Joggers and cyclists hurtling up East Drive near the Ramble are always mistaking this sculpture for the real thing.
Perched on top of a steep hill at about 76th Street and looking like he’s ready to pounce, it’s a ferocious panther in bronze, officially titled “Still Hunt.” Here’s the park from the panther’s point of view.
Created in 1883 by Georgia-born sculptor Edward Kemeys, it’s one of the few sculptures in Central Park meant to look natural and blend in—which is why it has no plaque and makes passersby do a double take.
Kemeys, who helped build Central Park and was inspired by the real-life animals at the Central Park Zoo (then called the Menagerie) was an animalier, and his jaguars, lions, and other creatures are on display in cities across the country.
The Central Park panther isn’t Kemeys’ only panther in New York City. His “Panther and Cubs” bronze sculpture belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, about six blocks north.