The release of Chad Arment’s book, Varmints, appears to have been perfectly timed. July 2010 has opened with breaking news of black panther reports out of Canada, and a new tawny panther sighted and photographed in Indiana.
In Canada, July 1st is the nation’s “Canada Day.” Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada), formerly Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), is Canada’s national day, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united two British colonies and a province of the British Empire into a single country, still within the Empire, called Canada. The sovereign sometimes is in attendance at Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa; Queen Elizabeth II was present in there in 2010.
Nearby Ottawa, another visitor appears to have been nearby, a black panther. As cryptozoology students know, melanistic large mystery cats may be one of the most frequently seen unknowns on the North American landscape. Now comes word of one showing up temporally near the Canada Day celebrations.
On July 2nd, reports surfaced that on Tuesday, June 30th, a large “black cougar” was seen in the Lac George area in Alfred-Plantagenet, according to Ontario Provincial Police. On Wednesday shortly after lunchtime, a man from the area called police to report he had seen a big black “panther” the previous day on Lac George Road. An official press release said the “investigation revealed that the cat would most likely be a black cougar,” but OPP weren’t immediately available to go into any more detail.
Then, according to the Ottawa Citizen on July 3, 2010, a new release stated, “A large black cougar could be roaming the Lac George area in Alfred-Plantagenet, say Ontario Provincial Police. On June 30, shortly after lunchtime, a man from the area called police to report seeing a big black ‘panther’ on Lac George Road. Police patrolled the area, but came up with nothing, the release said. Others in the area told police they had spotted a similar animal over the past three years, but never reported the sightings.”
One of the most outrageous statements to come out of this report was that Hawkesbury OPP Const. Pierre Dubois was quoted as saying that, “Black cougars do exist, but are extremely rare.”
Now that is a remarkable piece of news for the zoological world! Photos, please.
Interestingly, an official study announced on June 21, 2010, after an ambitious four-year study, that the Ministry of Natural Resources came to a definitive conclusion: “the Eastern cougar will be lumped with the Sasquatch no longer.”
The study collected 30 pieces of evidence, including photos of tracks, samples of scat and DNA. “It verified that cougars do exist in Ontario,” said Rick Rosatte, senior research scientist with the ministry in Peterborough.
But theire are not even any photographs. At this point, an unmistakable cougar image would be, according stated the Ottawa Citizen, to a zoologist what nude photos of the Royal Family would be to a British tabloid.
“We’ve got photos of everything from bear and deer to fishers and humans, but so far, no photos of the cougar,” Rosatte said. “The odds of getting a cougar photo is very slim, because they travel so much.”
Meanwhile, due South, in Indiana, on June 30, 2010, someone did take a photograph of what was said to be a tan-colored mountain lion (cougar, puma, etc.).
The photograph was taken Tuesday morning by an individual who lives in the 400 block of Old Bog Road in Avilla, Indiana. The person took the picture through weeds across a field. In front of the tree line is a tan colored image which looks like an animal. (See photo.)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologists have analyzed the picture and preliminarily say the photo is inconclusive.
Connie Baker lives on Old Bog Road about 200 feet from where the alleged cougar was spotted. She showed WANE NewsChannel 15 a number of paw prints in the soy bean field. She learned of the alleged sighting early Tuesday morning. “I thought it was kind of scary, I was going to go out and mow like at nine in the morning, but I got a phone call and I didn’t go out until like nine in the afternoon,” said Connie Baker, she lives near the cougar sighting.