Port au choix - Marina Ploughman knows what she saw - people can say what they want.
"Well my dear, I definitely saw one," said the Port au Choix senior. "It was all black, jet, jet black. My first instinct was it's a domestic cat gone wild."
But it was too big - the animal she remembers seeing near Whaleback Pond on the road behind Hawkes Bay last July had a body (from neck to rear) 3.5 feet long with a 4.5 foot tail. She estimates it crossed 50 feet in front of her on the road she's been driving to her cabin for 30 years.
"It just strutted right across the road in front of me - its paws were just awesome to see spread out on the road. And its teeth, big fangs," she said.
Ploughman thinks she saw a black panther - the same animal Springdale area residents reported seeing last fall. Black panthers can be any one of a number of subspecies, but in North American it's mainly used in reference to cougars. While the species was never native to Newfoundland, genetic work has proven some may still survive in New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.
"The description you have is not bad," said Dr. Alistair Bath of Memorial University's geology department. "They're about waist height and the long tail is usually a giveaway.
However, due to there not having been a known introduction of cougars to Newfoundland or a native population, he finds their existence on the island "near impossible.
"It would have to be from Quebec where we're only saying there may be a couple," said Bath. "Whether anyone had pets that have been released would be the only possibility. Maybe the story here is to keep your eyes open and an open mind to looking for further evidence. As a scientist, I'm always interested in what is out there."
Some investigation, however, revealed Ploughman isn't the only person between Rocky Harbour and St. John Bay to believe they've spotted a black panther. Parsons Pond trapper Earl Keough can quickly list off three people who have told him they've spotted one. As well, he believes he's heard one.
"It sounded as though some woman was getting pulled by her hair," said Keough of the call he heard one evening as he was sat down with fellow hunters in the woods. "All the hair stood up on my head and the fellow that was with us said, 'I didn't know you have cats - that's a cougar'."
Bath confirmed that a cougar's call is most often compared to a woman screaming.
People report large black cat sightings on peninsula
Marina Ploughman knows what she saw - people can say what they want.
Port au choix - Marina Ploughman knows what she saw - people can say what they want.
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- vance green
- - March 29, 2013 at 23:40:19
Just had to comment on what I have seen,I am a prospector and spend a lot of time in the country.I also have seen a cougar on the west coast,bay st george region.This one was brown with a five foot tail,white tip on end,.Also found five caribou carcasses togethor,the oddity was that the bones of the animals had all been picked clean and on all five carcasses the rib bones stood high in the air,this is unusual for our native predators who pretty much knock the rib bones down,Bears and coyotes all will break down the bones and leave very little intact.I could care less who believes it,but I will tell you cougars do exist here.I have also told wildlife about this.The guys who work around here have heard multiple stories as well..
- Paul Rose
- - September 7, 2012 at 12:15:14
I saw a cougar about two weeks ago. It was tan in color. It was close and i had a real good look at it. The sceptics can say what they want.....we have cougars here. The biggest sceptics are not citizens but the department of wildlife. They want a carcass or picture they say.....however they never even offered to come up and look for tracks. What about the numerous sightings. Dont eye witness's count for anything? Time to start managing and protecting these beautifulanimals.
- - September 6, 2012 at 14:34:38
my mother in law claims to have seen a black cougar in the Marystown/Burin area while she was fishing. She even got pics of the paw prints. She said it watched her as she was fishing and she tried to scare it away by yelling but that only made it curious so she hightailed it back to the truck. She said it had a long black tail that scraped the ground while it was in a low tree. She reported it to the game warden and he confirmed that there were sightings i the Clarenville area.
- Rick Jewison
- - August 12, 2012 at 22:26:52
My wife and I ,along with our 18year old son, were travelling to Eastport this past weekend(Aug10/2012) and just about a kilometer outside of Sandringham we saw what looked like (at first glance)a black bear.As we got closer,I saw that it had a long tail,long enough for it to touch the ground and swing back up slightly.This animal was about the size of a full grown German Shephard dog but had a slightly longer body.It did not run but slowly wondered down over the shrub covered ditch and into the woods.We did not see it after. I was thinkin that it was a very large lynx but they don't have really long tails and i have never heard of a completely black lynx. If it walks like a duck and looks like a duck and quacks like a duck....Then usually it's a duck.
- - May 14, 2012 at 07:54:57
Last night, in St.John's (but up in the wooded hills that overlook the mall) i heard something squeling/screaming/barking outside. it sounded like a person at first screaming, then more like an animal squeling, then almost like a barky sound. it made about 8 noises before i got up to look out my window only to see a black panther like animal running up my gateway. my dad says he's seen a lynx before and that maybe thats what it was. my first thought was panther, because it ran and leaped like one, and just looked like a big cat. though it was very dark! whatever it was probably had an encounter with a moose as ive seen many of those lately!
- Alex McGruer
- - January 8, 2012 at 14:33:02
Three of us were hunting moose behind Conch last Monday . Paul Bromely and I went off to check out a cut over leaving Dennis Yabsley in the truck. Dennis reported seeing a very large black cat the size of an Irish Setter walking across in front of the truck. We walked up to check out the tracks 4 inches wide this cat track was that of a very large animal.. It is safe to say , we have cougars. Alex McGruer Resident of St.John's NL.
