Dubious CAT-like animal of the south-central United States.
Variant names: Black howler, Mountain howler, Night howler, Ozark black mystery cat.
Physical description: Length, 4-5 feet. Size of a large bobcat or lynx. Thick, black fur. Ear tufts. Glowing eyes. Tail, 12-14 inches.
Behavior: Distinctive howl, heard at dusk. Not afraid of humans.
Distribution: Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas.
Present status: An unnamed University of Memphis student created most of the legend as an Internet hoax in 1998, but others say there have been reports of medium-sized black cats in the Ozarks since at least the 1950s.
Possible explanation: A Bobcat (Lynx rufus) x Domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) hybrid.
Sources: Karl Shuker, "For Crying Out Loud: It's the Ozark Howler!" Fortean Times, no. 112 (July 1998): 17; Loren Coleman, "Mysterious World," Fate 51 (September 1998): 10-11, 70; The Ozark Howler, http://www.geocities.com/r_prevo/history. html.
OZARK HOWLER 413
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