Which cat are you ACTUALLY seeing in the woods in Ohio?

By Kim Lemmon, Ohio’s Country Journal

Reports of unusual sightings of big cats are not uncommon throughout the United States and Ohio. From celebrities like Uncle Si of Ducky Dynasty professing to have seen a large panther-like black cat to friends and neighbors quietly professing to have seen such a cat or its tracks in Ohio, it is certain that the Buckeye State is not excluded sightings of large cats in the wild.

I recently checked in with a Wildlife Communication Specialist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife and I asked her what ODNR’s thoughts were on mountain lions residing in Ohio.

Here’s ODNR’s official statement on cats in Ohio as of late-November 2014.

“Last summer, an off-duty wildlife officer spotted what he believes to be a mountain lion in Jefferson County. Nothing ever came of it after his reported sighting. No photos snapped by local residents of the county pre- or post-sighting by the officer, no trail camera photos, no scat, no hair/fur, no tracks, etc.

While we have a significant population of state-protected bobcats (which people sometimes confuse), there is no indication of wild cougars/mountain lions in Ohio. It’s been 100 years or so since the last wild mountain lion was confirmed in the Buckeye State.

We have received many unconfirmed reports of sightings over the years, but never anything concrete. Concrete data would include photos that can be confirmed as snapped in Ohio, scat, tracks, or the animal itself such as a road-kill. We have not received anything of the like thus far.

Mountain lions are very stealthy and secretive animals, so they’re tough to track and locate. That being said, we can’t confirm wild mountain lions in Ohio until evidence supports such.”

I was motivated to contact the ODNR because a Facebook page dedicated to Homesteaders in Morrow County recently suggested that local folks had spotted a large black cat and large cat footprints in a portion of the county. There was much local debate on the subject with some folks believing a panther resides in our county, while others believe a large bobcat was simply mistakenly identified as a panther.

About the same time that these rumors were surfacing, a loyal OCJ/OAN reader/listener left a comment on a black bear story on our website about their very own panther sighting in southern Ohio. They gave vivid details about their experience which follow:

“I didn’t want to say this, but since you are trying to make so much about a little-old black bear siting… Of which over here in Adam’s County is no big thing. We have bigger fish to watch-out for… Or should I say cats? My wife and I, returning home in the early afternoon a few hours before sunset, spotted Uncle Si’s big Black Panther. We were driving down, south on St. Rt. 247, and just before we got to the little bridge and guard rails before Greenbriar Rd., there, coming across the road right in front of us, from the west side to the east, was the largest black cat I’ve ever seen. It was larger than any I’ve seen in the many zoos we’ve been to. It was larger than all of those we’ve ever seen on all of the TV shows. Its tail was as long as it was, and together, they almost reached past being from the roads centerline to the berm. It didn’t bound, but ran in a fast, low run and didn’t jump or bound in any excessive motion until it went up the steep bank on the east side of the road. Even then it wasn’t excessive, but just one smooth, fluid motion as it disappeared into the brush. My wife and I have lived in the bush, homesteaded in, hunted and lived in, Alaska for ten years. We are familiar with a lot of common, wild animals. We’ve seen wolves and grizzly bears, moose, caribou and even wolverines, a few lynx, bobcats, beaver, coyotes and foxes, let alone deer and black bear and all of the other common small critters. This was a big, black cat that, we’ve come to know as a Black Panther. I suppose, now, you can put us down on your “Crazies” list too…”

So what do I think? I certainly don’t think any folks that claim to have seen a panther or mountain lion in Ohio are crazy, but I unfortunately haven’t been blessed with seeing one myself. I think there probably are some mountain lions in southern Ohio. I also think there are probably some living with darker coats than normal that can appear as black in certain lighting and look like panthers.

Do I think there is a cougar in Morrow County? Well, no but I’d love to be proven wrong as long as we can keep our citizens and our livestock safe while supporting the existence of such a large cat in the county.

Let’s keep an eye out through out the Buckeye state and be sure to send me photographic evidence of the cats you are seeing in the wilds of Ohio.

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  1. When I was little I saw a Lynx I told my mum and she said that cant be so now I know as a kid i was not crazy

    • stephanie miller

      Several years back, I saw a large mountain lion shaped silhouette sitting, as big as you please, on the north side of Rt 6 between Fremont and Sandusky in the wildlife conservation area. It was in the middle of the night, so I could’nt tell the color, but it was not a bobcat…. much longer and leaner.

