Days Gone By - stories from the past

Is this the last Mountain Lion in Alabama?

Many people commented and responded to the story  The Last Panther in Alabama – or was he? that was recently posted on AP with their own experiences. We decided to request pictures of any Panthers that people have seen in Alabama and post them on the website.

This photo was taken behind the Dollar Tree in Clanton, Alabama by Lisa Lockhart Hargreaves last week.  She is an employee there and has spotted it before near the dumpster.  One crossed my path a few years ago on Airport Road at dusk.  I know what I saw. (Gina Boulware Willis)

Blake Smith responded and sent the following newspaper picture from St. Clair County. As far as I have been able to determine this is the last positively identified Mt. Lion killed in Alabama. A.D.Hare is my great uncle. (Blake Smith)



Once Alabama was admitted as a state of the United States of America on December 4, 1819, a great wave of immigrants from other states and countries came by flat-boats, pack-horses, covered wagons and ships to become the first citizens of the state. ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Statehood presents the times and conditions Alabama first citizens faced in lost & forgotten stories which include:

  • Who Controlled And Organized The New State of Alabama?
  • Tuscaloosa Had Three Other Names
  • Chandelier Falls & Capitol Burns
  • Alabama Throws Parties For General LaFayette
  • Francis Scott Key Was Sent to Alabama To Solve Problems
  • General Jackson’s Visit to Huntsville For A Horse Race Created Discord At Constitutional Convention


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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. John Ezekiel

    Nope. We have them here now. According to my insured farmers.

  2. Wendelyn Winnifred

    Recently saw one dead on the side of I-20 just after the brompton/Moody exit west bound

    1. Blake Smith

      Didn’t take a pic? I would have loved to have seen it.

  3. Richard Arnold

    Nope. Many different people (myself included) have seen more than 1 standing on the rock bluff at the woodville mountain cut on hwy 72 in Jackson county.

  4. Sarah Dewberry Robinson

    I grew up in south Alabama, Escambia County, and we heard them or panthers scream several times. It’s quite a scary sound when you’re 8 years old and dusk is falling.

  5. Buddy Hayes

    Not the last. Although the State DCNR says they are not here there is too much evidence to the contrary.

  6. Richard Haynes

    All the game cameras in use in AL and nobody has a picture?

    1. Blake Smith

      Not to mention that everyone with a phone has a camera in their hand.

  7. Jeremy Miniard

    Nary a day goes by when I don’t have to fight my way through a dozen or more panthers just to get to my truck in the mornings.

    1. Blake Smith

      Lol are you kidding?

    2. Sharon Snarkey Mayer


    3. Ben Wilson

      Not always….and the picture was taken quartering away, not broadside

    4. Blake Smith

      Oh, you must be talking about the black cat.

    5. Justin Joe

      Looks like a house cat in that picture.

    6. Rebecca P. Smith

      I think that is just a black kitty cat… A big one, yes, but just a cat.

  8. Judy Etheredge

    Old picture. See how faded it is. Not the last one. Everywhere there is mountains you will have mountain lions or cougars

    1. Blake Smith

      Of course it’s faded, it’s from 1948.

    2. Justin Joe

      That looks like the tanish colored animals I saw there and the same size if not smaller, as the black ones I saw there

  9. Rusty Duke Blaydes

    there was a dead Mt lion on I-20 rite before the tallapossa exit 8 years ago that was only 10 miles from the state line

  10. Alabama Pioneers

    Read the updated story to see a live picture of one taken last week in Alabama.

    1. Justin Joe

      Honestly looks like a house cat. The head is out of proportion to be a lion plus the small tree. That kind of grass does not grow 15 feet tall. There are black ones and tan ones there but this just does not look like the animals I have seen there.

    2. Sharon Snarkey Mayer

      I had a huge black cat, almost 20 lbs. He looked like one from a distance. That’s how I learned about the difference in the tails

    3. Brett Davis

      That cat to me looks to talk to be a house cat ..js

    4. Gina Boulware Willis

      I know it’s something big. She wouldn’t get any closer with her camera phone.

    5. Jason Jackson

      That is a black house cat named panther. Nothing exciting and nothing new.

  11. Carol King Tipton

    Panthers still exist on Lookout Mt. near and around Little River Canyon.

  12. Blake Smith

    Interesting. Especially since there has never been a documented black Mt Lion…ever…anywhere.

