posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 10:27 AM
Blue Mountains Panther
"Big Cats living in the Australian bush have been talked about for years, but most people do not seem to take the sightings too seriously. However,
while on fauna survey work in eastern New South Wales over the last decade I observed large feline tracks on a number of occasions, and advised the
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service of my concerns, but was openly ridiculed for my efforts. Later I became aware of actual sightings and these
and other observations were followed up by a biologist who became convinced that some sort of Big Cat lived in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. I
didn't worry much more about it, until one evening in 2004 when I actually sighted the so-called Blue Mountain's Panther myself. I was driving
between Bathurst and Lithgow along the Great Western Highway and caught a full view of what I believe to be a large adult male leopard cross the
highway in front of my car! I have worked with all the Big Cats in zoos and am very familiar with them - and what I saw was a Leopard without a doubt.
Following the event, I reported the sighting to the Government and it met with the usual incredulity. However, an officer from the NSW Department of
Agriculture was a lot more supportive and sent me copies of various correspondences between Government Departments that indicated that they were fully
aware of the existence of a population of a species of Big Cat that appears to be expanding in numbers and territory. Their earliest records date from
around 1980, but the possiblity exists that they have been in Australia far longer - perhaps since the 19th century. So on the surface various
Government officers involved with wildlife actively promote the view that such a creature does not exist in our State, but others know full well of
its presence but are at a loss when it comes to dealing with the issue publicly. The DEpartment even went so far to hire a wildlife scientist who had
extensive experience with Leopards in Africa and he concluded that the Sydney region sightings appeared to be credible. Well, you can take it from me
that Leopards are definitely living in the Australian bush along the Great Dividing Range, and it would be most foolish to go bushwalking alone in
this region now in my opinion."
That's a quote from "omegaone" on the recent thread titled "Nessie found in Australia".