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Measuring 6 ft 2 in (1.87 m) long, and variously said to have been shot in Tennessee or Montana, it has been denounced by sceptics as a normal puma that has been dyed black, or some entirely different feline species.However, hair samples from it that were tested by researchers from the zoology department of East Tennessee State University confirmed that they had not been dyed, and DNA samples verified that it was a puma.
Consequently, I have explored various aspects of this most contentious mystery cat in a number of different publications of mine.
The examiner reckoned that Holden didn't comprehend the seriousness of his injury, tried to stop the bleeding himself, and passed out from blood loss.
In all the time that I have been researching and documenting creatures of cryptozoology (almost 30 years now!
melanistic, all-black specimens of the leopard ) and black (melanistic) pumas.
Yet whereas the former is plausible, the latter is little short of impossible - for two extremely good, fundamental reasons.
In 1843, a bona fide black puma was shot in the Carandahy River section of Brazil by professional hunter William Thomson, but regrettably its skin was not retained.
In addition, I have seen various online mentions of an enigmatic taxiderm cat dubbed the 'Cherokee cougar' that has been claimed to be a black puma.
REASON #1: CONSPICUOUS BY ITS ABSENCEOrdinarily, the puma Conversely, even though this species has the greatest native distribution range of any modern-day wild cat, occurring from the northernmost regions of North America to the southern tip of South America, the number of confirmed black pumas can be counted on the claws of one paw!
Not a single scientifically-confirmed preserved specimen exists.
It is hard to believe that William Holden has been dead now for 30 years.
Holden was one of the greatest actors of our times.
Yet as the subject still incites heated debate even today, I feel that it is now time to assemble together my disparate writings concerning it, and present them here (together with some previously-unpublished information) as a Shuker Nature review article.