    1. Justin Joe

      EXCEPT for the ones seen by people.

    2. Justin Joe

      Just like good Ford trucks and pretty women that CAN COOK……they may be rare but they do exist!

  13. Blake Smith

    If that is a black Mt. Lion it is the only one that has ever been seen in North America.

    1. Gina Boulware Willis

      Picture was made by my friend. I don’t understand all the naysayers. Nothing to gain at all personally by sharing. Just hoping people will be aware. Obviously, these creatures are very shy. It’s amazing to see it in broad daylight. I am glad they are not gone. It is a real picture of a very large cat, Blake Smith.

    2. Blake Smith

      All I’m saying is that it is the only one that has ever been seen, not just in Alabama but anywhere in the United States.

    3. Blake Smith

      I need to go set a trap. That thing is worth a fortune.

    4. Gina Boulware Willis

      Nah…let it be. It gives me hope to see such a thing. We live in a great, beautiful state, that is just a small corner of the beautiful world God created. Lots of things are possible. This thing IS. 🙂

    5. Blake Smith

      Me becoming rich by catching the only known black Mt. Lion is more important.

    6. Sharon Snarkey Mayer

      I saw 1 in Shelby co. in the late 50’s and 1 in Chilton co. in the mid 70’s. They are HUGE.

    7. Gina Boulware Willis

      Just don’t kill it. Don’t you wonder…are there a few more? From the little I know about big cats, I gather they have a wide territory. Do they always have a den, or can they be travellers, like bears?

    8. Gina Boulware Willis

      By the way, I am a shy person by nature. Putting something like this out there and knowing I might be criticized took some bravery on my part. I just hate controversy and the way people talk to one another. Also, I hate lies.

    9. Justin Joe

      Blake Smith Just because YOU have not seen one, it does not mean others have not. Stop painting with such a broad brush!

    10. Blake Smith

      Oh I wouldn’t kill it, it’s worth much more alive.

    11. Justin Joe

      Yeah….put it in a cage to be MISERABLE AS HELL the rest of it’s life so YOU can make money off!

    12. Blake Smith

      Well yes, but also for science, I would let them examine, and take dna from the only black Mt. Lion known to exist. Of course I would have to charge them for the dna and blood.

    13. Justin Joe

      SMH No wonder all the BLACK lions stay away from the public!

    14. Blake Smith

      I don’t think that they know that they are black.

    15. Justin Joe

      I’m certainly not bad mouthing the lady that posted this, just giving mho. It may be just a bad angle etc. I have seen the large cats in your state, no doubt in my mind they are there. It does pmo that anyone would think of capturing a beautiful wild animal like that and trying to profit off it! Unless they try to harm you or yours, LEAVE THEM ALONE!

    16. Blake Smith

      I do it for science. It is the only black Mt Lion known to exist in the whole world. It’s important that scientists study it.

    17. Justin Joe

      You should donate your brain to science….NOW THAT WOULD BE A GIFT TO SCIENCE!

    18. Blake Smith

      You are absolutely right! That’s why I have alreday donated my body to science. I’m a giving person. For the good of humanity.

  14. Blake Smith

    I’d set a trap, that thing would be worth a fortune.

    1. Justin Joe

      You have shown WHY you are posting.

    2. Brett Davis

      You keep talking like that on fbook and the game warden will visit you. A buddy was joking around about 6-8 months ago about his son killed a black bear lol he even called the chief of police and told him the joke he did on fbook …they laughed but chief told him ..your gonna get a visit ..expect it ..he did . And NO THEY did not kill a bear …it was a joke but it got serious real fast . Idc what you do your life or time so trap on trapper.

    3. Gina Boulware Willis

      My uncle was the game warden for Coosa County for many years…and yes…that’s right, they will come after you.

    4. Blake Smith

      I have an up to date hunting license.

    5. Justin Joe

      Blake Smith ZOOOOOOOOMMMMMMmmmmmm! Right over your head!

    6. Blake Smith

      Bless your heart, Justin.

  15. Candi Crain

    You can still find them in Deer Park! I’ve seen them myself laying around by the hunting camp, about 8 of them! A few years back in Georgetown, a friend’s father came out to find one on the roof of his car.

