Contrary to popular belief, the panther is actually a broad term used to refer to any number of species of big cat who undergo a black color phase. The leopard is known to undergo this phase, and occasionally the jaguar. So why are Black Panthers considered to be such a monumentally important cryptid to some hunters? For many, its capture symbolizes more than the discovery of a stray exotic pet. Many suggest the creature’s discovery may in fact turn out to be an entirely new species and perhaps even herald in a new era of zoology as the creatures often appear near densely populated areas undetected by all but a select few. One farmer in New Zealand is setting the stage for that discovery to happen.
David Wightman, a farmer in High County New Zealand has decided he’s heard enough reports of the mysterious black cat loping around his farm to convince him, and he’s setting a trap to attempt to find it. The trap is intended to finally put an end to a mystery that has been spanning over ten years in and around his farmland. While Mr. Wightman has not seen the creature firsthand, several around the area have reported it to him on at least four occasions.
Panthers are generally attributed with attacking larger livestock such as goats, cattle, horses, and the occasional dog. Fortunately for David, the animal has made no such move on his livelihood. Of course many in the area suspect the creature may be depending on smaller prey to sustain itself. The area around where the Panther has been spotted does have several potential hiding places that the creature could be stalking during daylight hours.
As for the trap itself, the enclosure is composed of a large cage surrounding a smaller cage containing a goat. The goat will be unharmed by predators as it is separated from the panther’s chamber by a thick fence-like enclosure. The bait, in addition to giving off the smell of prey will attract the panther by bleating constantly throughout the night. The creature’s presence in the Alford Forest has been reported with some consistency since 2001 sparking officials to investigate the area several times. To date the creature has not been photographed.
Of the out-of-place cryptids reported by witnesses, panthers appear to turn up with astonishing regularity. And the panthers appear to have characteristics uncommon for the black jaguar and leopard. Some say the panthers possess supernatural powers, or be of an impossibly large size. Some panther sightings have been categorized as possibly being black tigers as their length extends up to eleven feet or even more at times. With some consistency these massive black panthers are also reported with large green eyes and exceptional dexterity.
Other reports of black panthers border on the truly paranormal, as some say they have the ability to disappear in thin air, some reports say they have the ability to communicate psychically, and some UFO abductees claim that during their abduction large black cats were present. It seems more likely that the panther David is hoping to catch is a flesh and blood panther, native to the area and merely undiscovered. And it may even be a new species.