On August 18, 2021

Catamount? Panther? What’d I see?

Dear Editor,

My wife and I were driving along River Road in Killington, Sunday evening, Aug. 15, around 6:15 p.m., about one mile farther down from the Killington town hall (on the dirt road). We spotted what looked like a black cat with a very long tail. We were traveling about 15 mph, enjoying the scenery.

The cat was on the left hand side of the road, getting close to entering the bushes where the river and swamp are. It moved like a wild cat, slinking as it went, not moving like a house cat would. My wife and I believe the cat was 30-36 inches long, not very big. But not a house cat either, because of the way it moved in its stride. My wife, who is Russian, said, “Look, black panthera,” which obviously means black panther. I saw it at the same time she did. I didn’t know whether there were even wild cats in Vermont, as we are newcomers.

As we got closer, the cat entered the grass and bushes and disappeared. By the time we drove to the spot where it entered, it was completely gone.

I thought I would mention this to you, in case someone else gets a picture of it in the same area that could actually confirm a second sighting.

Peter Rinaldi, Killington

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