      • I lived off of rt 6 near BG and saw a mountain lion sun bathing on my road several years back. It wasn’t black but the golden color. My family told me I was crazy. I wonder if it was the same one! But yes, it was longer than a bobcat. It looked up at me from it’s spot (I was on a bike and stopped once I noticed it maybe 20-30 meters away.) and it just got up and went into the woods. I of course turned my bike around and went home to tell me family.

        • Interesting sighting… I’m near Rt.6 by Grand Rapids Ohio and have spotted a golden/brown cat twice now near my house.
          First sighting was October 1st. 2020 and second sighting was October 5th 2020 county road P. Long slender body, short hair, no bushy tail like a fox or coyote. Both sightings were within 1 1/2 miles of each other between 3 & 4pm full sun

          • I was in Akron when I saw something similar. I was working for the electric company out of one of their buildings and I went on break, walked around the campus. It’s in the middle of thick woods. Just over the edge of the woods there was a cat that had the face of an African big cat. The ear were almost like a lynx, but this was slightly bigger than a lynx and had a long tale.

    • Lynx and Bobcat are one in the same and they absolutely exist in Ohio.

  2. 3 or 4 years ago I saw a mountain lion right on the Ohio-Indiana at the southern most point. While he was technically on the Indiana side of the border, it might be reasonable to assume he sometimes heads to Ohio.

  3. Check Route 33 -about 5 miles North of West Virginia border . Looks like a dead mountain lion along the road. Please check.

  4. I live in Williams County with my family. My father is a farmer and we own a large farm. We moved to this woods about 7 years ago and we haven’t had any scares or similar issues till now. Occasionally we get a raccoon or possum, but nothing this large. We own about 12 chickens and I’m concerned something is trying to reach them. Two days ago my brother woke up to go take care of these chickens. No one was around or awake and like normal, he took our dog out. As he walked towards our small garage/barn he looked down the hill. What he told us has nothing to do with moutain lions, cougars, or bobcats but his discription makes me assume it could be one. He said he saw a tall thing, about 6ft tall, and black. Our dog stood her ground right next to my brother not moving. She goes after everything. Birds, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, groundhogs, everything. But whatever this was she wouldn’t. He said it turned and ran making a human like screeching but not so human. For some reason he continued taking care of the chickens and nothing helps happened that that day. Today, I did research and it has lead me to this website. This evening, my dog started growling. We had our back porch screen door open and our woods surround our backyard, making it difficult for us to see anything. Whatever she saw, it had to be exactly what my brother saw. I ran to grab the flashlight and I shined it into the woods which was about 20-40ft away from our house. I saw a pair of eyes right away. It looked pretty high off of the ground. I opened the screen door and she ran so fast. I heard the sound which my brother tried to describe to me. A human like screech. It sound more like a cough/scream/screech. Whatever it was it was terrified. My dog ran to the edge of the woods and about 6ft in. It’s gone for now but I’m sure it will be back. If not, then I won’t make anymore comments. But I have a few theories. Black bears have been starting to come back into Ohio slowly but surely. If it is a bear, it could be either in a tree or standing on its hind legs. A cougar, bobcat, or I guess mountain lion could also be it. They could be up in a tree or if tall enough, on there legs too. I know I probably sound crazy to all of you but I’m just looking for answers. I’m not commenting sightings of anything because we are still unsure, but commenting what I’ve seen and been told. If you have any ideas, please reply to me.

    • Bobcat screams sound human. Either like a woman screaming or a small child. It will raise the hair straight up on your scalp.

    • I never saw any thing here in chandlersville about 8 minutes from the wilds….to give you a location. And land mark …but I have heard what you are describingvery well…. but like you said I’m not reporting a sighting but just want to know what it is…

  5. I do believe there are black Panthers in Ohio. I was coming home from the movies around 10:30 pm with my kids. When I was almost home on state route 329 just outside of Trimble, Athens county. Standing on the side of the road was the biggest black cat I have ever seen. I slowed down to take a better look and as I got closer with my car. It squatted down in a pouncing position layed it ears back and opened it’s mouth as if it was hissing at the car. I could see every tooth in it mouth and it had big k9 like teeth and big green eyes. And a long sleek tail. And it had to be around 100 lbs because it was way bigger than my 80 lb Male Husky. And to be honest with you I don’t know where or what it did after that because I got scared thinking it was going to jump on my car and attack so I floored it and was out of there.I know people might think I’m crazy because my husband does. But I know what I seen. It was a big black looking panther. No doubt about it.

