an exotic escapee or a native mutant?

What is the strange black cat roaming the Arizona mountains? That’s the question that has baffled wildlife experts and residents alike after a video (see below) of the mysterious creature went viral on YouTube.

The footage, captured by a Phoenix homeowner, shows a large feline with a long tail walking down the mountain slope.

The animal does not match any of the known species of big cats that inhabit the state, such as mountain lions, bobcats, ocelots or jaguars. It also seems too big to be a domestic cat that escaped from its owner.

Some experts have speculated that the animal could be an exotic pet that was bought at a wildlife auction and somehow got loose. It could be a species from Africa or South America, such as a serval, a caracal or a melanistic leopard.

However, this raises more questions than answers. How did the animal survive in the harsh desert environment? How did it avoid detection for so long? And most importantly, is it dangerous to humans or other animals?

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has stated that they will not intervene unless the animal poses a threat to public safety or wildlife.

They have advised residents to keep their pets indoors and to report any sightings of the mysterious cat. They have also warned against approaching or feeding the animal, as it could be unpredictable and aggressive.

The mystery of the black cat remains unsolved for now. It is possible that it is just a rare mutation of a native species, or a hybrid of two different cats. It is also possible that it is a hoax or a prank, although the video seems authentic and unedited.

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