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Q:

Are there black mountain lions?

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There is no such thing as a black panther. A black panther usually refers to a jaguar, leopard, or a cougar. Jaguars live only in South America, Mexico, and the far southwest U.S. Leopards only live in Africa and Asia. It is certainly possible that cougars live in new England, even though they are much more common west of the Rockies. However, there has never been a verified report of a black cougar/mountain lion anywhere across its range. In all likelihood, black cougars do not exist. The two witnesses could have simply seen a large house cat and overestimated the size; mis-identification is the most common reason behind such sightings. A less likely explanation is that they saw a cougar, and it appeared to be darker than it really was (cougars are usually light to dark brown). It is highly unlikely, but possible, that they saw an escaped black leopard or jaguar from a zoo or private collection. The witnesses are probably either fabricating an exciting story, or mis-interpreting ... more
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