Neighbors report seeing panther in Williamson Co. - WKRN News 2

Neighbors report seeing panther in Williamson Co.

Posted:
The alleged panther was spotted on property near Ridgewood Road in Franklin. The alleged panther was spotted on property near Ridgewood Road in Franklin.
Mitchell Bailey with the TWRA said if it were a black panther, it would've had to be brought in from another part of the world. Mitchell Bailey with the TWRA said if it were a black panther, it would've had to be brought in from another part of the world.
Earl Hensel said he will continue to look for proof of the animal. Earl Hensel said he will continue to look for proof of the animal.
FRANKLIN, Tenn. -

A Williamson County neighborhood is on edge, after neighbors claim to have seen a panther.

The animal was allegedly spotted on property near Ridgewood Road in Franklin, which is off Goose Creek Parkway.

Some residents, such as Earl Hensel are trying to get the proof they need to convince wildlife officials what they saw was not a figment of their imagination.

Hensel told Nashville's News 2, they are used to seeing a lot of wildlife on their property, including deer and wild turkeys, which is why it takes a lot to surprise him.

However what Hensel's neighbors said they saw on Sunday did the trick.

"It came up on the hill and came down here," Hensel explained, pointing toward the back of his neighbor's property.

The animal neighbors believe they saw is a black panther.

Hensel's neighbors said they watched the animal go after one of their pet ducks on Sunday, kill and eat it, and then just as quickly as it arrived, disappear back into the woods.

They did manage to snap a picture of the animal before it vanished.

Nashville's News 2 talked to the homeowner, who said from the inside of his house, he was able to use binoculars to spot the animal and feels 100% sure it was not a house cat, that it was black and around 40 pounds.

Despite the eyewitness account, Hensel said, "We really need proof. Every time you say there's a panther in the neighborhood, people laugh at you."

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency said they would love to see any proof Hensel could come up with.

They've tried, unsuccessfully, to corroborate other sightings.

"People like for things to be unknown," said Mitchell Bailey with the TWRA, "They like the idea of something being out there that's different, but so far, looks like it's not the case."

If the picture really is a black panther, Bailey said it would've had to be brought in from another part of the world.

Black panthers are only indigenous to Africa and Asia.

"The only cats we know of across the state are in zoos," added Bailey, who told Nashville's News 2 there is currently no one in the state with a permit to legally own big cats.

Hensel said he will keep looking for some kind of proof.

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