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Cryptid felids


The Beast of Exmoor, a big cat seen in Britain

The animals listed here are wild cats, or animals which resemble members of the cat family, which are remain undescribed in Western science.



  • ABC's (Various places across the world, notably the UK and Australia): Standing for Alien Big Cats, ABC's are usually black or beige coloured large felines which are seen in places where no large feliens dwell. The English Beast of Exmoor is pictured above. It should be noted that "Alien" refers to the term "illegal alien", in this context meaning a creature which has showed up where it shouldn't be. Some are as mundane as lynxes or cougars, others appear to be black elopards, whereas other's don't fit the description of any known big cat. There is likely a mixed bag here; many may be imported individuals, others could be members of a small population of introduced cats, some may be remnant populations of ancient cat species, and some may be newly evolved species. There is also a theory that some ABC's could be new species descended from feral cats (Felis domesticus), wild cats (F. sylvestris), and jungle cats (F. chaus).



  • Eastern cougar (eastern NA): presumed extinct, but still seen in modern times



  • Black panthers(Central U.S. NA): A sort of panther-like feline, said to be black in colour and distinct from cougars, lynxes, and the like. It seems very likely that this is a rather large, northen population of jaguarundis.



  • Maned lions (eastern NA): sighted sporadically throughout eastern states. Possibly remnants of Panthera atrox, or mutant cougars.



  • Tenessee "red cheeta" (tenessee NA): cheeta-like cats seen on occasion in Tenessee. one was shot a while back, but whereabouts of it's skin are unknown. probably a remnant population of the North American cheeta, Mircaonyx, which existed in the Pleistocene.



  • Santer (North Carolina NA): a large feline that terrorised several North Carolina counties up until the mid-20th century. still seen on-and-off to this day. probably Panthera atrox or some new species.



  • Long-tailed wildcat (pennsylvania NA): very similar to the european wildcat, Felis sylvestris. possibly roof that it was native to North America before the settlers came.



  • Ozark Black Howler (Ozarks Mountains NA): The Ozarks are a region of the U.S. with lots of strange aspects, including a unique and diverse folklore. The Black Howler is a wildcat from this folklore, but with modern sightings it may very well exist. It is said to be all black with really bushy fur, about the size of a bobcat, and to have long ear tufts, which are somtimes mistaken for horns. It is also said to have jowl tuts, like a lynx, that are mistaken for a beard. A recent internet hoax regarding the creature popularized much of this information, but it seems that the Howler is actually the same as the "panthers" seen in the same region.



  • Onza (Mexico NA): Not really a cryptid any more, becuase recently it was proven to just be a sub-species of cougar. Much more lightly built and well musculed than a normal cougar, has larger ears, longer legs and a different shaped skull. Gentically they are the same as cougars.



  • Mexican ruffed cat (Mexico NA): medium sized cat with a ruff of hair around the neck. Maybe a new species of Felis, or perhaps dwarf Panthera atrox.



  • Giant black panther (Peru SA): Like an ordinary panther but much larger. Either a gigantic mutant of the black jaguar, or an entirely seperate species.



  • Speckled "tiger" (Peru SA): Reported oftenly from rainforests of Peru. A large feline with a peppering of speckles. Most probably an undescribed species of Panthera.



  • Striped "tiger" (Peru SA): Large, striped Panthera species. Most likely an unknown species of panthera.



  • Leopard-spotted jaguar (Peru SA): Reported sporadically from peruvian rainforest, jaguars with the spot-pattern of a leopard. Deffintely an unrecognised coat pattern in jaguars.



  • Jungle "lion" (Peru SA): Large lion-like species, most probably an undescribed species of Panthera.



  • Jungle Wildcat, Warracabba "tiger" (Peru, Guyana SA): two small cat species which hunt in packs. The two animals are very similar, except the first lives in Peru andthe later is reported from Guyana. Possibly the same species, or perhaps two closely related ones.



