From South Carolina’s The State:
_A federal forester says he was chased into the Chattooga River by a 7-foot-long panther with “jet black” fur.
Terrance Fletcher, a technician with the U.S. Forest Service, dove into the frigid water and crawled up the bank in South Carolina to escape.
“The animal started running … so I decided to run and get away and jump in the river to get across to the other side,” Fletcher said this week. “It was a life-changing event for me.”
The incident occurred the second week in January along the mountain river separating Georgia and South Carolina.
Black panthers are not native to the southeastern United States, meaning Fletcher might have seen a river otter or a bobcat, state wildlife officials in Georgia and South Carolina said.
Still, Fletcher and Forest Service District Ranger Dave Jensen said they think he saw some sort of large cat on the Georgia side of the river.
“It was a little too big to be a bobcat,” Fletcher said. “My first impression was a panther.”_
Do you believe his story?