Panama City- A team of popular cryptozoologists are searching the Florida panhandle this weekend for a mystery cat.
After several sightings in Carrabelle, city commissioners invited the team to search for the cat.
The team, comprised of Scott Marlowe, Lee Hales, and Ken Gerhard has been featured on “Monsterquest”. The team will be joined by naturalists Robert Reese and Lisa Wojcik.
A Carrabelle hunter captured the dark cat on video and posted it on Youtube.com
"It has to be at least 24 inches in length from where the neck meets the body to the back of the cat," said Marlowe.
Some believe it’s a regular house cat, but the cryptozoologists say the Carrabelle cat could be a member of a wide range of species.
"We could have a Florida Panther, but they're way down in the southern tip of Florida, but there's still that possibility that their range could extend up to here," said Hales.
"We also believe that there are jaguarondi loose here in the state and it could be some kind of a hybrid although they don't seem to breed too well with a common cat species," said Marlowe.
The team stopped by the Bear Creek Feline Center in Panama City on Friday to research large cats native to Florida.
They took urine samples from a Florida Panther and made plaster casts of many of the animals.
"We're going to set some traps there. Some camera traps to try to get a feel for size based on the footage. Being in the actual location will give us a sense for how big this cat really is," said Hales.
Their goal is to identify the mystery cat, then figure out the next course of action.
"If it is something that's unique and something that's indigenous, something that lives here or should live here, then we need to know about it and that way we can act to preserve the area it lives in," said Hales.
Expedition team members say this is the first time city officials have called them in for help.