years ago, panthers were found in Rosarito Beach in great
numbers. The Native American people admired their hunting
prowess and regarded the cats with respect. The Great Creator
regarded the panthers as one of the most prized creatures
on Mother Earth. The large cats were beautiful, with a jet-black
coat and their eyes were a beautiful yellow color. The panthers
lived a peaceful life. They had no predators to worry about,
so they raised their families and taught their young how
to live off the land. Living off the land included eating
other animals for food, but this is a part of nature. The
Native American people knew that the cats had to hunt to
eat, just as they did for part of their food supply.
The Native American people had
no fear of the panthers and the panthers had no fear of
them. They simply lived in a comfortable state of peaceful
coexistence. The panthers prowled the countryside, but also
enjoyed playing in the ocean. The ocean is beautiful along
Rosarito Beach. The scene is picturesque and the area is
rich with wildlife and beautiful birds. It was a place the
The younger panthers loved to
jump over the waves as they crashed onto the beach. The
younger cats also enjoyed digging and playing in the sand.
One of the things that the young panthers enjoyed was playing
with sand crabs. They knew that the sand crabs were buried
in the sand, and whenever they dug one up, they thought
it was hysterical to watch the little crab hurriedly try
to dig its way back into the sand! All the young panther's
loved that! The young panthers also loved to sneak up on
a flock of seagulls. They would creep up, ever so slowly,
and then at the last second, rush toward the frightened
gulls, causing them to fly up into the air making squawking
noises! It was soooo much fun! The younger panthers also
loved to swim and play in the surf. The sound was so beautiful
to their ears, and the ocean water felt wonderful as it
rocked their bodies gently as they swam! They also loved
the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. It was such
a wonderful sound. All of these joys and more made the ocean
seem so magical to them. It almost seemed like paradise.
Their lives couldn't be happier!
While the panthers and the Native
Americans lived together peacefully, a new type of human
entered the panther's domain. The new humans were not the
Native Americans who the panthers respected. There was something
about these new humans that made the adult panthers very
uneasy. The new humans were not in balance with nature,
like the Native Americans, and their lack of knowledge caused
them to fear the panthers! The new humans noticed that the
cats were always nearby. Of course the reason that the cats
were always nearby was because the younger cats were curious
about these strange new visitors. The elder panthers warned
that these humans from far away were dangerous, but the
younger panther's sense of curiosity and playfulness got
the better of them.
One night, a young boy and a young
girl were taking a romantic walk along the beach. Two young
panthers saw them and being in a playful mood sprang out
from behind a dune and let out a tremendous roar to scare
the two humans! The two screamed and tried to run fast as
they could down the beach, back to their little town. The
two young panthers laughed and laughed at how comical the
scene had been. The look on the faces of the two humans,
the sound of their screams, and especially the way they
stumbled and fell trying to run away in the sand. It was
the funniest thing that either of them had ever seen. Even
funnier that the sand crabs! The young panthers gleefully
told all their friends about their adventure.
One of the elder panthers overheard
them laughing and retelling the story. The elder panther
became upset and warned all the panthers to beware, as the
new humans would probably lash out at the panthers due to
their lack of understanding and their fear of the panthers.
Sure enough, as the two young
humans got back to town, they told everyone what appeared
to be a horrifying story about how the two panthers had
tried to attack them while they were walking along the beach.
Everyone was outraged and fearful that the panthers would
now try to kill them all.
The new humans had many guns and
fear and ignorance got the better of them. At first the
panthers were easy targets for the humans guns, since they
had no fear of humans. These humans with their guns drove
the panthers relentlessly. It was a truly sad occurrence.
Many adult panthers fell to the guns because they tried
to save their young and could not get away fast enough.
Once these atrocities began, a
few outraged panthers killed humans out of anger for the
slaughter of their brothers and sisters. The cats began
to hate these humans. The panthers were being killed and
driven from their beloved homeland in Rosarito Beach. Many
of the panthers became bitter. A few of the cats that had
lost their young to the settlers guns bonded together
with a pact to hunt and kill all of these humans.
This obsession brought disharmony
and confusion to the remaining panthers. The elders knew
that more human deaths would result in more panther deaths.
There were too many humans with guns. Besides, the panthers
were not cold-blooded killers. They simply killed in order
to eat. That was the law of Mother Nature.
