A man was savagely mauled by a leopard in an enclosure after paying to have a close encounter with the predator that included being able to "play with it, rub its belly and take pictures.". If true, this would be a monumental story in wildlife circles. Its county seat is Guntersville. Dadeville Police Chief David Barbour has taken a few calls in recent weeks about a black panther prowling around in his neck of the woods. Ala. man recovering from panther attack Associated Press - December 4, 2010 1:54 PM ET UNION GROVE, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama man says he's recovering after being attacked by a panther near his Marshall County home. Stacey Konwiser, 38, died in April 2016 following an attack by a Malayan tiger at the Palm Beach zoo, where she worked as head keeper, The Guardian reported at the time. "There has never been a documented case of a black panther," said Head of Alabama Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Chuck Sykes. Chief Barbour says regardless of what residents may have seen, he urges everyone to be cautious and not to get close. News Animals Black Panther Attack A man was savagely mauled by a leopard in an enclosure after paying to have a close encounter with the predator that included being able to … After a two-year stint on the desk, Bryan accepted an offer to resume his reporting career with WSFA 12 News. You have 4 free articles remaining this month, Sign-up to our daily newsletter for more articles like this + access to 5 extra articles. 445 Dexter AvenueSuite 7000Montgomery, AL 36104(334) 288-1212. He reports the attack took place on Wednesday. The practices of the small zoo were criticized by the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, which told The Sun Sentinel that such animal interactions were dangerous for both the people paying for them and the animals themselves. A Florida man was recently savaged by a black cat after paying to have a close encounter with the animal. He joined the WSFA 12 family in November of 1995 as Assignment Editor. There have never been any documented cases of a black panther in Alabama and no compelling evidence such an animal ever existed in the world. Its name is in honor of John Marshall, famous Chief Justice of the United States. He says he stabbed the animal twice with a knife and it ran away. As you all know, wildlife officials flatly deny the existence of any sort of native melanistic big cats. DADEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - There's quite a bit of chatter going on in Tallapoosa County about black panther sightings. An Alabama man was walking his dog near his home and was attacked by a panther. One of the sightings in the county has been around the Lake Martin Area Resort off Bama Park Road. Marshall County is home to numerous outdoor recreation areas including Lake Guntersville State Park, Cathedral Caverns State Park, and Buck’s Pocket State Park. But is this story true? Black Panther Caught On Video 3.6 Megs Here is another video someone sent me that was taken in Alabama, about 25 miles South of Selma. As of 2000 the population was 82,231. To continue reading login or create an account. This one is amazing. Harmes says he moved to try to scare the panther away, but instead it attacked, ripped his pants, and clawed his leg. As for the photo sent to us, it's a handsome shot of a melanistic leopard, shiny and black, perhaps a resident of a zoo somewhere but no panther. All rights reserved. By now many of you may have heard that an Alabama man was attacked by a black panther in rural Marshall County. "Both people and animals are put in harm's way when the public comes into direct contact with captive wild animals," he added. A Gray Media Group, Inc. Station - © 2002-2020 Gray Television, Inc. From the mid-30s this morning to the upper 70s this weekend! Marshall County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. The Truth About Black Panthers and Bears in Alabama Black bears like this one in southwest Alabama are being researched by biologists to determine population and movement, among other factors. In 2016, a Florida zookeeper who was known as the 'tiger whisperer' was mauled to death by one of the animals. "It is far too common for small zoos and quasi-sanctuaries in Florida to sell photo ops, play sessions or other 'interactions' with exotic animals," the foundation's campaigns coordinator Nick Atwood told the Sentinel. He got some claws to the leg, but he and his dog walked away after some under-pressure knifework. In addition to the presidential race, there are many other races and key issues on Alabama ballots. An illustrative example of a black leopard. Harmes lives off of Royster Drive near Morgan City. In conversations on his page, Poggi also says he charges an hourly rate for encounters with exotic animals. Dwight Turner, 50, was attacked by the animal during the encounter in the backyard of a home in Davie, Florida, on August 31. "It's funny at the same time, but I also believe it might be a missighting as well," said Baker. Not only did we here at WSFA receive an inquiry about the panther, but so did the Dadeville Police Department. Marshall County is a dry county, with the exception of three cities within the county, Albertville, Arab, and Guntersville. So what is it these folks who called could've seen? May 1, 2018 at 5:00 PM CDT - Updated August 14 at 1:15 AM, Montgomery Regional Airport Air Traffic Map. The animal was not euthanized following the attack but died a year later due to unrelated circumstances. The Associated Press, WHNT, WSFA, WKRG, and other media reported on the afternoon of Saturday, December 04, 2010, that Frank Harmes was recovering after being attacked by a panther near his Marshall County home, Alabama. Where did the claim of a black panther come from? Since there is no law against killing a black panther, state wildlife officials encourage anyone to take him out.. if you can find him. "They seem legit. There have never been any documented cases of a black panther in Alabama and no compelling evidence such an animal ever existed in the world. The owner of the enclosure was identified by Local 10 as Michael Poggi, who had a license to own the animal and describes himself as running a sanctuary for endangered animals on his Facebook page. "It's funny at the same time," said Brennon Baker. Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. See why nearly a quarter of a million subscribers begin their day with the Starting 5. The second issue with sightings of black panthers in Alabama is, not only are they not black, but they are not extant, according to ADCNR. Alabama Man Attacked By (Black?) July 6, 2014 The last confirmed mountain lion in Alabama was killed around 1948 in St. Clair County. A U.S. Department of Agriculture report issued several months after the incident suggested the zookeeper had not followed safety protocols, the Associated Press reported. The victim told Local 10 News that he had needed to undergo multiple surgeries following the incident, while a report from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) cited by the outlet said Turner's scalp was "hanging from his head and his right ear was torn in half" as a result of the attack. Alabama Man Attacked By Black Panther The Associated Press, WHNT, WSFA, WKRG, and other media reported on the afternoon of Saturday, December 04, 2010, that Frank Harmes was recovering after being attacked by a panther near his Marshall County home, Alabama. However, the owner was charged with a misdemeanor for keeping wildlife in an unsafe condition and for allowing full contact with a dangerous animal. In fact, someone sent a photo to our newsroom. But he was pounced on by the animal within minutes of stepping into the enclosure. Harmes says he … I'm having a hard time figuring how two such different accounts could be circulating regarding what type of cat was involved in this incident. According to the FWC report, Turner spent $150 on the "full-contact" experience with the black leopard. Whatever is lurking in the woods is probably something other than a big cat with a long tail. Bryan Henry is a reporter Monday through Friday for WSFA 12 News. I've seen a few Facebook posts as well," said Chief Barbour. Residents of the area near near Union Grove have reported seeing the melanistic mystery cats in the past, saying they sometimes come out looking for food. In spite of all the chatter and stories floating around, there is one problem. Panther - Addendum The more I look at this the more something just doesn't feel right. Frank Harmes says he was walking his dog in a cove behind his home near Morgan City when he heard something behind him and turned to see a black panther. Harmes says he will undergo a series of rabies shots because of the attack. "A house cat, a black lab retriever, I don't know," Sykes said. Harmes says he was walking his dog around Greenbriar Cove behind his home near Morgan City when he heard something behind him and turned to see a black panther. It is not the first time a human has been attacked by a big cat in the state.
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