  16. Peggy Hale

    I know for a fact they are in south Alabama I lived down a one lane dirt road that borders Fl. It is about 3 miles long and there are black cougers and the brown ones in the woods there have seen and heard them before

  17. Blane Senn

    I believe mt lions and panthers r 2 different animals i live in pike cty and there r panthers around here

    1. Billy Cox

      Panthers and leopards are the same. Mountain lions, puma and cougar are the same.

  18. Jan Rich

    I dont it very much

  19. Tim Croley

    I’ve seen brown & black panthers/cougars/wild cats or whatever else you want to call them. Know others who’ve seen them as well, all in Butler County. I’ve heard one screaming at night in Ft Deposit. They are certainly present in Alabama.

  20. Doug Perry

    Mountains lions are here. I won’t tell you where….

    1. Wendell Bowman

      While i was Deer hunting i saw a blk one. in the WOODS GOT PIC ON GAME CAMERA.

  21. Gina Boulware Willis

    I hope everyone gets to see one in his/her lifetime. I am amazed at the world God created. Alabama is beautiful, and we are blessed to live here.

  22. Plug Mccants

    I Am a tugboat captain I saw one on the sandbar south of the Demopolis about 10 years ago

  23. Jeff Pollard

    No. There are plenty of them

  24. Sonya Hamm

    Anthony Campbell Jr….lmao

    1. Anthony Campbell Jr.

      DNR (game warrden) will argue theres no such thing as black panthers. Well they right. Cause they are really Black cougars and yes they exist i dont give a damn who says no. Im a Woods Man ive spent half m’y life in a tree I know.

  25. Andy Wilson

    I was fortunate enough to come face to face with one 1995. It was a hot summer August day, and I was riding my three wheeler on my Grandfathers land outside Evergreen, Al. It was black, about three feet tall, with light brown spots on it. I know they exist. No one can convince me they don’t.

  26. Rip Eason

    There is one in autaugaville haven’t seen cat with my eyes but his track is huge

  27. Wendell Bowman

    what is the difference between (BLACK CAT) PANTHER I WAS TOLD & the lighter colored tan colored one.COUGAR, Mountain LION?

  28. Wendell Bowman

    I know where i saw one captive in FLA.

  29. Wendell Bowman

    I have pics of same. Not for publication.

  30. Jean Moore Sanderson

    NOPE! We have them on our mountain!!

  31. Beasley Bonnie

    Timing is incredible because I saw a cougar yesterday around the Millbrook area. My little cannon was not equipped to take the picture. I did study the cat for several minutes as it lounged in the morning sun on the railroad tracks.

  32. Danette Davis Fox

    My mother-in-law swears that a cougar ran across the road in front of her car when she was leaving my house. This happened about six years ago. She was on Hwy. 31 and had just crossed the county line from Autauga County into Chilton County. She was just past Chilton Co. 63.

  33. Jo Brown Teel

    I saw a black panther/ lion in the ’70s. I understand a family of them lived in a junk yard near the airport in Clanton. My daughter also saw it. They are very real.

  34. Debora Windwalker

    Hell no!!!!! There won’t be one left if you post a pic or where it is!!!!! Leave them alone plz!

  35. In the early 70’s, my Mother and I were lost somewhere past Eclectic trying to find the turn off to my Grandparents lake house on Lake Martin. On a narrow paved road a very large tan cat leaped to the middle of the road, then quickly jumped again and disappeared into the trees on the other side. It was much bigger than a Bob cat with a tail that seemed longer than its body. We stopped the car and looked at each other in disbelief! There is no mistaking what we saw. I’ve told this story many times, and was told by a wildlife biologist that we indeed did see what people today call a”Florida Panther”.

    1. Cory Jordan

      Socopatoy is a good Place to start

  36. Annette Latham Clements

    Bibb County also. I have seen one there.

  37. Tom Land

    It looks like a house cat to me. I’m not saying they are not here but I don’t believe this photo is a panther.

  38. 11 BDE 3/43 ADA Ft. Bliss / First to Fire

    Go to Jackson county there is a whole family of them. Also on another topic there is Bald Eagles in Jackson county. Then in madison county I’ve seen one about a mile from my house.

  39. Allen Ward

    Black ones have never existed to my knowledge.

  40. Elene Crow

    I have seen two at different times in Clarke Co, Alabama many years ago. They migrate through here around March

  41. JoAnn Kyzer Doty

    When I was a teen we all know there were some in Brookwood.
    And about 15 years ago I was told about a mother and 4 babies, all black, in the country in Blount Co. Another person told me there are Mt Lions in the Smokerise area in those hills. Saying there are none us just wishful thinking.