The elders tried to convince all
of the panthers to simply leave Rosarito Beach in order
to survive. Some reluctantly agreed, although leaving their
paradise home would be difficult. Many refused. They said
that they would rather die in their homeland, than to give
it up. They were not going to leave because of the humans.
This split in the panther's community
was sad. As the group of panthers that decided to leave
got ready to head further inland, away from their beloved
ocean, and Rosarito Beach, emotions ran high. There were
many sad farewells. It was a somber occasion. The panthers
that remained knew that the humans would try to kill them
The humans became obsessed with
finding and destroying every panther that remained in Rosarito
Beach. The panthers began to hunt and travel only at night.
The human settlers began to set traps and put out poisoned
bait for them. It was a trying time for the panthers.
As the years passed, the panthers
were being literally driven into the sea by the humans.
The cats were land animals, and while they loved the ocean,
it was not a place where they could survive without some
form of help from the Great Creator.
The Great Creator was saddened
by the way things were going for his beloved panthers. As
their habitat was being destroyed and they were being hunted
relentlessly by the humans, an amazing transformation began
to take place. With their beloved ocean becoming the only
viable option of escape from the humans, the panthers began
to notice that their bodies were adapting to the watery
habitat in several small ways.
The cats discovered that they
could spend more time in the water without any problem.
They found that they could hold their breath under water
for longer periods of time. Additionally, these cats that
had remained in Rosarito Beach began to notice that webs
were forming between their toes that enabled them to swim
faster and more efficiently. The panthers began to discover
that they could actually catch fish underwater to eat!
The panthers couldn't live in
the ocean all of the time, but the physical changes proved
to be very helpful. The cats lived in the sandy dunes and
rocks near the ocean most of the time. They were on constant
watch for the humans. They still had fun playing along the
beach and did particularly enjoy the new challenge that
"fishing" presented to them. Their survival began
to seem more possible. Even with the hated humans not far
away, the panthers were doing well and began enjoying themselves
Whenever the humans came near,
the cats simply swam far out into the surf to avoid them.
This was very puzzling to the humans. There were still plenty
of panther tracks in the sand, but the number of sightings
became less frequent. The majority of the panthers became
content to enjoy their new life and tried to forget the
horrors of the past years. They knew that they could not
bring their loved ones back and that the humans guns would
kill more of them if they went near them.
The option of mating was seriously
diminished by the new lifestyle that the panthers had been
forced to adopt. Some panthers had small litters occasionally,
but most often, only one or two of the kittens would survive.
One panther, named "Red Tail", who was so named
because of her oddly colored red tail, had a litter secretly
in the dunes, and five little panthers survived! It was
a glorious day for the panthers of Rosarito Beach. They
would all love and cherish these young cats. Red Tail loved
her little kittens so much! She was so proud of them.
As the young cats grew a little
older, Red Tail began to feel confident enough to take back
some responsibility and helped out with the daily routines
of the group. When she would go out into the ocean to help
gather food, other cats would happily watch over her five
beautiful young ones. All of the panthers, especially the
females argued over who's "turn" it was to watch
them when Red Tail was away. It made her feel happy and
proud about how well behaved her young ones were.
One day, Red Tail agreed to go
out into the surf to help gather food. She was accompanied
on the mission by three male panthers. The rest of the panthers
stayed behind with Red Tail's five little ones. When Red
Tail was approaching the beach after the food-gathering
foray, she had a horrible sense that something was wrong.
She didn't hear any playing. She didn't see any of the other
panthers and the whole scene seemed ominous.
As she hurried ashore, she saw
the panther "Tanya" lying on the beach in a pool
of blood. Tanya was moaning and coughing. As Tanya's eyes
met Red Tail's, Tanya burst into uncontrollable crying and
sobbing. Red Tail rushed over, panic-stricken. Tanya had
been severely wounded by the humans guns and was very
"Where are my babies!?!?",
cried Red Tail. Suddenly Tanya became very quiet. As she
fought back tears and pain, she explained that the panthers
had been having a wonderful time playing in the surf and
the sand that earlier that afternoon. They did not realize
that while they were playing, many human hunters were secretly
creeping through the rocks and dunes and were on top of
them when they stood up and started shooting their guns
wildly at the cats.
The adult panthers tried to save
the young ones, but were all killed. Tanya had tried to
escape into the surf with little "Sparkle", Red
Tails favorite little cub, but the hunters bullets killed
the baby and seriously wounded Tanya. She started losing
consciousness in the surf. As she drifted in and out of
consciousness, she knew that she had to get farther out
into the surf if she was to survive. From a spot far out
in the surf, she saw the humans gathering up the dead panthers,
including the babies and dragging them off the beach. That
was the last thing that she remembered.