    • Lisa,we are seeing them in the Hollister area also

    • Lisa, I totally believe you, we live in a very wooded area, today I was mowing grass, riding our zero turn mower, I started down the side yard to the front, lots of trees and bushes, in front of me three big pines when all at once I saw what was the biggest cat I’ve ever seen, i believe it was under the pines, it leaped across a path into the woods, I can only describe the same thing you saw, only it seemed to be afraid of the mower, did not look at me, just leaped across in front of me about. 50 feet, not a dog, Black, slender with slender cat like tail I couldn’t believe it, I know it was not a dog or cat, maybe one big, big, huge cat , but I doubt it. I live outside of Akron Ohio, farm country.

    • I never saw any thing here in chandlersville about 8 minutes from the wilds….to give you a location. And land mark …but I have heard what you are describingvery well…. but like you said I’m not reporting a sighting but just want to know what it is…and we. Also saw a black panther about 3 months ago about half mile from our house in chandlersville no one can convince me it was something else I also saw one in 1993 in Roseville ohio. ..

    • You witnessed a fairly rare cat but there are others in Ohio, Pa, and probably 25 or more other states. They are Jaguars in the Melanistic phase which means total and solid black. The females are around 100 lbs and males often 200 and more. Many people like you have been lied to by their Wildlife organizations for some unknown reason. They have no known attacks on humans in the US that I know of and they don’t normally take cats and dogs like some other predators. I have my own personal sighting in NC and have spoken to no less than 60 others in many states that know well what they saw. Are you going to doubt your own eyes to listen to a politician? Contact me for more details or to challenge what I say.

  6. It’s not only Southern Ohio, folks. On Sunday, July 19th 2015 at approximately 2:00 a.m. I experienced the most horrifying experience of my life. The weather called for a 0% chance of rain for Saturday evening / Sunday so I was getting some painting and landscaping done outside at the Ranch. I often use the night to get things done as I try to spend time with my wife and young sons during the day and with so much to do I had started during the early evening this particular day. From nearly the time I began my work there were extremely loud cracking noises coming from the woods as our little yorky “Jack” ran back and forth at least 20 times in curiosity throughout the evening and returning with a wimper. The dog has always been somewhat of a wussy being my wife’s little “mamma’s boy” from before she and I had met and our relationship had never been too close. Although I was quite curious myself, I didn’t assume it would be anything I should be TOO concerned about even though I found the extent of these continuous large cracks to be very unusual. Being the state of Ohio, our 0% chance of rain turned into a drizzle between 12:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. in the morning as I just started to paint some 4×4 landscape timbers. I grabbed the can of paint and the pup and I took a break in the garage leaving the paint can’s lid outside. Without the weather cooperating and it being 2:00 a.m. on the nose, I decided to call it a day. I walked up to the area I was working in from out of the garage which was only about 50 feet away. The halogen work lights were aimed in a position to nearly blind me from where I stood. I bent down to pick up the lid of the paint can. At that very moment ,the loudest, freakiest,most horrifying woman screaming bloody murder from what seemed to be millimeters from my face.. At the time ,not knowing that it was a Panther, and even if I did know for that matter, I stood there shaking like I have never shook before and Jack next to me expressing the same reaction as myself. My mind was racing between running and staying still with the blinding glow of halogen lights in my face excluding vision as any help to my decision. A pattern of four screams curled my hair with a slight pause of dead silence before another four echoing like church bells banging on my ear drums. After what seemed to be days, I had finally built up the courage to pivot my feet and make a jolt for the garage into the house closing the door quickly behind me and hoping Jack was in there with me and wishing him the best of luck if he wasn’t because going back outside wasn’t on my agenda. He was.
    Two weeks had gone by and my cup was overflowing with work at my shop because I spent most of my time in the office, on my computer, trying to match those screams with something that lives in our region. It certainly was NOT a fox or a bobcat which seems to be the “go to” explanation when telling others about the experience. Anyone who has heard the mating call of a mountain lion knows there is absolutely no similarities between the two. Finally, after two weeks of becoming a firm believer in screaming sasquatches, I nailed it. The match was a video on you tube titled “The freakiest noise in the woods that woke me up”. I had never imagined mountain lions, cougars, panthers, whatever we prefer to call them making their presence 25 miles south of Cleveland Ohio. But the fact of the matter is they have. I have not only seen the these cats on a couple of occasions over the last few years, I have pictures , videos, and plenty of other solid evidence to prove I’m not confused on which cat I’m ACTUALLY seeing or hearing. I have spent my whole life outdoors from playing in the woods as a child, to camping, partying, riding dirt bikes, hunting ,fishing paint balling, and with all those nights I have spent at motocross tracks and National parks I’m pretty sure I know when something is out of the ordinary.I found it hard to tell others about this experience without words like “fox and “bobcat” being brought up. If I had heard a fox or a bobcat I certainly wouldn’t have wasted my time telling you or the many others over the past 3 years about it. Someone actually had the nerve say “racoon” one time when sharing the story as I wished for nothing more than that panther to suddenly explode out of nowhere and drag that moron into the woods for dinner.The animal recorded on that you tube video didn’t “kind of” sound like what I heard, it didn’t “resemble” what I heard, it was absolutely 100% identical to the screams that I will never forget. I’m greatful for this sight to share with people who had similar experiences. And people who know that cougars are without a doubt among us in southern and Northern Ohio.

