Most reports of big cats seen in nature are reported to be either black or brown. The simplest theory is that the large black cats are black leopards whereas the large brown ones are pumas.
Many of the black cats are described as 'black pumas'. Although there is no reason for black pumas to exist, and they have been described in the literature, we have found no record of black pumas having been kept in the UK, nor have we seen a photo of a melanistic puma.
One theory which has been put forward is that whether a cat is perceived as 'black' or 'brown' can depend upon the lighting conditions. The photo below of a melanistic leopard, taken by Ben Willis, is an excellent example.
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