Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 19th, 2009
If there is one person in the San Francisco area who had been, in years past, the lightning rod for mysterious black panthers cases in the East Bay, it was Gary Bogue.
Bogue was the curator of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, California, for twelve years and has been writing a daily column about pets and wildlife for the Contra Costa Times for thirty-seven years. I remember writing about him in the 1970s, for he was responsible for gathering reports of the Mt. Diablo sightings of alleged “black mountain lions.”
Bogue felt there might have been something to these reports, even collecting accounts of a black panther-type cat seen putting a kill in a tree back in the 1970s. Bogue theorized that perhaps a melanistic leopard was around, and responsible for some of the sightings.
Today, Bogue still writes his regular animals and pets column. It is not surprising that all the 2009 reports of black panthers would be on the minds of the residents of the East Bay, and thus Bogue’s audience.
Recall the recent mystery cat seen by Lynn Reed and his wife Kathleen was first viewed at about 6:30 p.m. on July 30 near Pleasanton, California. They said the cat was about 5 feet long and about 2 feet tall. Its head was “the size of cantaloupe” and Reed estimated it to weigh about 60 pounds.
“It was black,” Reed said. “It had no other markings.”
One of Bogue’s readers wrote in…
I was interested to read the story Aug. 13 about the sighting of what appeared to be a large black cat in the East Bay hills.
My husband often walks our dog in the hills of Black Diamond Regional Park. About a month ago, he told me that he had seen a large black animal at a distance, making its way down a hill across from the trail he was following. It was only in sight for a few minutes, and our dog didn’t seem to see or smell it.
His first reaction was that it looked like a bear, but of course he knew that couldn’t be right.
When he told me about it, I suggested that it might have been a wild boar, although we were not aware of boars frequenting the Black Diamond area….Cathy in Antioch
Columnist Gary Bogue responded:
Whenever you’re out hiking in local open spaces and you see a large dark animal in the distance that looks like a bear, it’s probably a wild pig.
A lot of wild pigs are on Mount Diablo and it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if one strayed into the Black Diamond Regional Park area.
Source: Gary Bogue, August 18, 2009.
For further reading, Mysterious America details the “black panthers” of Mt. Diablo (named after the Devil, of course) in the East Bay and at other California locations. The comprehensive listing of sightings was Cryptomundo-published too, here.
There was a booklet that appeared in 1972, which talked about the “Black Mountain Lion of Devil’s Hole,” often seen in Las Trampas Regional Park.