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Old 09-13-2017, 05:43 AM
 
26,507 posts, read 25,457,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
cremebrulee: Black coat color is usually a genetic mutation in large cats and other animals. It's called melanism. (Opposite of albinism.) It's more common to see it in jaguars I think, than in the mountain lion or cougar...but still quite possible. It would be rare-ish. When a spotted cat like a jaguar is melanistic, though, you can still see the spots in the right light.

Interestingly a black "panther"...kind of isn't a thing, even! It's just a variant of a jaguar, leopard, or cougar. Not a separate species.

I have thoughts about wild deer, as one of the more frequent bigger wild critters we encounter in North America. I have lived all over the US, and I am used to the whitetails we had back east. Here in Colorado, the dominant species is the mule deer (we also have elk and even moose, but mostly here in the Springs you'll see mule deer.) Ya know, I think the mule deer are more placid, and possibly smarter than their whitetail cousins. I seem to recall that a whitetail's response to an approaching vehicle is sometimes to go into "rabbit panic" mode where they jump around wildly as though trying to evade a predator, zigging and zagging and often getting hit, or running right into your car. The mule deer here, I am actually curious about the road incident stats, but the ones in town seem to know better how to avoid cars. They don't jump out in the road unpredictably, so much. They stroll along placidly, and when a car is coming, they get out of the way.

Maybe the whitetails are just a lot more numerous. I don't know.
thank you Sonic, but I don't believe it is a genetic mutation....b/c since I posted in this thread, I've googled black large cats in PA, and there have been a heck of a lot more sightings all over PA and even Ohio, so something is going on....however, I will say this....when I sighted one, it was over 20 years ago....and when cats have litters, they have anywhere from 3 to what, 8 kittens. So, I can now understand, why there are more sightings, and some even shot photos of them....so....

It could have happened, that someone was raising them, and they got loose.

Oft times when hurricanes hit the US opt times I ponder, what they do with the animals in zoos, or if in fact they get loose, and if they do, they surely wouldn't tell the public....so....that could be another reason....

Humans are incredibly stupid when it comes to nature, instead of leaving well enough alone, they've got to feed these wild animals, or save a baby deer that they found alone in the woods, b/c they don't know that the mama deer leaves her baby and goes off to feed.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:45 AM
 
26,507 posts, read 25,457,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Catamounts resided in East Coast areas that were heavily forested. Black or dark coloring would be a camouflage advantage.
The one I saw was the size of a cougar, and it's coat was so shiny blue black, it looks slick, like someone had rubbed it with baby oil. Beautiful cat...
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Old 09-13-2017, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,977 posts, read 12,772,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cremebrulee View Post
thank you Sonic, but I don't believe it is a genetic mutation....b/c since I posted in this thread, I've googled black large cats in PA, and there have been a heck of a lot more sightings all over PA and even Ohio, so something is going on....however, I will say this....when I sighted one, it was over 20 years ago....and when cats have litters, they have anywhere from 3 to what, 8 kittens. So, I can now understand, why there are more sightings, and some even shot photos of them....so....

It could have happened, that someone was raising them, and they got loose.

Oft times when hurricanes hit the US opt times I ponder, what they do with the animals in zoos, or if in fact they get loose, and if they do, they surely wouldn't tell the public....so....that could be another reason....

Humans are incredibly stupid when it comes to nature, instead of leaving well enough alone, they've got to feed these wild animals, or save a baby deer that they found alone in the woods, b/c they don't know that the mama deer leaves her baby and goes off to feed.
My wife and I spotted one mountain lion here in NEPA about 8 to 10 years ago. I reported it and our Game Commission and they treated me more like I was drinking - I don't drink. At the same time they do have a point; there are no carcasses found on our busy roads and one would think that, eventually, one of these large cats would be hit. Fortunately there are still some drivers in Connecticut that know how to make a clean roadkill: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/13/ny...necticut.html/! Eventually they tested the DNA of the CONN cat and found out that it came from South Dakota - it possibly passed through PA?