    • I believe you are right. I live in Portage county and have been telling people what I saw Sunday March 15, 2020 while riding my very spooked horse! I believe she could smell the cat. When I first sighted it I thought it was a deer. It picked up its head but no deer ears. Then I saw the long tail following behind. My horse kept calling the horses back at the barn, very unusual. Then the cat looked at us and trotted towards the woods. Getting close to the woods, it startled a real deer and it took off through the woods and over the tracks

    • Hello, you said “I have pictures , videos, and plenty of other solid evidence to prove,” do you have them posted somewhere?

  7. The past February my husband and I were visiting my sister in Ohio. The three of us were sitting near her sliding glass doors at her kitchen table which overlooks her back field. The field was covered in snow at that time and everything was white. While we were there drinking our morning coffee I saw a large black cat moving across her field along the edge of the woods. The cat was smaller than a mountain lion (I’m from California and have seen mountain lions hiking, etc.) and had a very long tail, probably the same length as its body. My husband, sister, and I watched it move across the field and I asked her what types of large cats they had in Ohio. She said she didn’t know and I left it at that. Later I remembered the sighting and was curious, so I searched it on the internet and came across this site. Had I known it was some controversial issue I would have taken photos! This sighting was in a rural area in Union County, Ohio, at around 9am in February 2018.

    • LHR, I am in rural eastern Union County, Ohio and saw exactly what you described roughly 5 years ago. I was driving down Moore Rd. when I saw a very large black cat moving along a tree line about 40 yards to my left. It was far bigger than any domestic cat or bobcat ( closer to the size of a black lab) and had a long black tail. Unfortunately I had passed by before I was able to realize what I had seen.

      If you don’t mind sharing… what part of the county were you in? Despite only having this one sighting I have heard multiple frightening “screams” while taking my dogs out late at night since then. Let’s just say that I no longer go out at night without a means of defense.

      • Hi Autumn, sorry for the late reply… The sighting was off of Claibourne Rd, southwest of Richwood.
        Funny, I described it to someone as roughly the size of a lab too!

      • I saw what I believe to be alion mountain and martins ferry Ohio last night October 3rd 2019 I know what bobcats look like and I know what bears look like it was a definitely a cat and it was huge I was just silhouette shadowing it was and I do believe it had a baby cat with it a kitten must have been about 2 in the morning my dog had used restroom I walked her down the road down in the alley she got scared started crouching down made me a little leery so we can come back on into the apartment building into the yard of it heard something behind us when I look back there was something standing there a huge cat

    • I saw a large black cat on the hill behind my house in Scioto County. It was much bigger than a house cat. It was about 20 inches tall. But it was not a leopard which is a thick body cat and much heavier. It was not a mountain lion either. I’ve seen those up close.