  • Social jungle cat (Ecuador SA): Known as tsere-yawa to the Ecuadorian natives, this is a small feline which hunts in packs of 8 to 10. It is brown in colour (tsere means "brown capuchin monkey"), and is smei-aquatic in habits. This is most probably an unknown species of felis, doubtfullly related to the Warracabba tiger or jungle wildcat.



  • Shiashia-yawa (Ecuador SA): A jaguar-like feline, well known to native hunters. It has a coat of white hair with closely-placed, solid black spots. The shiashia-yawa is also much smaller than a jaguar. This cannot, as has been suggested, be an albino form of jaguar; if so, it would be extremely rare, have very pale rossettes, and it wouldn't have solid spots. this feline is smaller than jaguars, mention of pink eyes or pink skin is never made, and it had plentiful, close-set solid black spots, a feature that albino jaguars would not have. Most definitely a new species of panthera.



  • Tapir "tiger" (Ecuador SA): Called pama-yawa by the natives, this is an emmense species which is adi to be the size of a tapir, and to be the only animal which habitually preys on them. It is supposedly about 2 meters (7 feet) long, with a broad back. It is entirely grey in colour. From the sounds of it, it could be an unknonw Panthera species, or perhaps a species of Dinofelis.



  • Rainbow "tiger" (Ecuador SA): Known as the tshenkutshen to Ecuadorian natives, this is a rather strange feline. it is said to be a large species with a white coat, spotted with black, but having stripes of black, white, red and yellow across it's chest. it lives in the trees, jumping from branch to branch and trunk to trunk like a monkey, and has well built, strong front limbs armed with front-paws that are designed for gripping branches. It is considered to be the most dangerous animal in the forest. I doubt this belongs to the genus Panthera, but rather an unknown genus that, perhaps, evolved from panthera.



  • Water "tiger" (Ecuador SA): Known as entzaeia-yawa to the natives, this is a most intersting creature. Unlike the iemisch, an aquatic "water tiger" from Argentina which is almost definitely a giant predatory otter, the Ecuadorian creature is much more likely to be a true, semi-aqautic felid. It is said to show a wide variety of colours, always solidly hued, ranging from white through brown and reddish to black. It's hair is long and the tail bushy. They are regarded as a most dangerous, and unpleasently common, nocturnal predator which comes on land at night to drag it's victims in to the water. It is a man-eater to the point that natives refuse to bathe in the rivers alone. This could be a modern, much evolved, form of Dinofelis, or maybe it really is an otter like the iemisch, as it is said to have extremely otter-like feet.



  • Sabretooth/marsupial sabretooth (Colombia and Ecuador SA): A large creature closely resembling the sabretooth cats. It's canine length suggests that it isn't a real sabretooth, but a remnant population of the marsupail sabretooth which inhabited SA in the past. Or, as I prefer to think, it could be an unknown form of felid that has paralleled sabretooths in form, like a pantherid or something.



  • Giant fossa (Madagascar AFRICA): Fossas are Viverrids, not felids, but the fossa is extremely cat-like. Giant fossas are spoken of in Malagasy folklore; possibly a seperate species, although probably just giant individuals.



  • Anomalous lions (All over Africa): Unrecognised colours, like speckles on a normal coloured coat, or reddish or greenish coloured coats.



  • Marozi (Cameroons, Central African Repub., Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Eithiopaia AFRICA): A small lion possesing a grey coat covered with a unique pattern of spots. Lives in mountain forests and is very rare, possibly exitnct. Can't be a leopard-lion hybrid becuase there is a stable population and the marozi has it's own spot pattern. Either a new species of lion or the evolutionary link between lions and leopards.



  • Ikimizi and similar cats (Central African countries): Leopard- or lion-like felines, most probabyl undescribed species of Panthera.



  • Mngwa (Tanzania AFRICA): Giant feline from East Africa; the size of a donky, grey with black stripes down it's flanks and blotches on the head and back, said to have tusks like those of a pig. black individuals have been reported. Possibly a modern Dinofelis species. Dinofelis was an emmense member of the sabretooth group, known as a "false sabretooth" because of it's short blade-like canines (misidentified as tusks?). Lived in thick jungle areas. A very likely candidate for the mngwa.



