New Panther Sighting in Australia

Greg Illingworth lives alone on his Maraylya property.

Three weeks ago, he had company he would rather not have had – a visit from what he is convinced was a panther.

“It was just before nightfall on Wednesday, January 23,” Mr Illingworth said.

“When I first saw it, it was 40 paces away. I was walking along with the wheelbarrow with my eyes down towards the ground watching for snakes. In my higher peripheral vision I saw a movement so I raised my gaze to see an enormous black cat coming towards me.

“I was very frightened. I stopped in my tracks and the creature was moving at a speed faster than a walk but slower than a run; a sort of jog.

“I think we perceived each other at the same moment. It turned to its left and moved over to a steep slope down to the creek.

“At that stage, most of it was obscured by a bush but its hind legs and tail remained in full view for about three or more seconds. The top of its back was level with the bush it was standing behind.”

Mr Illingworth later measured the bush at 61cm.

“The most unforgettable thing was its tail, about a metre long, no noticeable taper and perhaps two inches in diameter,” he said.

His sighting is number 312 in NSW, according to Chris Coffey’s statistics.

The Grose Vale resident has seen big cats on five occasions over the last 10 years.

“I knew it was genuine because his measurements [of the cat] were spot on,” Mrs Coffey said.

Mr Illingworth, 67, said his eyesight “works” and that he had not been drinking.

“The reality is in the worst case scenario, that animal could have killed me,” he said.

“It would have been somewhere in the order of 80 to 90 kilograms.”

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