      The one I saw had very long legs and a thin body. And it had a kitten that had the same body type but was about the size of a full grown house cat. That kitten actually followed me into my house and ate some of our cat food. It went back outside and that’s when mom called for it. I was shocked. It was NOT a house cat call. The kitten took off like a rocket to mom. A little later I was walking on the hill about 150 yards behind my house when I saw the kitten again. I heard something behind me in the brush and turned to see mom run across the trail behind me.

      I’ve never seen this kind of cat anywhere in video or photo. I have no idea what to call it. I do know others have seen cats like this in my area. My brother’s dogs treed one once.

  8. This am around 10:00am I had just returned from town in Monroe County, Ohio and was turning my car around
    When I spotted a grayish light brown cat with a tail dragging the ground out in the end of the drive, it walked along the edge of driveway and then went into the woods. I would guess it was about 18 or 20 inches in height. I did a internet search of a mountain lion and it was identical to what I saw. Today is August 1, 2018

  9. What part of Monroe? My son-in–law saw one in Belmont County this morning August 2nd 2018

  10. My husband seen one this morning on august 2nd,2018 running across the baseball field in southern Belmont county behind our house

    • It was late August or early September of 2018 that my wife was on her way to work at about 6:00 am. She was driving up an on ramp to SR 7 near the south end of Shadyside in Belmont County, Ohio. She spotted a huge, long-tailed, tawny colored cat standing in a grassy area just to the right of the roadway no more than 20 yards away. The animal made eye contact and then ran toward the Ohio River and disappeared into some thick brush. She swears it was a mountain lion.
      I have no reason to doubt her identification because about eight years earlier, I made an audio recording of an animal that was making a lot of strange, cat-like calls from just inside the thick wood beyond our back yard. Although the animal never showed itself, the recording was later determined by a wildlife expert to indeed be a mountain lion. Several visual sightings were reported in our area about that same time. It was thought to be an escaped or released animal.

  11. My son and I camping on our family property in Erie County, Ohio spring of 2015….we heard the craziest screams at about 3am. From dead sleep to WIDE AWAKE in 2 seconds flat!!! 40 years in the woods from Lake Erie to The Great Smokies and boy howdy…..never heard anything like that. Until I heard a cougar “scream” on You Tube.
    Also, April 2018 on Rt 68 just north of Ripley, Ohio Brown County. I was stopped on the hill in construction traffic and happen to look west at an old stone wall hidden in the woods. If you know the Simon Kenton Highway you know the type of wall I’m talking about. I’m 6’6″ and those walls are hip high on me. I watched a big gold cat step…yes, step…not hop…over that wall. Folks, I know what I seen and I know what me and the boy heard. Cougar are here in Ohio.

  12. Sept.13, 2018 My husband and I are camping at Rocky Fork State Park. Last night after dark with no fire we heard a distressed coyote howl out a warning sound. About 5 minutes later my husband caught eyes at the wood line with a flash light. We watched as it didn’t care about is. Mountain lion or cougar for sure. Was 50 feet from us. Definitely a large cat. Fawn or light tan with long tail. As big as our German Shepherd. Short sleek fur rounded tipped ears. Had to get in RV then lost track of her trying to find sight again from looking out the window. Are in an isolated area with no one else and no fires near by.

    • Have a photo of large cat With two kittens someone supposed to have taken in highland county ! May have been game camera! Don’t know if fake or real !

  13. About three years ago I was driving with my husband in Vinton County down behind our house. As we were driving across an old railroad bed when I happen to look down the old bed and saw two young black cats playing. They immediately ran up a bank into the brush. I slammed on my brakes and about put my husband into the windshield. He started yelling at me and asked me what I was doing. I told him what I had saw. He told me that I was crazy. We went on down the road. This happened to be the spring of the year. All of a sudden I looked over and here came an adult black cat up from Raccoon Creek. I stopped the car and we watched the cat walk across the open field to the brush line. It did not run. It laid down in the brush line and watched us.You could see it because the foilage was not on yet. I rolled down the window and yelled, but it just laid there. I started blowing my horn and it finally got up and walked off. We aren’t the only ones that have seen these cat. They have been spotted several times by different people in our area.

