What are your chances of seeing a panther in Virginia?

Cheryl E Preston

Panther outside of a Florida homePhoto byYoutube screenshot

Are there panthers in Virginia?

Wednesday on the WSLS Morning Sprint, a video of a panther outside of a home was shown but local residents need not fear because the animal was in Florida. Perhaps you saw the video and might be wondering if it is possible that one-day local news will report one of these mammals looking into a house in Virginia. In September of last year (2022) a black panther was filmed in the Commonwealth but there is no location listed in the video so its not clear if it was Southwest, Southside, Northern, Central or some other part of the state.

Bobcats are the only wild cat that is said to frequent Virginia and Mountain Lions also known as panthers have not been in this area since 1882 when they became extinct. A black panther was photographed in West Virginia in 2014 but "historically panthers ranged across the southeastern United States including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and parts of Tennessee and South Carolina."

Appalachain Mountain lions and cougars are thought to come no closer to this area than in West Virginia but do we know without a doubt that one of these wild beasts cannot wander into our state. Although it is highly unlikely that mountain lions will return experts say if they do the Blue Ridge mountains would be the ideal habitat for them. Some residents the Appalachia have spotted animals thought to be mountain lions-panthers and they disagree with experts who sy one or two must have wandered from the Western USA. The individuals who have seen the big cats for themselves don't believe they ever left so keep this in mind.

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I am a native Virginian who writes, about breaking news, nutrition, history, celebrities, and current events that are of interest to those living in the Commonwealth.

Roanoke, VA

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