Yana Puma

Mystery big Cat of South America.

Etymology: Quechua (Quechuan), "black mountain lion."

Physical description: Twice the size of a jaguar. Entirely black. Large, greenish eyes.

Behavior: Passive in the day. Hunts at night. Roars. Said to pursue and attack humans at night.

Habitat: Mountainous forests at an altitude of 1,600-5,000 feet.

Distribution: Central mountains of Peru. Possible explanations:

(1) Melanistic Jaguar (Panthera onca), though the reported size does not match. Black jaguars are rare, and their spots are always visible at certain angles.

(2) Melanistic Puma (Puma concolor), though black pumas are virtually unknown. Its rain forest coloration sometimes ranges to a dark red-brown. Pumas do not roar, however.

Source: Peter J. Hocking, "Large Peruvian Mammals Unknown to Zoology," Cryptozoology 11 (1992): 38-50.

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