    • If the adult cat AND the young were solid black, you witnessed a fairly rare Jaguar in the Melanistic phase. Don’t bother to tell your wildlife organization, they will cover it up probably by questioning your sobriety!

  14. In August 2018 I was driving east on 70 around Buckeye Lake and I saw what I thought was a pit bull hunting around the ditch line, then I saw the really long tail. Has anyone else seen one in this area?

    • We live in Eastern Licking County and have been researching such an animal we captured on our trail camera in June 2019. Animal looks bulky like a pit bull, has a pit bull face but has a long tail and walks like a cat. It looks like a crossbreed. Very much like a gargoyle image.

  15. Summer of 2017 my wife and I where travailing in Eastern Ohio and stayed at the Hampton in near Akron. I was looking across a parking lot behind the hotel and saw what I thought was a large dog sitting in the lot. Once is stood and started walking I could see that it was large cat. I was about 50 yards away and could clearly see the short muzzle and tail. I would say it was about the size of a large dog.

  16. this morning i was driving to work when i saw a huge black cat, it was huge. it was walking alongside the railroad tracks where wooster pike is about half mile until you get to walmart. i stopped traffic to look at it until the car behind me wouldn’t stop honking. i googled to see if anyone else saw it and happened upon this thread.

    • If it was truly all black and huge as you say it was a rare Melanistic phase Jaguar. Your state denies their existence and have shut up a lot of conversations that would have happened by doing that. I know FOR SURE what you saw and have seen one myself and spoken to no less than 60 others in many states that have as well.

  17. I recently purchased a dirt bike and needed somewhere to ride it I was informed I could ride it behind Great Southern Shopping Center all South High Street in Columbus and I proceeded to do so as me and a buddy we’re riding through the trails 40 ft in front of us I promise you we seen a mountain lion this was May 21 2019, I was in front of him I stopped immediately the lion stopped briefly on the path that we were riding look at us and then proceeded up in the woods, dare is a lot of homeless people that lives down in there and I wonder have they experienced the same thing

  18. About an hour ago, 6pm 8/4/19 My husband and I were traveling southward on route 1281 in Ashland County between 346 and Route 500. Bright sunlight. A very very large animal crossed the road diagonally, about 60 feet in front of our vehicle. We both saw it. It was Tan colored all over, no spots, it was all the way down low to the ground but moved quick and crossed the road and disappeared into the corn field in approximately two to three seconds.
    It was not a dog or a coyote. I’ve seen dogs try to belly crawl, it’s slow going.
    This animal had thick large forearms which came straight out in front of it pulling it forward. It did not trot like a dog or coyote. It had a round head.
    I believe this was a very large cat. It looked and moved like a lion.

  19. My mom and Dad live in Vinton county Ohio on the Vinton and Gallia county line and my dad has got pictures of a mountain lion that was caught on his trail cam. They have also seen them while driving on the road where they live.

  20. My uncle caught on our field camera in Adams county rte 52 a bobcat we have it on the camera they are there was within a very short distance from our home and my dogs. This is legitimate and confirmed sighting with photo as proof

  21. I recently saw a large black or grey type animal that looked like a bobcat or larger in my back yard area in Vandalia ohio. I am not sure who to contavct to report this to. Any suggestions. ?

  22. Just today at around 8:15 in Perry county on 93 I seen what appeared to be a black panther ” no bobcat” real long tail and big.it ran in front of me while I was riding my Harley it was really cold so I was only going about 40 in a 55 I had a great veiw of the animal I couldn’t believe what I saw that’s why I Google this sight

    • I live in licking county ohio between Utica and Johnstown. On Monday evening October 28th around 6;30 I saw what I think was a black panther. This cat was large, I’m guessing it was close to 3 feet tall and 4 feet long. It was crouching as it walked. I’m guessing this cat had to weigh at least 140lbs. I watched it walk across our recently harvested bean field and into the woods behinds my house. I Was probably about 75 yards away, there was no mistaking this was a large pitch black cat with a long tail. I did report this sighting to. ODNR. Going to set out some trail cams and hopefully get some concrete proof of this cats existence.