As far as pet owners simply releasing their exotic animals this happened: Zanesville Animal Massacre Included 18 Rare Bengal Tigers - ABC News.

With the mountain lion that we spotted; we got to within 20 yards of the animal in our truck. I originally thought it was a coyote and wanted to get a better look. We were going back to our camp on a dirt road and I asked my wife to hang on as I closed in on the animal that ran right down the road. We started off about 200 yards away and ended up very close before the animal jumped off the road and disappeared into the red brush. I quickly had glanced at my speedometer and saw that we were following the animal at 35 mph - it was extremely fast! While we did not have a great look at the face; we clearly saw the cat's gate and long curved tail. I waited for my wife to tell me that she thought it was a large cat before I told her that I also thought it was.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:13 AM
 
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I've been walking my town for years and have seen all kinds of critters: deer, coyotes, foxes, groundhogs, raccoons, and maybe one or two others I've forgotten. Once, while returning home from work late at night, I inadvertently came within a foot of a skunk and fortunately, wasn't sprayed. Bears have been spotted at the southern edge of town.

Animal sightings are slowly increasing here but it's not because we're encroaching on their habitat. My town already did that many years ago and now, is in population decline. As urban prairie grows, the animals return.

The only animals that have ever attacked me were dogs. People, too.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,091 posts, read 6,936,155 times
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A beautiful bobcat, black bears, MAGNIFICENT buck in Maine, fer de lance snake (outside of US).

and a rabid fox (very sad, he was so sick). Animal control did not arrive until after he was gone... needed to be put down but likely died shortly after in the woods.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:52 AM
 
26,507 posts, read 25,457,406 times
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Quote:
fisheye My wife and I spotted one mountain lion here in NEPA about 8 to 10 years ago. I reported it and our Game Commission and they treated me more like I was drinking - I don't drink. At the same time they do have a point; there are no carcasses found on our busy roads and one would think that, eventually, one of these large cats would be hit. Fortunately there are still some drivers in Connecticut that know how to make a clean roadkill: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/13/ny...necticut.html/! Eventually they tested the DNA of the CONN cat and found out that it came from South Dakota - it possibly passed through PA?
yeah, when I arrived back home, right after the sighting, I called the police, and they laughed at me.

Quote:
As far as pet owners simply releasing their exotic animals this happened: Zanesville Animal Massacre Included 18 Rare Bengal Tigers - ABC News.
My son is a police officer, and at one time, worked in Atlanta, there were drug dealers who had two lions...that got loose, they were caught and were taken to Noah's Ark.

I'm thinking more on the line of that these black panthers that are being sighted, got lose by accident?
Here is something else to think about....every time, there is a hurricane, where do they take the animals that are in zoos? I'm thinking that some of those animals also get loose....and as you probably know, there are wild animal farms in PA, so....?

There used to be a pet shop in the area where I lived, and the guy had a wild pet cougar, right in the store. He couldn't handle him any longer, so the poor cat was kept penned up in a small cage all the time. It really bothered me. The man was a nice man, just didn't know any better. The cat was huge....

Quote:
With the mountain lion that we spotted; we got to within 20 yards of the animal in our truck. I originally thought it was a coyote and wanted to get a better look. We were going back to our camp on a dirt road and I asked my wife to hang on as I closed in on the animal that ran right down the road. We started off about 200 yards away and ended up very close before the animal jumped off the road and disappeared into the red brush. I quickly had glanced at my speedometer and saw that we were following the animal at 35 mph - it was extremely fast! While we did not have a great look at the face; we clearly saw the cat's gate and long curved tail. I waited for my wife to tell me that she thought it was a large cat before I told her that I also thought it was.
We were once taking a ride around the wooded areas on the roads around Beltzville dam, and there was a rattle snake going across the road. We stopped the truck and watched it. Awesome critters and very large.

don't you love to hear & read these stores?
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:17 AM
 
26,507 posts, read 25,457,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
I don't know about mulie numbers but it's thought that there are now more whitetail deer than there were when Jamestown and Plymouth were founded.

