Woman reports large black cat near Grovetown

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Columbia County authorities searched a wooded area near Grovetown on Tuesday after a woman reported seeing a large black cat weighing about 100 pounds.

"If it is a 100-pound cat, it's not domestic," said county Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker. "Whatever it was moved pretty quickly, which always seems to be the case with animals."

The report came in around noon Tuesday from a woman on Chastain Drive who saw the large cat near the pond at the John Deere plant off Horizon South Parkway. Officers who responded found nothing.

Each year, wildlife authorities in Georgia and South Carolina get dozens of reported sightings of panthers, but they are rarely confirmed with any documentation, such as droppings, pawprints or a fresh kill.

Sightings of large, black cats are even more perplexing. Panthers, which live in the West and still have a small population in Florida, are not known to have a black phase. Jaguars, however, do have a black phase, but those creatures are native to South America.

Vic VanSant, a regional wildlife biologist for Georgia's Wildlife Resources Division, has said his office investigates calls each year from people who believe they have seen a panther.

There was an incident in 1995 when federal wildlife authorities experimented with the release of 10 transplanted Western panthers in northern Florida's vast wilderness. One traveled into Georgia and ended up in Burke County.

The panther then meandered south toward Statesboro before returning to Burke County, then followed the Brier Creek drainage into McDuffie County, where it lingered for a few days near Thomson.

Eventually, it made its way to the Clarks Hill Wildlife Management Area near Thurmond Lake, where biologists recaptured it in February of that year and returned it to Florida. During its travels in this part of the state, the panther never generated a single reported sighting, Mr. VanSant said.

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reruns
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reruns 10/01/08 - 01:38 pm
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I kept telling my family when

I kept telling my family when we vacationed in VA that i was looking for a Sasquatch. They thought i was crazy.

reruns
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reruns 10/01/08 - 01:39 pm
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fox, aligator, panther,

fox, aligator, panther, bears. We have out own zoo.

Annie
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Annie 10/01/08 - 01:49 pm
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We saw one crossing the road

We saw one crossing the road coming from a pond this summer in Jefferson County, Georgia between Avera and Stapleton, Georgia. Weighed over 100 pounds and tail hung long and low to the ground with a crook at the end. The color was midnight black. I never knew they existed and then my brother told me he also saw them in Burke County, Ga while hunting. This cat was just as interested in us as we were with it.

Tujeez
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Tujeez 10/01/08 - 03:17 pm
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Back 10 years ago, I was up

Back 10 years ago, I was up at clarks hill and saw four DNR trucks in a convoy headed south on GA 43 towards Thomson. Later that afternoon, I stopped in at Raysville Bait and Tackle. Bob (the proprietor) told me that they had been up to Holliday Park where they had trapped a panther. Seems some deer hunters had found some kills and the DNR investigated and caught one. He said they told him that they had relocated some to Brier Creek Swamp in Burke County, to ease population numbers in FLA. This one had Migrated to the lake area, so, they took it back to Burke County. Said He Was a GOOD sized cat, Natural color though, not Black.. According to the info i've seen,(On Discovery and elsewhere) Black Panthers are "genetically" impossible. Wouldn't BET the farm on that though, i've heard too much to the contrary. It pays to be aware of you surroundings when you're out and about in the woods and such. Wouldn't want one of those guys ruining my day.

Tujeez
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Tujeez 10/01/08 - 03:34 pm
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reruns, I ain't never been

reruns, I ain't never been attacked by Bigfoot but, I did get the crap scared outta me one halloween by the Great Pumpkin.

reruns
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reruns 10/01/08 - 03:40 pm
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Watch out Panther! The

Watch out Panther! The chinese resturant owner is on the hunt. He needs to make pepper steak, mongolian beef and some of that almond chicken.

Farful
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Farful 10/01/08 - 04:29 pm
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100# of cat = chinese buffet

100# of cat = chinese buffet for 1000

storynana
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storynana 10/01/08 - 04:31 pm
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It is a very dark brown large

It is a very dark brown large cat. It has been quietly living in the Grovetown area for over 4 years. It has dens on 3 properties that I know of (one being on my property). It kills deer to survive. We do have pictures of the paw prints and the prints themselves have been verified by a vet as being cat tracks. Tracks too large to be a bob cat. One gentleman set up a night camera and has good pictures of the cat. Please leave it alone and it will bother no one. It bothers nothing human or animal on our properties and should be left in peace.