    1. Kimberly Malone Morris

      JoAnn Kyzer Doty my mom and Granny had always said one was in brook wood back in them days too

    2. Regina Rodriguez

      JoAnn Kyzer Doty : when we moved to Greenpond in the 80’s I saw a large black cat from across a 40 acre field. I was told at the time that is was a “Painter”! I believed it then and still do .

    3. JoAnn Kyzer Doty

      Kimberly Malone Morris they talked about it screaming in the woods.

  42. Reed Brown

    They are in Autauga county too

    1. Hailey Sherrill Gilmore

      Reed Brown I saw one in the field in front of our home when I was a kid. We lived in Booth.

  43. Donna D. Key

    I’ve seen one in Fosters and I remember them being in Navoo probably 30+ years ago. They were killing calves.

  44. Allison Powell

    Saw tan one killed on 65N about 4 years ago. Unmistakeable.

  45. Thomas Bagby

    It wasn’t black, but a mountain lion crossed Highway 79 at Pinson in front of my car about 3 years ago.

  46. Phyllis Heartsill Strickland

    I have seen one eating on a carcus in the ditch about a mile from my house in Lowndes County, Al.

  47. Dale Robinson

    We have seen one on Oakwood Mountain in Huntsviile a few years ago.

  48. James Patrick

    I worked the telephone company and worked cell sites many a night. I saw one run across not far from Clayton in Barbour county. Ran right in front of me in the middle of nowhere. It was a black panther. I was used to seeing ever creature you could ever see driving to these cell sites in the middle of nowhere. It was one.

  49. Chuck Willis

    Show me a footprint and then we’ll continue.

  50. April Salter

    My husband and I saw one in our yard on January 01, 2017 . We lived on bluff overlooking the Alabama River In Claiborne,Alabama.

  51. Ronnie Pearson

    I don’t have any pictures but I’ve seen two one was in Elrod Alabama and the other one I saw was in Pickens county a few miles past Zion community

    1. Mercy Chapman

      Ronnie Pearson might see anything in Pickens County. Aint nothing there lol.

    2. Wayne Earnest

      Ronnie Pearson saw one in Buhl on Booth Town Road. Lived on the hill above the creek. Was checking mail and saw it crossing the road by the creek. It was huge, 1978

  52. Jessica Richardson

    ive seen one in Moody Alabama on the railroad tracks about 8 yrs back.

  53. Jeff Pollard

    Not by a long shot. There are plenty of them in Alabama.

  54. Jim Wallace

    It seems to be like some Wildlife is not decreasing but increasing.

  55. Doug Horton

    That’s a house cat…

  56. Leon Parker Andrews II

    It’s been a few years but we saw one crossing over Alabama Highway 5 between Kimbrough and Anne Manie.

    1. Carol Agee

      Leon Parker Andrews II I have seen one crossing close to Turkey Creek about 2 miles South of where you are talking about.

  57. Rena Ingram

    I’ve heard one scream in north Dallas Co. just a few months back.

  58. Jeremy Miller

    I’m 99.9% sure I saw one near Dogtown in Dekalb county a few years back.

  59. Darlene Brooks Wilson

    One crossed highway 69 in Cullman county right in front of me 4 or 5 years ago early one Saturday morning.

  60. Bud Walker

    No panthers to report here in Mobile county, but I’ve bagged a cougar or two.

  61. Larry Reece

    Very much still around talladaga national forest

  62. Michelle Leigh

    I saw one in Dale County close to the town of Clayhatchee years ago.

  63. Danny Key

    It’s all the same one. He’s fast!

  64. Jonathan Walden

    Fish and game will tell you….. There are no panthers in Alabama!?!?

  65. Donna D. Key

    I’ve seen one in Fosters and I remember them being in Navoo probably 30+ years ago. They were killing calves.

  66. Jeff Wallace

    I’ve heard reports, and know a couple of friends who say they’ve seen them in my area. I’ve only seen the brown ones, but I believe the black ones are out there too.

  67. Chris McLaughlin

    The black ones are Felis Jagouarundi. Not common, but not uncommon in Alabama. They are not acknowledged as present because of fallout after the northern spotted owl controversy in the northwest. The presence of an upper tier predator that is on an international threatened and endangered species list would have caused a few problems for clearcutting timber. Sightings are up dramatically since about 1990 due to habitat loss and migration for survival.

