The idea of large wildlife roaming the hills, valleys, and mountains of Kentucky is an exciting one. Even if the creature is a dangerous one, it's exciting to think certain animals might actually be here among us...up to a point.

I bring this up because I recently joined a Facebook group called Kentucky Mysteries, and one of the first posts I saw was about the possibility of black panthers here in the Commonwealth. Since we have Panther Creek here in Daviess County--and my mother always told me it earned its name--it's not the most uncommon topic of conversation you could imagine.

So You Think You Saw a Panther in Kentucky

In her post, Kira Deatherage mentioned she'd posted about panthers a year ago and received multiple comments from folks who claimed they saw one. But in the comments section, Daniel Armstrong pretty much shot down those possibilities. And so did John Hast of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources who told the Hancock Clarion in 2020 that black panthers cannot survive here because of the climate.

But that hasn't stopped a number of people from swearing up and down they saw a black panther. And THAT doesn't stop KDFWR from shutting those theories down, just like Fish & Wildlife representative Steven Dobey did several years ago after reports surfaced of a black panther roaming through Lexington.

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As an example of what Dobey is talking about, take a look at this image from Annette Hanes in Morrow OH. She claims this was a black panther, but I think it looks like a large black house cat.

@annettehanes70 caught a panther in my back woods on trail cam. everyone has been saying that there was one in the area. #panther ♬ original sound - Annette Hanes

This Bowling Green sighting from 2016 reminds me of any number of Bigfoot images. You can't really tell much because of distance and resolution, so viewers are left with the best guesses of those who report them.

Trail cams are great, but you HAVE to understand that a black panther is a South American species; we just don't have them here.

So if you spot a black panther, it is either NOT a black panther, or you've had the night of your life and somehow woke up in Brazil. And then you have a whole OTHER problem on your hands.

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Gallery Credit: Dom DiFurio & Jacob Osborn

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