- - October 8, 2011 at 09:40:42
I too, feel that this is too bizarre to mention but I have to. Four years ago, my 12 year old son and my boyfriend went moose hunting in the fall of the year around the end of October in Meadows on the North Shore of the Bay of Islands. My boyfriend is from this community born & bred and they hunted on the transmission line near a pond called monkey pond. Upon their return, they told me thier story of seeing this huge black cat in the woods. They said it was much bigger than my dog and she is 37 pounds. Anyway, I dismissed it as a "tall tale" or perhaps someones house cat got loose even though I was skeptical. Anyway, long story short, I was driving to Corner Brook yesterday and was heading down the Hughe's Brook hill on the North Shore of the Bay of Islands just before the city dump and this huge black cat jumped out in front of my car. It made just 4 leaps to cross the highway and I believe a highway is 22 feet is it not? Anyway, I had a birds eye view and I called the wildlife and they took my information without comment really. Where I saw this black cat was approximatley 15 kms from where the boys had seen one like it 4 years earlier. I told the wildlife it was about 18 inches tall and about 2.5 to 3 feet long. It's tail was about 14 inches long as it was approximately 4 inches from the ground. I could not take a picture as it moved across the road too fast and disappeared into the woods on the opposite side. It was solid black however I described its fur as not shiny black but appeared to more the texture of a rough haired animal like a lynx. I have seen lynx close up as my dad and his friend were trappers years ago and my dad on occasion brought dead lynx home and I know how big they can be. So in my opinion it was about the same size. On the plus side, glad to know I am not going crazy and my son was delighted when I told him I now believe his story to be totally true!
- Remington shooter
- - August 28, 2011 at 04:37:35
I know this sounds crazy & for the last year I kept it to myself because of how crazy it is and I seriously chalked it up to My eyes playing tricks on me & when I accidentally came across a link just a min ago on Dootalk.com a Snow mobile forum it all came rushing back to me & now I know what I saw had to be real, Just over a year ago in January winter of 2010, I took a trip to the cabin to do some hunting the first night we were there one of my buddy's came running in from the bonfire & said "you have to come hear this" when I went out by the door the sound pierced through me like a knife threw the chest it was exactly as someone explained in the article of a woman screaming. The thought of a Big cat never crossed our minds so the first thing we thought was a woman in trouble. Now I know drinking & sledding is very wrong but We had only had maybe 2 drinks & the thought of someone being in danger and needing out help was all I thought of in less then a minute I was on my sled which has a really loud aftermarket pipe. We kinda of knew the area it came from but the road splits so I went one way & my buddy the other about 500 meters down the trail I seen a flash of A weird monochrome set of eyes like i have never seen before I know the glowing eyes of every animal there was in the woods or at least I thought I did until that Night. I kept towards it and when I was about 10 yards from the glowing eyes it came up from the shoulder as if it thought I couldn't see it hiding, which if not for the glowing from my head lights reflecting of it's eyes I never would have. It stop for what seemed like eternity on the path but realistically was only a few seconds, & Stared at me before jetting into the opposite side of the trail & into the thick brush. I just sat there in shock, everything from I'm crazy to it was someone playing a prank crossed my mind until finally I set my mind to it was probally just a Very, Very, Very large Bob cat or Lynx even though it was Black and shiny as a new car & as big as a full sized Mountain lion only Black as tar. Now up until now I never even heard of the possiblity of a Panther or Mountain lion ever existing on the island, at the moment I finally came to grips with it being my eyes played a trick on me it was dark & even thou the paw prints were big enough for me to almost put my Hand into a few seconds later my buddy pulls up by me on his sled & says did you see anything & I flat out lied and responded "yeah I think it was a Lynx or bob cat, could say forsure it crossed to quick" for fear of being mocked for the rest of my hunting days. Then he says " follow me you have to come see this" so I followed his sled back to the fork and took the other path for a 100 meters or so and in a clearing known for Moose crossing is a Bull moose it still had steam coming from the heat of the blood still rising as if it were killed only minutes ago & the Neck had been Ripped open, and behind the head on the top of his back going going down to his belly had Claw marks the same as if you stuck a razor sharp knife in and pulled down with all you force it looked like something you would see on a discovery or animal planet special about lions. It was the most gruesome animal mualings I have ever seen. My buddy stood there looking over the moose saying things like "probally a pack of coyotes" then he would debate back and forth too himself saying "No coyotes can't do that, Maybe a Savage bear? .. What Els could it be." as if he were trying to convince himself that it was normal, but I knew just by his expressions he was thinking in the back of his mind what the He'll could do this & At the same time I was still trying to put what I saw in the back of my mind even though, All I could think was the only thing that could take down a Full size young bull moose on it's own would have to be a pack of wolves, which we don't have or a Big Cat which I thought forsure we never had. So I just agreeded and said yeah probally a rabid bear even though I knew a single bear would never be able to keep up with a moose though the deep snow. If anyone wants to email me about this I would love to hear any story's or sightings I'm am intereststed in figuring this out more then ever now. My email is : Remington.Sharpshooter@gmail.com
- - August 20, 2011 at 09:43:24
On August 17th, 2011 around 8:30pm in Gros Morne park heading towards Deer Lake my wife and I saw a black pather cross the road in front of us. IT WAS A BLACK PATHER.....NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!!
- Ross Strickland
- - August 15, 2011 at 20:46:32
I saw a Black Panther on the Bay d' Espoir highway while I was riding on my bicycle today. It cross the highway slowly looking like it was tracking. I figured it was 100 plus pounds with a long tail. I peddled towards and ran up the bank into the woods. I could see it climbing an opening up an incline into the woods.
- Nelson Jackman
- - June 30, 2011 at 19:46:33
There have been a few sightings on the south coast in the Coast of Bays area as well. I live in Harbour Breton and I saw one personally at the Hermitage dump site. I've also come upon carcuses of moose that have been ravaged like no number of coyotes would be able to.
- James Wells
- - March 30, 2011 at 08:23:01
I dont expect anybody to believe me, and honestly i dont care but i seen i huge cat like "Black Panther". I live in Stephenville and seen it near Cold Brook it was jet black like i cant even describe it, i have many other witnesses i wish i had a picture becasue like no one believes me.. some one please get a picture..