Sunday 11th June 2023

A black puma in Guatemala

I have been reading the new issue of Animals and Men, issue number 72,(available on Amazon), specifically the article on sightings of black pumas in Illinois and Indiana and this prompted me to see if I could find any other reports of black pumas in the United States. So I searched on Chronicling America, the online newspaper archive and although I didn`t find any other reports of black pumas in the United States, I did find, in The Chapel Hill Weekly, a North Carolina newspaper of December 20th 1946, a story about the sighting of a black puma in Guatemala, a country where both jaguars and ordinarily coloured (i.e. tan brown, see image) pumas are found.

Puma | The Nature ConservancyThe story in the above mentioned newspaper article is too extensive to reproduce here but the relevant part is as follows: “Soon we crossed a ravine, climbed a long hill, and entered the first village. At one point a black puma crossed our road; at least that is what I thought it was; the driver called it a mountain cat. It was a sleek, black animal twice as big as a house-cat, graceful and swift…” This all happened near the town of Amatitlan, a town in south-central Guatemala. 

Richard Muirhead
Richard Muirhead has been a friend of the CFZ longer than anyone else. He first ,et Jon Downes in 1970 when they were both living in Hong Kong. They have been friends ever since.