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Here’s an idea for a future science fair project. Create a poster putting one black dot or dark push pin on a map for each of the black panther sightings in the general area of your school or the school holding the fair. The student scientist might be surprised as to the high level of interest that such a poster presentation would generate.
A situation reflective of this is occurring right now (late May 2010) in a small northern California community that most people might associate more with another cryptid of the hairy hominoid kind than of black panthers. A series of new melanistic large cat sightings have caused a graphic warning to be issued worthy of any science fair poster presentation.
I was contacted by Steven Streufert, the owner and manager of the used bookstore named Bigfoot Books, located in the tiny community of Willow Creek, California.
Streufert wrote me late overnight: “This black panther thing is bigger on the east coast, but my kid’s classmates at Trinity Valley Elementary School in Willow Creek have seen them on the forested edge of her school campus (see attached photo of warning sign).
“The Dept. of Fish and Game rejected the idea as ludicrous, and assumed it must have been a bear. They say one has to attack before they will take action. But adults and the children have seen them on multiple occasions, both black and normal colorings. It is a bit scary to have cougars lurking on the edge of the playground, but black ones is even stranger.”
Black panthers, melanistic mountain lions, and black cougars, whatever you want to call them, are not suppose to exist in the United States and Canada, but people keep on seeing them. California, as we all know, is well-known for its long history of cryptozoological Black Panthers.
There just are not suppose to be any “black panthers” – i.e. melanistic large felids – in California. Yes, mountain lions exist there, but black mountain lions are not verified zoologically. Black leopards and black jaguars are known, however, they do not naturally live in California.