  • Hadjel (Central African Countries): Large felines with sabreteeth, living in mountainous areas, especially in Chad and the CAR. Descibed as having a reddish coat with white stripes, and a mane like that of a lion. Could be some form of sabretooth, or a pantherid which evolved to replace sabretoths.



  • Morou N'gou (Repub. of the Congo AFRICA): Also called the "water panther", this creature has been proposed to be an aquatic sabretooth cat. It is said to be panther like, but with a long thick tail, short legs, and long canines that are almost like walrus tusks. Natives have compared it to pictures of walruses. A cave painting of one such creature preparing to attack a hippopotamus is known to exist. In my opinion, this is not a felid, but rather a large sabretoothed otter species (or genus).



  • Malagasy lions (Madagascar AFRICA): Lion-like felids sighted sporadically on Madagascar. Possibly a remnant population of true lions, left on Madagascar early on in history, or a seperate species native to Madagascar.



  • Wildcat (Ireland, Ille du Levant EUROPE): European wildcats being seen in places whee they are supposed to be extinct. Could just be feral tabbies, possibly real wildcats though.



  • Kellas cats (Scottish highlands, parts of England EUROPE): A bizzare new animal that has been found living in Scotland, the Kellas cats aren't really cryptids, they are a fact. But they could very well be responsible for sightings of black panthers in England. They are dog-sized, cheetah-like cats with large canine teeth and a narrow head shaped like the head of a rabbit. They are likely to be a new speies that arose from F. domesticus/F. sylvestris/F. chaus hybrids. Thy could be evolving to fill the niche of pantherine cats, as many of the big black panthers seen in the UK resemble Kellas cats but on a larger scale.



  • English jungle cats (Southern England EUROPE): The jungle cat (Felis chaus) is one of the several ancestors of the domestic cat (Felis domesticus). It looks very diferent, having a spotted coat and ear tufts, along with a much greater size, but it interbreeds readily with F. domesticus and produces fertile hybirds. These hybrids are bigger than F.domesticus and resemble small leopards or long-tailed lynxes. They are responsible for many sightings of "big cats" in England, and giant forms may be responsible for "leopards" sightings. Furthurmore, these hybrids may have contributed to the gene pool that gave rise to the Kellas cats.



  • Marsupial "lion" (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria AUSTRALIA): Cat-like marsupial animal, a large dangerous predator with unusual front teeth. Can strip the flesh from it's prey in little time. Probably a modern species of Thylacoleo, the extinct marsupial "big cat". The ABC's of Australia may be these very creatures.



  • Queensland tiger (Queensland AUSTRALIA): Very similar to the marsupial lion, except larger and has stripes. Resembles a thylacine except it has a feline-like face. Either a regional variant of the marsupial lion or a seperate species.



  • New Zealand "lions" (New Zealand): Big cats resembling mountain lions have been seen sporadically in the mountains of South Island, New Zealand. Since New Zealand isn't supposed to have any large mammals, their existence isn't too likely. However, these could represent an introduced, or escaped, population of cougars. Or maybe even Thylacoleo.



  • Blue tiger (Fujian province in China ASIA): An unrecorded colour variety of the Chinese tiger which has been reported sporadically from the mountains of Fujian province. Is a powdery maltese blue with white patches on the face and black stripes. Definitely a rare colour variety of the tiger, similar to the maltese housecat.



  • Melanistic tigers (India, Bangladesh and Burma ASIA): Pure black tigers are not known, unlike leopards and jaguars which commonly have melanistic individuals. But there have been black tigers reported sporadically from areas of India and nearby countries, including one found dead by the side of a road.



  • Russian mystery panther (Orel province in Russia ASIA): An unidentified large feline was responsible for killing or mauling several people in Orel province in Russia. It was described simply as a large panther, with no mention made of colour or other attributes. Could be any kind of large felid, known or unknown.



  • Hong Kong mystery cat (Hong Kong ASIA): An unidentified feline killed in Hong Kong in 1989. Similar animals have been reported sporadically. I have no more information, help would be appreciated.