If you were worried about a black panther running loose in New Jersey, stay calm. There's most likely nothing to worry about.

On Thursday April 6, The Township of Hamilton Police Department responded to a call around Weymouth in Atlantic County that  "a black coyote or large feline in the woods" was seen roaming around the woods," according to the police department Facebook page.

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Once word got around on social media, well, you know how these things go. It seems as though imaginations were (literally) running wild, because pretty soon, people started saying that a black panther was roaming around loose in Atlantic County.

Yes, a black panther.

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Just in case it's not obvious, no, black panthers are not native to New Jersey. The only possibility of a black panther running loose in New Jersey, is if a local zoo or exotic animal facility had reported a missing animal. This was not such a case.

But luckily, local officials seem to have gotten to the bottom of the case of the mysterious Jersey panther. Looks like this was a dog, not a cat.

"After a brief search, officers located a large black dog which belonged to a local resident," the Facebook post read.

After locating the dog, officers continued to do their due diligence by continuing the investigation. They determined that the original report stemmed from one call/post, and that all reports/calls/posts about a black panther have been unsubstantiated.

So you can go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief. Must have been a pretty big dog!

Oh well. Wakanda forever!


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