INMAN, S.C. (WYFF) – A South Carolina woman captured video of what appears to be a large cat-like creature laying in a field near Asheville Highway in Inman.
The woman was attempting to capture a sunset on video when she spotted the animal. It was seen rolling around in the grass before initially scurrying away.
“I was just trying to get the sunset on video,” Brianna Oliver told NBC affiliate WYFF. Oliver left her phone on timelapse and came back for it later.
“I saw what was there and I was like, “What is that?” I asked my boyfriend, and he was like, “I don’t know.” But we go back, and I was like, “I’m pretty sure that’s bigger than a cat.”
Oliver posted the video on Facebook where some believed it was a large house cat – others said it was a bobcat.
“I think it’s a mountain lion, personally,” said Oliver. “It’s not the first one I’ve seen out there but people don’t believe you because they say it’s not native here.”
But there has not been a confirmed mountain lion or cougar sighting in South Carolina in more than a hundred years.
“The pictures you shared with me were about the size you would think of an adult cougar,” said Dr. Greg Yarrow, a wildlife biologist at Clemson University. Even he can’t say for sure what the animal is.
“Some of the thinking of biologists is that that these occasional sightings are either misidentified or they’re from animals that may have escaped, or sometimes people will get kittens and raise them as pets, and it could be that,” he explained.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources responded to the video saying: “There is nothing in this video that would make me think this was a big cat. There is no substantial tail, and the body appears smaller. A mountain lion should have a thick, long, and black-tipped tail,” said Jay Butfilosky.