World, probably the best book on wildcats says that in Florida the most commonly seen puma is black (black panther). However, they also make the point that the biologists “insist that there are no black panthers in Florida..” They are sure of this because most of the pumas in Florida are radio tagged, photographed and followed since birth.

The argument is that people mistake large black domestic cats at a distance with the black puma.

However, I find what you say interesting, CJ, because you have first hand experiences.

Thanks for sharing.



Inverness, Florida:

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2 thoughts on “The Original Florida Panther Was Black”

  1. So true, saw a black panther in 1985 off Alligator Alley…the USA gov has even brought scrawny tawny panthers from Texas more recently than 1950-60, they are pathetic compared to the black panther which was not in danger of extinction, but did suffer from a narrow gene pool…

    The gene pool issue could be solved with better breeding management, but it was cheaper to bring in faun Texas Panthers, leading to possibly real extinction…

    The only hope is there are still sightings of black Panthers in Florida and other parts of the USA to this decade.


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