Red Tail let out a blood curdling
scream that sent chills up and down the spines of the other
panthers. Even the humans heard her bloodcurdling cry and
it sounded especially frightening to them. Suddenly Red
Tail went into a blind rage and began to run wildly toward
the area where the humans lived. She had tears of agony
streaming down her face. The other three healthy panthers
tried to stop her, because they knew that she would be killed
too. Finally the three males were able to subdue her. She
had run far and the horrible emotion had drained her of
all of her energy. She simply fell to the ground, sobbing
uncontrollably. She was hysterical and thrashed about in
the sand unable to regain her composure.
Her good friend and mate "Green
Eyes", who had been hunting with her that day agreed
to stay with Red Tail while the other two, "Lop Ear"
and "Savage" went back to see if they could help
the poor dying Tanya. As Lop Ear and Savage drew near to
the spot on the beach where they had left Tanya, they began
to hear human voice sounds.
It was well after the sunset by
this time and darkness had fallen for several hours, but
there was an eerie glowing from a fire on the beach where
Tanya had been left. As the two cats crept through the dunes,
the human voice sounds grew progressively louder. As they
crawled up the last dune before the beach, their eyes beheld
a ghastly sight.
The humans were standing over
poor Tanya. She was softly crying out for help, and was
very weak. She seemed to sense that Lop Ear and Savage were
near by and she slowly lifted her head and looked in their
direction. Savage and Tanya's eyes met and Tanya slowly
began to smile. Suddenly a loud bang broke the still of
the evening accompanied by a tremendous flash of light that
caused the two healthy cats to look away. It had startled
There was now laughter coming
from the humans. As Lop Ear and Savage looked back, Tanya
was deathly still with her eyes closed and blood coming
from her nose and mouth. The humans had shot her again,
and they were laughing about it! The two powerful male cats
were enraged. Lop Ear let out a tremendous roar that startled
the settlers. Suddenly Lop Ear sprang from the dunes and
rushed toward the startled humans.
As he ran toward them he heard
another loud bang, accompanied by a tremendous flash of
light and felt a horrible, jolting pain go deep into his
powerful chest. The impact knocked him to the sand. Savage
looked on in horror as the humans rushed toward Lop Ear.
Suddenly, a series of loud bangs and flashes of light broke
through the darkness. Lop Ear let out a terrible cry of
agony and then fell silent.
Tears welled up in Savage's eyes
and he didn't know what to do. As he watched in horror,
the humans went up to Lop Ear and Savage heard many more
loud bangs and saw the flashes of light as the settlers
repeatedly shot his already dead friend. Then the night
was broken again by the laughter of the humans.
Savage was dazed and confused.
His spirit urged him to attack, but he knew that he would
die also. The humans took the two dead panthers and hung
them by their paws from a long pole. They began to carry
them down the beach, laughing and talking human things.
They were going to pass close to Savage. He simply could
not contain himself any longer. The whole scene had been
As the human settlers drew near,
Savage attacked. He ran full speed, while letting out a
tremendous roar as he leaped into the air. He knocked one
of the humans down and was about to kill him when another
loud sound and flash of light broke through the night. Savage
was killed instantly.
Green Eyes and Red Tail had been
listening in the distance and were filled with anxiety.
They knew the sounds could not bode well for their friends.
Red Tail was still weak and distraught, so she couldn't
begin to summon the strength to go investigate the situation.
Green Eyes asked her if it would be okay if he left her
alone while he went to investigate. Red Tail said that it
would be all right, so he immediately left and headed toward
A few minutes later, Red Tail
heard more loud noises and saw flashes of light towards
the beach. Green Eyes never came back. Neither did the other
cats. She sobbed quietly, knowing what truth tomorrow would
bring. Red Tail would awake to be the only panther left
alive in Rosarito Beach. Their paradise had been completely
destroyed. Her home, her friends, her family, her children,
all taken away from her by the humans. She vowed to exact
revenge on these human creatures. She would make them pay
a dear price for all that they had done.