In some states they'd been nearly wiped out by 1900. When we moved to Maryland, from Pennsylvania, 35 years ago deer season here was like 5 days long for gun season with short archery and black powder seasons.

Now deer season starts in September and goes through, in and out, January. If a hunter hunts all three types of weapon in both management areas he can take up to something like 20 deer. I know a couple guys who do that.
this morning, a large buck was standing in the middle of the road, huge rack....maybe 8 points or more, it was dark, and even though I slowed down, he ran back into the woods....

the deer right around here are well protected from hunters, due to it being built up, yet, woodsy....

They have reintroduced elk into northern PA, and I'd really love to go see the herd sometime before I pass on....love the sounds they make.

I have never seen a moose, but OMGosh, what a site they must be....huge I hear?
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,408 posts, read 1,457,223 times
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I live four doors down from an 'open space', which is basically a large, wooded park with the creek running through it. I've heard coyotes howling there occasionally (but thankfully haven't encountered one), and met up with (non-venomous) snakes on the paths.

Recently, I was walking my dog (a red greyhound) and on the side of the path was a deer, calmly having its breakfast. Looked at us for a looooooong time, and we were just about close enough to touch. Kept my dog's leash tight so she had to stay next to me. She and the deer seemed fascinated by each other. One of my neighbors happened to be there too, and he joked maybe they were trying to figure out if they were related (I have to admit, my dog does kind of look like a mini-deer!)

After awhile, the deer wandered away, so we continued our walk. (I hadn't wanted to get too close and scare her--deer are pretty, but they can be mean, and I didn't want either of us getting kicked at!)
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Colorado
13,991 posts, read 8,406,237 times
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cremebrulee: by "genetic mutation" I didn't mean something that has to be strikingly rare. There can be plenty of them. But coloration is one of many traits determined by genetics, and if you research it (Google "black panther" for starters) you'll see that they are just a black version of a reasonably common wild cat like cougars, or in Africa, leopards, or in South America, jaguars. Sometimes they are black. But it's generally a variation of a cat kind that is normally a different color. I mean, white tigers, they are a genetically unlikely creature perhaps in the wild, but people breed 'em on purpose because that particular coloration is pretty. But they are not a different species. If white ones did well in the wild and survived, there might be more out there.

Of course seeing more sightings could mean one is getting around, or it could mean one is ~getting around~...as in, parenting more offspring and passing down its melanistic genes to more catty critters.

Meow!
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Old 09-13-2017, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
15,977 posts, read 12,772,205 times
Reputation: 12026
Quote:
Originally Posted by cremebrulee View Post
yeah, when I arrived back home, right after the sighting, I called the police, and they laughed at me.



My son is a police officer, and at one time, worked in Atlanta, there were drug dealers who had two lions...that got loose, they were caught and were taken to Noah's Ark.

I'm thinking more on the line of that these black panthers that are being sighted, got lose by accident?
Here is something else to think about....every time, there is a hurricane, where do they take the animals that are in zoos? I'm thinking that some of those animals also get loose....and as you probably know, there are wild animal farms in PA, so....?

There used to be a pet shop in the area where I lived, and the guy had a wild pet cougar, right in the store. He couldn't handle him any longer, so the poor cat was kept penned up in a small cage all the time. It really bothered me. The man was a nice man, just didn't know any better. The cat was huge....



We were once taking a ride around the wooded areas on the roads around Beltzville dam, and there was a rattle snake going across the road. We stopped the truck and watched it. Awesome critters and very large.

don't you love to hear & read these stores?
Not too far from where we spotted the mountain lion (just one time) I have encountered very large rattlesnakes. One looked like a log laying in the road and was thicker than my forearm. It had to be at least five feet long and another one I spotted about the same diameter and about four feet long - don't want to mess with them. They are highly protected today; actually all snakes are. There is a den not too far away and in the older days hunters would walk the dirt road to the dens all summer long. Now you have to get a permit and I think it is only good for one or two snakes a year. Even if you spot one close to your house you are only supposed to move it a short distance so you do not distress the snake - of course many home owners would be distressed if they saw a five footer sunning itself on their front lawn!
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