He wants information on panthers

Dear Editor:

The January 8, 1958, edition of the Scott County Times reported that one Otis Chapman killed, on New Year’s Day, a 350-pound black panther that had “killed calves and chickens in nightly raids for several years....”

Chapman was a tenant on the Howard McCrory Jr. place, the article said. The animal Chapman shot was believed to have killed chickens on the Allen Roby place and calves on the McCrory place. “Others in the area had reported hogs missing,” the article said. James Walter Lee and Edward Lee previously had spotted what they believed to be panther tracks on a game refuge north of Forest and then “Constable Wilber Weems had reported seeing panther tracks on land adjoining the Roosevelt Park road, south of Morton.”

I’m a writer researching panthers in the South for a book I’m working on. I’m trying to find out if there is anyone among your readership who knows anything about the facts behind this story. I’m especially interested in knowing if there’s anyone still alive who saw this animal or has a photo of it. If anyone did see the animal described above or has photo of or knows someone who saw it or has a photo of it, please contact me at jtm@netdoor.com

James T. McCafferty