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I am a mystic madman, a wandering wildman, scholar of esoterica, dilettante sadhu, dready-headed hippie (only have a few jata on the back of my head right now, though more be forming of this third set of knotted hair), gentle yogi, fierce foe of falsity. I was a preacher, but I renounced that. I was married, but she renounced me. I was a grad student at one of the top universities in the world on my way to becoming a professor, but I realized they taught lies there too. I am protector of souls, lover of mountains, smoker of herb, fond of hot springs, oceans and lakes and rivers and rain and sunshine, devotee of Devi.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beware the Black Jaguar . . .


Just watched a Monster Quest episode which examined the phenomenon of big black cat sightings in the eastern United States, and specifically in New York state. This has been a subject which has fascinated me since at least my days spent as a preacher in Connerville, Oklahoma. Most of the old-timers in the church's congregation had some story or other of encounters with these elusive cryptids. One old fellow said he believed they changed colors from summer to winter, as he'd seen both spotted and melanistic jaguars (though he did not know specifically that they were jaguars), and also big and small headed (relative to body size) big black cats (jaguars and jaguarundis, respectively). My paternal grandfather got a good glimpse of one of these so-called "black panthers" running across the road and up an embankment north of Ada, Oklahoma back in the sixties or seventies.

Whilst researching the subject, I remembered an article in Outdoor Oklahoma magazine which told that at the time (late eighties or early nineties) Oklahoma had an average of twenty big black cat sightings a month, and that Texas had an average of one hundred. Upon contacting the Oklahoma Game and Fish furbearer expert, she said that in spite of the fact that their department received so many reports and that an Ardmore hunter had video taped an easily identifiable jaguar whilst he sat in a treestand, that Oklahoma not only did not maintain a wild population of jaguars, their was officially not even a breeding population of cougars in the state. A Murray County game warden told a different story, however. According to him, jaguars, ocelots and jaguarundis all travel up the riverways from Mexico through Texas and at least as far north as Oklahoma. He told me a number of firsthand accounts, and I believe suggested that the reason state and federal officials deny the existence of these amazing predators is to avoid the hassle of administering these endangered species.

Melanistic Jaguar

Melanistic Jaguarundi

There are reports of these elusive cats throughout the eastern United States, and in the UK scarcely a moon cycle passes during which someone doesn't report the apparition of a big black cat ("black panther") stalking the moors and farmlands of Great Britain. Below is a still from a video taken by an off duty bobby in Britain which shows one of these cryptids next to a railroad track. British gauge tracks are the same a American, 4' 8 1/2", clearly showing that thought not a full sized jaguar, this is no house cat!!!

It is indeed amazing that despite the encroachment of cities and towns and rural populations and roads and industry throughout this land, 400 pound predators can successfully abide and roam the countryside without official detection. One theory that I have come up with that might be a bit beyond the scope of common sense is that these mysterious shimmering obsidian stalkers of the night are supernatural in origin. How else could they manage to elude the many bobbies who have investigated reports in the English, Welsh and Scottish countryside? and how else would they end up in Great Britain in the first place?

From a purely naturalistic standpoint, however, it is a testimony to the resilience of nature that these very large predators can make a living in places where people have so depleted habitat and the health of what wild places remain, and evade the hazards of both bullets and bureaucrats. And it is also reassuring for a wandering wildman such as myself to know that the expansive web of official government control cannot contain such creatures' wanderings.

Long live the big cats and all things natural, wild and free!!!!!!!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting, admitting to seeing one of these magnificent creatures though is akin to claiming a UFO sighting? I live in the Piedmont area of North Carolina and for 20 years commuted to work over a 28 mile route, I never told anyone other than a few close friends of two sightings I witnessed, and I could tell they thought I was loony too? The sightings were about 2 years apart and approximately 6 miles from each other, the first was a very large jet black cat crossing Hwy 205 near Rocky River Bridge in the edge of Stanly County. This cat was hugh, every bit the size of the mature Cougars we have at the NC Zoo in Ashboro, (just 40 miles away). I, like many others had heard people bolster such claims before as well, but thought they were drinking too much Kool-Aid? Now I find myself in their shoes. The second sighting was less than 1/4 mile from the shop I worked at. I saw the animal sitting on it's haunches facing me just off the road on my right side as I approached, it never budged as I passed by it, I assumed it was a black dog initially, but saw it clearly as I passed by. It was no dog,it was roughly the size of a Lab though, much smaller than my first sighting. There is an unmistakable posture of a cat and the head, ears and eyes are even more distinguishable and impossible to confuse with it's Canine counterparts, I kept this one to myself though, I didn't want to sound like the little boy who cried wolf?