  23. IMG_0069.jpeg

  24. Picture taken in Belmont county flushing ohio

  25. Today I want to take my dog out to the bathroom. We live in an apartment complex with a lot of woods on the perimeter. About 300 ft away from us on the edge of the woods I saw a very large black cat a long black tail. It had barge yellow greenish eyes. It was staring at us. We stayed still for a little bit and watched it. It finally laid down and was looking at us. I took my dog back into the house and went to get my camera phone. When I came back out I saw the back end of it walking into the woods. It definitely was not a house cat. It was large. Maybe 20 to 24 inches high, maybe two feet long, with a long tail. It’s coat was very black I might be a little shiny. I’ve never heard of such a cat in Ohio. I thought maybe the sun was playing a trick on me or something! But no, I definitely did see a large black cat. I saw it around 2 p.m. on November 16th.

  26. I have a photo taken in delaware county of a large black cat. Unsure if its a bobcat. Msg back and ill send the photo

    • Eugene, back in the mid to late 60″s, on my late grandmothers farm, my older cousins killed a couple of black panthers. Pictures were taken but I haven’t been able to reach anyone who has them as all but 1 or 2 relatives are alive now. I am 66 years old now so I was young but I remember seeing the panthers. The boys were holding them up by their tails. Horn property.

      Then when I was a teenager in high school we heard one screaming at night. My biology teacher came out ad flashed a powerful light at the top of a tree, eyes shone several feet apart in one of them, so it was a big cat. This was Mcclaskey property. Our beagle dog would hide whenever they were around.
      And it did come down to in back of our house one time I remember. I have 2 sisters and we ran when we heard it.

      My gramas property joined our property over the hills and the holler was called wildcat holler!
      Please reply to this email if you know of anything regarding this.

  27. I just moved to Fowler, Ohio Trumbull county the first week of June, 2019. It was Tuesday at 4 pm and raining, remember how much rain we were getting at that time. It was grey out and a birch tree had fallen over in one of the storms. I saw a big cat from my kitchen window, I thought… calico, without the orange…thick bodied, too big to be a regular cat, bobbed tail. It walked along the tree line and under a certain branch of the fallen tree, made the tree branch spring from walking under it. Awhile later, I took my dog out, she’s shepherd terrier mix, a medium size about 40 lbs, she went right along the same trail, smelling the cat and made the same branch spring up as she walked under it.

  28. There’s a wooded trail, I think Jefferson county, it has scriptures carved into rocks and a weird story of a guy that went crazy for a lady that did all the scripture carving. My husband and I went there summer of 2018. It was a weekday, no one else around, and very quiet. There were 3 deer following me, just watching me being curious about 20-30 yards away, for probably 5 minutes or so. When all of a sudden they took off running and I heard a screechy type scream in the same direction, going after them but I never saw what it was. We got our pepper sprays out and walked back to our truck backwards. I never expected anything like that, it was scary and I wished I had a stronger spray than pepper spray, more like bear spray. But actually glad we didn’t need to use it also.

  29. (2006 ) My husband and I were driving east on Rt 52 between Mascow and Higginsport Ohio coming back from the VA hospital . It was late , (well after dark ) out of no where a big black cat come running out in front of the car (from right to left ) it was moving so fast and had yellow glowing eyes !my husband and I couldn’t believe what we just saw ! It was like WTH was that ! There are no big black cat in Ohio by the River !! We never said a lot about it to anyone , maybe not wanting to believe what we saw or not wanting people think we were crazy ! After reading this article and comments , glad to know others have had sightings of big cats in Ohio ! Also had same thing happen to me about 3 years earlier in Ky but it was a big brown cat , I had a little Nissan Sentra , it’s length was the same as the front of my car , both cats look like they were pouncing

    in a very swift pace ! Never had a deer, coyote or dog run out in front of me that fast !! it like now you see it and.Now you don’t ! Questioning yourself on what you just experienced !