Farful
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Farful 10/01/08 - 05:04 pm
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It might not bother anything

It might not bother anything human right now, but if it gets hungry enough....better call steve-o

Pursefreak
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Pursefreak 10/01/08 - 07:56 pm
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Hey, 55! You're going to be

Hey, 55! You're going to be late for your klan meeting if you stay on augustachronicle.com!

humbleopinion
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humbleopinion 10/01/08 - 08:27 pm
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Uh, excuse me, but there is

Uh, excuse me, but there is nothing racist about referencing the Black Panthers......a radical BLACK group from a few years back. THEY were the ones that gave themselves that name.......Check it out for yourself, but none other than Senator Hillary Clinton defended several of them way back when.

Tujeez
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Tujeez 10/01/08 - 11:06 pm
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storynana, keep the

storynana, keep the grandchildren up. Some poor kid is gonna go wandering around, like children often do and the cat is gonna do what cats always do. Just a tragedy waiting to happen. Those folks in CA thought they could live in a zoo too. " Hey, LOOK at the pretty Kitty-kitty, OUCH!! "They Ain't No taming a wild cat. As long as the food is easy and the hunting is good, they'll avoid humans, for the most part but, if an easy target is observed they'll pounce. They can't resist, it's feline nature. Don't think so, let your parakeet out and watch your cat.

55 F-100
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55 F-100 10/02/08 - 06:19 am
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Don't worry "pursefreak", I

Don't worry "pursefreak", I never miss a meeting, and oh by the way, the ongoing topic is you.

GaMedic
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GaMedic 10/02/08 - 06:02 pm
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If you are ever close enough

If you are ever close enough to a panther to hear it scream - and yes, it does sound like a woman screaming - you better shed your clothes and head for shelter. Your clothes carry your scent and the cat will slow down to investigate while you high-tail it outta there! Worry about the indecent exposure charge AFTER you get shy of the cat otherwise the only thing that will be exposed will be your insides...on the outside. Happy hiking, camping etc in the meantime :)

walkedit
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walkedit 10/02/08 - 06:25 pm
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I thought I was crazy

I thought I was crazy yesterday when I saw a huge black cat just off of Washington Road in the 4400 block! Now I know that it was real! Keep your little animals locked up!

ToomuchmoneyIhave
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ToomuchmoneyIhave 10/03/08 - 10:11 am
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Can you engage a panther in

Can you engage a panther in hand to hand combat?

jessie2007
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jessie2007 10/03/08 - 05:15 pm
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i would like to say you folks

i would like to say you folks think what you like... my mother and my sister have seen this cat in our yard and walking across the road in front of them.. so those who dont beleive ..... its real!!!!!! hes out here in grovetown.

jacobmcw
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jacobmcw 10/04/08 - 03:07 pm
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I will never forget day that

I will never forget day that I saw a large black cat while out hunting. Four friends and myself where out on a hunting trip. We arrived in the area that we were going to hunt a few hours before night fall. Three of my friends decided to go hunting before sundown, me and my other friend decided to scout the area out before morning. While walking down a logging road in Greene Co a large black cat jumped from a tree completely clearing the road and off in the woods it went. It will always be burned in my mind’s eye this large cat jumping totally across a dirt road and running off in the woods. This was twenty two years ago, I have talked to several hunters that have reported seeing large black cats in and around the area.

NEOSLDY
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NEOSLDY 10/07/08 - 09:16 pm
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poor animals have no where

poor animals have no where left to go, people are taking all the woods away to build, build and build...i am sure more sightings of all sorts of animals are gonna be more frequent, due to their homes (woods)are being destroyed..i am woried with all our trees being cut down, what is gonna be left to help filter the air we breathe...

NEOSLDY
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NEOSLDY 10/07/08 - 09:24 pm
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message to "concerned parent"

message to "concerned parent" why would you have to pick a nationality for a cat sighting? did you not have anything better to say? if it is a mexican cat, then i bet it is beautiful......

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