The Great Creator looked down
and was deeply saddened by what had happened to the panthers
of Rosarito Beach. He especially felt a great sorrow for
poor Red Tail. She had been such a loving creature. She
had been such a wonderful, proud mother. The Great Creator
came to Red Tail in her sleep. Although she would never
know it, the Great Creator touched her and empowered her
to live for as long as it would take in order to exact her
revenge. She was still a living creature and could be killed
if not careful, but the Great Creator gave her as much time
as she needed to ease her anguish and pain.
Red Tail now became extremely
cautious. She learned how to avoid the humans through great
stealth and awareness. She spent a great deal of time in
the ocean now that she was alone and only came ashore at
night. With her jet black coat, she was able to move about
almost as if she were invisible at night. Whenever she came
ashore, she would let out a blood curdling scream to let
the humans know that she was coming for them. She killed
The humans were becoming panic
stricken. Some even claimed that Red Tail must be the devil
himself. Her legend grew quickly and spread far and wide.
The humans hunted day and night to try to find her to kill
her, but to no avail. The humans hired the greatest hunters
from every corner of the earth to come to Rosarito Beach
to hunt her down and kill her. Great financial rewards were
offered for her, dead or alive. However, there was no one
who could kill her, or even find her for that matter.
Red Tail knew that the humans
were trying to kill her. She sensed that they were sending
their best after her, but she knew when to stay away and
when to come ashore. One year, a great hunter was hired
from a far away land called Africa. His name was James "Wild
Man" Forrest. "Wild Man" Forrest was supposed
to be the greatest big game hunter to have ever lived.
Rosarito Beach was in a very festive
mood when he arrived on that hot July evening long ago.
Red Tail saw all of the commotion and decided that she would
investigate the goings on. On that same night she came ashore
around 1:00 am. She let out a bloodcurdling scream as she
came out of the surf in Rosarito Beach.
"Wild Man" Forrest was
staying in the beautiful home of a prominent Baja California
lawyer, named Manny Chacon who lived in Rosarito Beach.
Everyone was drinking heavily and when they heard the scream,
they all thought that it must be a practical joke and continued
to have a wonderful time celebrating James Forrest's arrival.
As Red Tail quietly approached
the party, she saw everyone honoring "Wild Man"
Forrest and acting as though he were some type of conquering
hero. Then some of the humans brought out heads of animals
mounted on pieces of wood and "Wild Man" would
raise them up over his head to the cheers of the other humans.
Then, someone brought out the head of panther mounted on
wood and gave that to the man who proceeded to raise it
over his head.
Before any of the humans had a
chance to cheer, Red Tail lunged over a small fence at the
Chacon residence. Everyone screamed in panic and they tried
to run in all different directions, knocking over tables
and chairs in their fear. When it was all over, James "Wild
Man" Forrest had simply become yet another victim of
the screaming panther of Rosarito Beach.
There was absolute pandemonium
after her bold attack. Rosarito Beach was in an unenviable
position from a business point of view. This latest, bold
attack was too much. She simply had to be destroyed.
The next couple of years, Red
Tail spent no time at all seeking revenge. Sometimes she
would come quietly ashore to reminisce in the dunes and
rocks, but she stayed away from the humans for that period
of time. She just let the humans settle back into a feeling
of safety and security.
With no attacks in four years,
everyone presumed that she had died. By this time she had
already killed approximately 40 people, as far as the record
indicates. She did not care whether her victims were adults,
or children, as the humans had certainly killed her beloved
The humans that Red Tail killed
were usually reported as disappearances since she would
typically drag the bodies back into the sea with her and
authorities did not want to create panic. After all, business
is very important to the humans.
Since her time on earth is not
over, there is no way of telling how many more humans she
may take. Although Red Tail is older now, and her attacks
are less frequent, she still occasionally comes ashore with
a thirst for revenge, especially during the summer months
when there are humans as far as the eye can see on Rosarito
Her favorite spot is in the area
of Rosarito Beach where her precious babies had been murdered.
She will never forget what happened so long ago to her beloved
panthers. She still lets out a bloodcurdling scream when
she comes out of the surf, and she still thirsts for revenge.
If you are ever in Rosarito Beach and you hear a bloodcurdling
scream during the night, then just run. Don't look back,
just run! Because, she will get you! The legend says that
Red Tail may never be completely satisfied with her revenge.
A mothers grief is a powerful force. In the meantime,
BEWARE the screaming panther of Rosarito Beach!
Geoff Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker,
motivator and business consultant. He is also the Director
of Marketing for Indian Voices Newspaper and can be reached
by E-mail at GEOFFLHAMPTON@aol.com