Big cats wandering in the Australian desert and in the courtyards of Sydney

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Even more Australians have left the carpentry shop, sharing stories of sightings of black panthers and “mountain lion” type creatures that have been wandering in Australia over the decades, with some news dating back to this month.

Recently, news.com.au spoke of real Australians who had “no doubt” had real encounters with black panthers roaming the country. Since then, dozens have come forward with stories of their sightings from all over the country.

Some offered theories, including panthers escaped from collectors with crude cages or long forgotten Australian zoos left in ruins after encountering financial difficulties.

Others said they saw the creatures not once, but twice, or even more often, and were so sure of what they saw that they were sure it was the same big cat.

Jake Lloyd told news.com.au to watch just as his father hunted a “graceful and powerful” puma on their property. He said his father chased the animal next to a 63m long blackberry bush in 1986 and that they were sure it was a “cougar”.

He said his family came home one day to find “a very large black animal right next to the blackberry stain.”

At the time his family lived on a 600-acre property in Victoria’s Otway Ranges and a local size was out to catch a real panther.

He said his family had previously captured large feral cats, but Lloyd said that the cougar they identified “has absolutely nothing to compare” in terms of size or ability to move, with a domestic or wild cat.

Her father, who approached the animal, said it was much larger than his rifle, and had rough hair and “shiny black”.

“At the time there was a reward for anyone who could prove the existence of the puma,” explained Lloyd. “I think it was $ 20,000.”

He said the family stayed behind, watching all the time while the father “took his rifle and walked up the hill keeping the blackberry stain between him and the cat”.

“We have seen everything happen. As he was climbing the hill, crouching, crossing the fences and remaining silent, that cat was simply relaxed, looking around casually. “

Lloyd said as his father got closer and closer to the puma, his large size – compared to his father – has become more evident.

“It was indeed larger or equivalent in length to a Great Dane, and its head was probably even more solid than a Great Dane dog – and had a long tail that bowed and stood up,” he said.

But when his father came within range, the puma suddenly took the wind from him and left, said Lloyd.

He said he saw the panther run 63 meters (he has since measured) taking a few steps to cross the distance.

“I remember he walked about seven paces in total before losing sight of the stream,” he said.

He said his father shot the animal, but said he was running in a “zigzag” pattern, and in six or seven limits, he was gone.

Lloyd said she was only nine at the time, remembering the “tense” but also beautiful experience and was “happy” to have seen her.

He pointed out that he was not a big wild cat, explaining that his family had already caught one on their property. “He was a huge puma / black panther, I don’t know which of these, but it was fantastic.”

COLORED PANTERA FAWN VIEW IN THE STRZELECKI DESERT

Another man told news.com.au that he had seen a large “fully grown” cat, which he believed was a “mountain lion” in the Strzelecki desert in southern Australia.

Adam Morgan said he saw the “fawn-colored” cat standing on a sand dune in the late 1990s and that he looked “fully grown and very healthy”.

“His coat was a tawny color and the animal was clearly thriving in this environment,” said Morgan.

He said he watched the creature for about a minute as he walked on top of the sand dune before it crossed over to the other side and disappeared.

Morgan said he believed that the stories of the area that claim that the animal descended from mountain lions “were freed or escaped from the traveling circuses that moved to the country between the late 19th and early 20th centuries” .

“The animals were expensive to feed and were sometimes released because the owners were reluctant to shoot them,” he said.

Dr Ian Macdonald told news.com.au about two sightings he made in 1996 as he drove from Canberra to Adelaide through the flatlands in the Riverina region of New South Wales.

He said he saw a leopard-sized black cat gliding across the street, about 40 km from the town of Hay.

He had an “imposing view” of the street from his van, he said, when he first spotted the big cat. He said he left the road in the nearby bushes early in the morning.

Dr. Macdonald said that the cat, who was “positive”, saw, “had a long stiff curved tail, and … he was as big as a leopard.”

Incredibly, he saw the creature again as it crossed the area two weeks after the first sighting.

Meanwhile, a woman who said she was unaware of recent reports of big cats told news.com.au that she saw a panther in her mother’s backyard on Sydney’s north coast in early December.

Rebecca, who asked to hide her surname, said that she and her mother spotted the “big” panther – who she thought was as tall as her thigh – wandering in the courtyard on the edge of the Ku-ring-gai National Park a Friday morning.

While the couple was safe at home at the time, they were only “eight or ten steps” from the creature. She said she immediately reported the animal to the local authorities, one of whom said that they receive reports of panthers “from time to time”.

Rebecca said the cat was distinctly like a panther, saying that her “body was long and rather thin” and that it took some time to figure out what the big animal was.

“Your brain is trying to work out what it was because it’s not a cat,” he said.

He has since had cameras installed to ensure that any panther or other creature that crosses the “thick” courtyard is captured on tape.

News.com.au contacted the NSW Department of Primary Industries for comment on the complaints.

Another woman said that after making a terrifying sighting of what was certain to be a large panther, she began to stumble upon carcasses of torn animals that she was sure had been explained by the creature she had seen.

In the late 1970s, Julie Dodds said she was returning home with her husband and their four children when they ran into a panther, who was in front of their car in Maiden Gully, near Bendigo in Victoria.

He was a “tall black creature alive in the middle of the road,” he told news.com.au. “Her eyes shone yellow in the car’s headlights and my husband slowed down.”

Dodds said that after making the sighting, they were shocked to find that a large kangaroo had been “torn and gutted”.

He said they are at that moment, their family home was powered by a generator, which required them to go out at night.

“You can imagine how nervous we were when we had to go out in the evening,” he said.

The farmers in the area were convinced that something was happening, as their livestock had been brutally killed, they convinced themselves that there was a wild dog behind the attacks,

“We never heard anything else about a big black animal in that area,” he said.

Do you know more about big cats in Australia? Continue the conversation | phoebe.loomes@news.com.au

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