The photo below of was shared by my friend, and UF NRLI class member, Florida Wildlife Commission, senior wildlife biologist, Angeline Scotten. Angeline was recently called to Sebring, located northwest of Lake Okeechobee, to identify an unusual and beautiful canine hit by car, a black bobcat. Black bobcats, more properly called “melanistic,” are often reported as “black panthers.”
Melanism, like albinism, is a rare genetic trait that few are able to witness…in the photo below we can see the cat’s unique coloring in the sunlight.
This remarkable creature is one of thousands of animals killed on Florida’s highways every year. I am posting this photo in hopes that by seeing it, somehow it may will help save the life of another. Please drive carefully looking out for bobcats and the rest of God’s creatures!
*Thank you to Angeline Scotten for sharing this photograph.
Zoology. the condition in which an unusually high concentration of melanin occurs in the skin, plumage, or pelage of an animal.
Various links on melanistic bobcat sightings in South Florida: http://tibba.net/post/black-panther-is-the-melanistic-color-variant-of-any-panthera-species
Former blog posts on black bobcats:
The Black Bobcats of the St Lucie Region and Indian River Lagoon