  68. Angelo Denison Roberson

    We have at minimum two in the Remlap/Pinson area. At one time it was at minimum four but that included a mother and two cubs maybe a year old. I have recently seen a blonde adult cougar and a black adult cougar. One strolling through my neighbors and my yards with a “gangster strut”. Kinda like the bears we did not have or were just traveling through. Ten years ago, about a mile from where Dollar General is now in Remlap a bear was hit and killed by a car, and low and behold it was tagged by Alabama Fish and Game/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. I called the game warden and he came and got it. I have seen bears in this area since 1979 and cougars before that.

  69. Mercy Chapman

    I think they said this was just a cat on the news…..i honestly cant remember if anyone actually made a confirmation or not…. But my folks are from mississippi just across the state line. Many years ago i was sitting on mammaws back porch and something big and black ran thru the woods parallel to the porch so i could see it longer than if it ran directly into the woods. The dog ran down by the woodline. The dog had short legs but was my only comparison…but it was def bigger than that dog. Def bigger than like a lab or something. Noone around had Great Danes or english mastiffs lol and it didnt run like a dog. So idk what it was but i was scared to go into the woods for a while. It ran super fast across. I always swore it was a black panther because of the legends. But i saw where someone recently shot and killed a black deer. U know how we have white ones, well there are black ones too. So im wondering if it could have been a black deer because the deer population is ridiculous over there. They need hunting season all year around. I swear you cant go more than 10 feet without seeing a deer down my mammaws road lol. Idk. It just wasnt anything that was normally around there thats for sure.

  70. Joshua N. Berry

    We’ve seen a female with cubs in Auburn, AL around Chewacla State Park.

  71. Celia Davis

    A black panther is either a leopard or a jaguar. Mountain lions do not come in black. The photo above looks like a house cat to me. There is no reference point to it’s judge size.

    1. Chad Payne

      Celia because it is a house cat.

  72. Corine Busby Givens

    Heard one scream many years ago in Pinckard AL.

  73. Tiffany Merritt Turner

    I’ve seen one that looks just like that in Pike Road, Al.

  74. Renee Schiafone

    There are black panthers here in Selma Alabama I have seen one and there are cougers here as well as black bears and bobtail wild cats and I’m happy we have these beautiful animals. Please don’t no one go hunting and killing them.

  75. Tala Strength

    So the ones in Jackson County are oversized house cats?

  76. David Jones

    I saw one in Plantersville.

  77. Harrison Slaughter

    We have seen them at our hunting club.

  78. Joan Bussey Anderson

    One at the dump on 69 highway

  79. James Mize

    A black long tail crossed hwy 82 on the north side of Eufaula in 1978. A friend saw one just like within a few days near Lakepoint, just a few miles from my sighting.

  80. Jim Payne

    I grew up around Real Island on Lake Martin in the 60’s and saw them several times.

  81. Brian Meadows

    I’ve seen a huge black panther in Ozark just last year

  82. Pamela Panter Burkett

    Seen one run across the road headed to work, Tuscaloosa Co,. around 1986

  83. Brian Meadows

    I saw a huge black panther in Ozark just last year. I was all alone in the woods with it with no weapons. Had to hide in a ditch and thankfully it moved along

  84. Rosemary Kendall

    I saw a black panther at Hidden Creek in Pelham about 5 years ago , it was early morning.
    I was in total shock & amazement by its size and Beauty !

  85. Ronald Key

    No pictures but I saw one in Cullman County in the Baldwin/Springhill area.

  86. Debra Dewrell Hudson

    Almost sure I saw a brown one last week outside of Opp…

  87. Natalie Johnson

    A panther ran across a dirt road in front of my car in the middle of the day. No mistaking what it was, with a tail as long as it had. We also had a bear on our land. A game warden came and tracked it and found tracks and hair in the fence. We have the plaster mold of the footprint. This all happened in Lowndes County.

  88. There is one in Calera. It was tan in color with no spots. I saw it cross in front of my car one night and I saw it standing off the side of the road in broad daylight.

  89. You people are insane! There has never been a melanistic mountain lion recorded in history so a black mountain lion doesnt exist. If you really saw a large black cat it would have to be an escape leapord or jaguar pet. As for the rest of you at least your claims are of an animal that exist, but I’m gonna need some real evidence to believe you saw a lion in Alabama.

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