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Creatures, Myths & Legends

Elusive black cougar spotted in Oakville, Canada

By T.K. Randall
July 10, 2022 · Comment icon 51 comments

Could black cougars actually exist ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Eric Kilby
An Oakville resident claims to have witnessed a pure black cougar on the McCraney Creek trails last week.
These common felines, which can be found across the Americas, are typically brown in color, however on rare occasions there have been reported sightings of cougars with distinctive black coats - raising the question of whether black (melanistic) cougars might actually be out there.

This latest such sighting comes courtesy of Oakville resident Marie DiGiovine who had been walking down the McCraney Creek trail when she spotted a black animal on the road ahead of her.

"It was like a giant cat," she said. "I panicked at that moment. I was paralyzed."

The animal stopped briefly and stared at her before disappearing into the brush at the side of the path.

"I've seen black bears and deer, but never ever a cougar," she said.
"I thought cougars were brown. This one was all black. I know it sounds unbelievable, but it was definitely, 100 percent, a black cougar."

Although she had taken her phone out to snap a picture of the animal, it had unfortunately disappeared before she was able to take the photograph.

While the existence of black cougars has never been officially confirmed, this is certainly not the first such sighting in North America and not even the first this year.

According to a report from Ministry of Natural Resources biologist Rick Rosatte, there were 52 credible sightings of black cougars in Ontario during a study conducted between 2006 and 2010.

Until a specimen is found (alive or dead), however, we may never know for sure that they actually exist.

Source: Oakville News | Comments (51)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #42 Posted by openozy 1 year ago
When dogs, wolves and coyotes can mate and produce fertile offspring you would think bobcats and house cats probably would.
Comment icon #43 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
Perhaps if i was directing it at you which i wasn't. I honestly had never given it much thought until this thread, when tina thought nubby had some bobcat, i didnt think so but didnt rule it out. Domestic and moggie whatever one wants to call "pet cats" come in almost endless variations and some sure do look and or act like they must be part wild cat but i have not found science to back that up. We do have canine hybrids and science proves it sometimes it can be embarrassing like the texas lady making claims of a chupracabra which wasnt. On the flip side humans cant breed with primates which s... [More]
Comment icon #44 Posted by openozy 1 year ago
I imagine it would kill goats but so can most canines. The chupacabra was supposed to be some humanoid, alien thing, I don't know how a mangy coyote dog got mistaken for one, lol. I do think the bobcat and cat can breed because lions can breed with tigers and leopards which seem further apart.
Comment icon #45 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
To me rhe chupra was that weird aluen thing and Texans seeking $$$ stole the name. I do know if a bob can or cannot make babies with house cats but there seem to only be stories. The problem is housecats come in too wide a range of colors shaped and sizes for me to say that because of how it looks or acts it must be a hybrid when scuence as far as my hunting so far says no.   Like your buddies you joked about looking less than fully human but they are human.
Comment icon #46 Posted by maaax 1 year ago
On 9-1-22 a friend and I were scouting new deer and elk hunting areas in the Hoodoo mountain range in northern Idaho. At about 0930, while traveling on an old logging road, we witnessed a cougar cross the road in front of us that was black in color. It was a large animal, and I guesstimate it was 150/200 pounds. Over the years, I have seen numerous cougars in our area - but never a black one. It was a bright sunny day and there was no mistaking the color of this animal.
Comment icon #47 Posted by stereologist 1 year ago
Black cougars, black mountain lions, black panthers, black catamount, or whatever you want to call them do not exist.  You are quite right to suppose that these do not exist. The black jaguar does exist.
Comment icon #48 Posted by Nobu 1 year ago
Just got back to America from my Mexican home, I went through the yukatan jungle quite a bit as always, sad to say I saw very very little cat signs, have to go to Ascension Island in a week. Nothing cool there I will be able to report on.
Comment icon #49 Posted by stereologist 1 year ago
Sounds like you are getting to see some wonderful places. I imagine finding a cat in the Yucatan is hard. Ascencion Island is home to many spectacular ocean going birds. Hope you see something fabulous
Comment icon #50 Posted by LadyPhoenix 1 year ago
A guy I went to school with said that he saw one.  Black, and definitely a cougar. he said, and this would have been in S. Texas.  I know I saw a cougar one night, in our neighborhood (also his, as it happens), and I can't vouch for the color, though it looked very dark.  At the time, I'd have assumed shadows, but it really wasn't that dark, so I might have seen the same thing he did.  Size and shape were that of a cougar, for certain.  Only a narrow alleyway and part of two driveways distant. 
Comment icon #51 Posted by LadyPhoenix 1 year ago
I can believe that.  We had a cat once, that some folks found up in the mountains (SE), and couldn't keep because it was too rough on the other kittens they had.  We got him young, and in very few months, he was as big as a full-grown cat, and showed signs of bobcat in the mix - tufted ears, something about the eyes, etc.  Wild, too.  He'd attack from beneath the furniture, knock his food around then chase it, etc.  We ended up giving him away because of the aggression. 

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