Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

June 28, 2011

Residents Claim Sightings of Unidentified Large Black Animal

Greensburg — A handful of local residents have reported sighting an animal in the area, one too big to be common in the area.

While speculations as to the species of the animal have been thrown around, little evidence of the animal has been provided, other than personal testimonies and a 10-second video of it apparently walking through a field a mile and half west of the reservoir and about 2 miles south of Honda. However the quality of the video is too poor to make any conclusions.

The person who took the video said she believed it to be a black panther. "I heard it," she said. "It was a ferocious, cat-like, snarling sound."

According to the eyewitness, neighbors have reported seeing the creature as well down by a creek. As of now, this is the only testimony received by Daily News.

According to local wildlife biologist Chris Grauel, the likelihood of a black panther being in the area is "almost nonexistent," as they are not native to the state.

The closest animal to a panther that it could be, Grauel said, is a mountain lion, which is native to Illinois, Michigan and Missouri, however there have been no confirmed sightings of mountain lions in Indiana that he is aware of.

Still, Grauel said there are people in Indiana who own panthers with proper documentation, which can escape and wander, but that's the only possibility, he said.

In terms of gathering evidence of animals like cougars, panthers or mountain lions, Grauel said eyewitnesses shouldn't try to shoot it. They should look for paw prints and make casts of them as well as take pictures of them with an object in the frame for size comparison, then report it to the Department of Natural Resources.

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