The panther doesn’t exist… No, wait a minute, of course it does!

All black panthers are the melanistic color variant of any Panthera species. But then, black panthers found in Asia and Africa are leopards while black panthers from the Americas are black jaguars. Although some sightings of very dark cougars have been reported as North American black panthers, many experts rule it out as a stable branch of this family.

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In any case, as we can read on softschools.com, panthers are solitary animals who meet only during mating season. Adults may have 2-2.5 m (7-8 ft) in length and weigh between 45-110 Kg (100-250 lbs). They have large and strong paws with sharp claws and, on top of that, they are very skilled hunters, capable of taking down birds, reptiles and even large mammals. At 2-3 months of age, cubs begin to learn how to hunt from their mother. By the time they are only nine months old, panthers can catch medium-sized prey. This is not just because of their nature, they also learn quickly. They have outstanding eyesight and sense of hearing, adults can leap up to 20 feet and the panther is the strongest tree climber in the cat family.

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Despite the fact that panthers are native to three different continents, as facts.net points out, they are an extremely rare species; especially nowadays, and they explain that “Panthers are now considered to be endangered, since, although they are not a distinct species, both leopards and jaguars are considered to be threatened.” This is largely related to industrial deforestation, trophy hunting, among other radical changes in their environment. And the team at facts.net goes on to say that “Panthers are now so rare, and so stealthy, that they are rarely seen by humans at all. For this reason, they are known as the ghosts of the forest.”