I found this site after the recent WSFA news story peaked my interest. Myself along with my ex wife had an experience I'd say around 1997. We were driving from China Grove (Pike County) to Eufaula (Barbour County) still in Pike County. We were in our car and saw what appeared to be a black lab in the middle of the road sniffing of some roadkill. We came to within 25 yards and it didn't leave the road. At that point we looked at each other and said "What is that?". We had slowed to almost a stop when it looked up at us and proceed to bound completely across the road in one stride and then into the woods in another stride. As soon as it moved we both shouted explicatives and said "That's a Cat!". There was no doubt whatsoever. It was in full daylight. We never assumed it to be a native species. After we got over the shock, we discussed that it must be someone's pet that had either been released or escaped. There was no mistaking the head shape, the tail, the body movement was that of a cat, and it was triple the size of any bobcat I've ever seen. When we got to our destination, we couldn't wait to spread our news, but no one seemed surprised at all, as if it was common knowledge that such things are out there. It's frustrating now to read the stories where the sightings of a large black cat are discounted as if they are from a bunch of wacko hillbillies or something. I am a rational human being, I don't believe in bigfoot or ufos. I'm a semi educated human being who knows what a large cat looks like. I trust scientists, I believe them when they say that no such animal has ever lived in this area, but it doesn't mean that someone didn't bring an animal from somewhere else. That's my only experience, but it is still quiet vivid after 15 years.
There have been lots of reports of "Black panthers" and it may be a possibility that some have escaped captivity. However, there has never been a "Black Cougar" confirmed any where that they may have lived, South American, Central America or North America! As far as scientists know, a "Black Cougar" has never been found. Two species that do have "Black Cats" are Leopards and Jaguars, These are the only two species of cats world wide that are know to occur in black sometimes.