Eastern Puma of Connecticut.

Etymology: From town name—Glastonbury, Connecticut—plus "wacky."

Variant names: Granby panther, Injun devil.

Physical description: Looks variously like a large cat or dog. Length, 4 feet. Height, 2 feet-2 feet 6 inches. Black or tawny in color. Long tail, sometimes described as bushy.

Behavior: Emits blood-curdling screams.

Tracks: Like a puma's.

Distribution: North-central Connecticut.

Significant sightings: After weeks of hearing odd animal cries, finding large cat tracks, and seeing glimpses of a large black cat or dog, residents of Glastonbury, Connecticut, organized an all-day hunt into the surrounding hills on January 14, 1939. Nothing was found, but sightings continued until February 24, when Harold Roberts found a 2-mile trail of paw-prints 4 miles east of town.

Another cluster of sightings took place in the mid-1950s, with a climax in the summer of 1959 around Granby, Connecticut, where farm animals were attacked by something pumalike. Black cats continued to be reported through 1967. Since then, reports of tawny animals have been more frequent. Possible explanations:

(1) The Eastern Puma returning to its former range. The last killing of a Puma (Puma concolor couguar) in New England was in 1881 at Barnard, Vermont.

(2) Accidental or deliberate reintroduction of pet or show pumas.

(3) Escaped melanistic Jaguars (Panthera onca) or Leopards (Panthera pardus).

(4) Loren Coleman suggests that the black cats are surviving maneless, female American lions (Panthera atrox), a Pleistocene lion that died out 9,000 years ago, while the males are reported as ManeD American Lions.

Source: Gary S. Mangiacopra and Dwight G. Smith, "Connecticut's Mystery Felines: The Glastonbury Glawackus, 1939-1967," The Anomalist, no. 3 (Winter 1995-1996): 90-123.

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