This is an enhanced photograph of an animal spotted walking along a dry streambed in Johnson County, Arkansas about 5 miles to the east of Catalpa, Arkansas. About 7 feet long and almost 4 feet tall at the shoulder, it was observed walking out of a thicket on the far side of the small valley, took a drink from a puddle, and then disappeared. Residents say that it is an animal that they have seen here for generations, called the ozark howler.
Reports have also come from the Ouachita National Forest near Heavener, Oklahoma. In this area, 10 separate sightings occured within the space of 2 weeks this spring.
Tracks were taken in plaster casts, and photographs of these appeared in the Heavener Ledger newspaper.
It reminds me of the rash of ozark howler sightings that took place near Red Oak, Oklahoma in 1946. It seems that a good number of GIs were coming back home to try to make a living after the war, and had built some new houses outside of town in order to start their new families. Apparently, something was disturbed where some of the new houses were made, and let residents know how upset it was.
The description was classic ozark howler. Tall (at least 4 foot at the shoulder), thick and shaggy fur, sort of like a thick cat in its build, or perhaps like a thin bear, with glowing red eyes - not like the yellow or orange reflection you'll get from a cat's eyes at night, and making a creepy kind of howling noise, very deep and guttural. Some of the old hunters said it reminded them of an elk bugling, but at a lower pitch.
Some younger people who don't know the long history of the ozark howler say that it's probably just a bobcat. A bobcat! I do not think that the ozark howler is a bobcat.
Best check out the ozark howler myths and misconceptions.