  30. (2003 or 2004) driving back from Washington DC was just about to jump off of 70 onto 36 to go through coshocton and there was this HUGE cat (and i know darn well that it was a mountain lion) that jumped right across the highway not much farther in front of me to the point that i KNOW what i saw and i KNOW what it was, so yeah i totally believe that wild animals live in ohio also when i lived up in a house way up in the off back of brinkhaven ohio and i would go up into the woods to hike there was a LOT of trees towards the top that were torn up like something was sharpening their claws, and i KNOW deer cant climb 50 feet in the air to rut so i know that there are black bears and mountain lions in ohio

    • I say these people have a wild imagination. Mountain lions devil monkeys big foot. They don’t exist in ohio or indiana or illinois. Better lay off the sauce. The major university’s in each of these states will pay money if you can provide absolute proof for years they have never had to pay no conservation in these states have been able to verify one either on the next path or turn in the road might be a heard of dinosaurs or a 30ft catfish in the creek in the next county over yonder

  31. I grew up in Jefferson Twp., west of Dayton in the 70’s. One day, across a plowed field, on the edge of a wooded area, I saw what looked like a big black cougar with along tail. There were other sightings around that same time with complaints from some farmers that soms of their livestock had been attacked. I believe the game wardens investigated the sightings. There was also a picture someone took that many of us thought was probably a fake. My eyes don’t lie. I definitely saw something not a lynx, fox or bear.

  32. I live in Defiance Ohio out near Sherwood .I went to check my male and crouched down was a Beautiful gray bobcat I walked towards it thought it was dead he jumped up and ran through the field what a treat it was to it..my girlfriend also seen it who was just on the other side of the road about 10 years ago my squirrel dog treed a big male bobcat so this is the second one in 10 years for me …..

  33. Bob Barravechia

    Last night, about 3:15, I saw a bobcat on the prowl in Kirtland, ohio. I spotted it on the right side of the road while driving up the hill towards Rt 306 and 90. It was moving slowly and crouched down like it was about to catch its prey

  34. We had a neighbor kill a Cougar here on our road in Madison Township, Butler County Ohio due to his kids were in the backyard when the cougar waltzed into his yard. We had two different Cougar sightings this summer already.

  35. Hazes F Coleman Jr

    I have recently seen 2 mt lions,in ohio 1 in columbus off of 71,the other in circleville behind a hotel…7/14/20

  36. Back in the late 80’s I was deer hunting in Ravenna. I had just left my tree stand when I saw a Black Panther drinking from a culvert. I was about 35 yards away and could not believe my eyes. It turned and started running into the woods. Very low, sleek run. As it entered the woods, it roared like a big cat would. It sounded like something from Wild Kingdom. I called Ohio Dept of Wildlife and put in a report and the guy that took the report said other black panthers were sighted in Kirtland.

  37. My mother and I were driving home one day when I was still a young teenage girl. We lived in the country, actually not too far from where Terry Thompson had released all of his animals years later. It was starting to get dark out so it must have just been before dusk when I looked out of my window and saw what appeared to be a cougar. My mother saw it as well, and we couldn’t believe it. The cougar was walking on a hillside just before the woods. It was very large and lean. I had just not long before the sighting read Where the Red Fern Grows and watched the movie in school, so I felt very confident in what I was seeing. This was of course before smart phones so there was no way for me to capture the moment. My mother did call ODNR about it when we got home. I have always wonder if it was a wild mountain lion or if Thompson had accidentally let it escape out of its enclosure.

  38. I live in Jacobsburg Ohio in Belmont County,I have seen 2 Big Cats roaming across and up the road from my house in25yrs off living here this is the 1st time ever seeing them.I seen 1on wegee road 3yrs back but it was allot bigger different than.what I guess is BobCats out here

  39. Back in the 1980’s I was hunting squirrels in Eastfork State Park in Clermont Co. and a large black cat with a long tail as big around as a pop bottle ran up a hillside about 50 yards from me turned and snarled at me then cascaded up the hill. I went into Williamsburg to report it and was told they don’t exist around here, a few weeks later I went fishing another area, near where I hunted, I came across the cat again drinking from the river, again I reported this sighting got same response, they don’t exist here

  40. I live next to Shaker Heights Country club in Cleveland area, I saw a large long-tailed cat (I couldn’t tell the color, it was nighttime). I had just adopted a bombay kitten and we were taking a nighttime walk on leash, thank God or I might have lost him, because he tried to take off in sheer terror, he cried and he cowered, i scooped him up and ran back to my condo, I was startled. It troubled me so much so I reached out to FB friends in area to ask what we saw. Everyone said I was nuts…..I know what we saw….a very large cat, long-tailed, moving deliberately like a big cat toward our condo. I’m from west coast so still don’t know what we saw.

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