The Blue Mountains…a mystical, wild region where talk of a lurking panther, Big Foot, Drop Bears’ and the like have excited and terrified tourists for years. Are we locals just having fun at their expense?
Below is a report from the Blue Mountains Gazette, March 23 2018 on one visitor’s ‘big cat’ encounter.
The elusive and possibly apocryphal black panther has apparently returned to the Mountains,with a reported sighting last week near Pulpit Rock in Blackheath.
Perth visitor Sam Maher was bushwalking on his own on Thursday, March 15, somewhere between Pulpit Rock and Pope’s Glen Creek, when he felt eyes upon him. “At the time I was listening to a podcast with my headphones in when, suddenly, I became overwhelmed with the sensation that I was being watched,” he said.
“My automatic response was to spin around, rip my headphones out, and look behind me. As I did so the sound of panicked movement erupted in front of me forcing me to look back, catching an undeniable glimpse of the back of a jet-black animal with a long tail as it ripped up the earth in a panic before leaping into the dense scrub just four or five metres up the path from where I stood.”
I live in Blackheath and I’m not sure what to think about Sam’s story. And honestly, who goes bushwalking wearing headphones?
Another reported Blue Mountains encounter was captured on camera;
More recently there was a sighting ‘down the hill’ at Bullaburra, reported on Facebook by Leia Marshall;
It transpired that Leia had a rather close relationship with this ‘panther’. She had even given it a name; Miley Cyrus Moon Marshall. She found the literal interpretation of her lighthearted post quite startling.
If you would like to watch a video of what is claimed to be one of the Blue Mountains’ big cats in the wild, CLICK HERE
The theory behind all these stories seems to be that WWII American servicemen brought several panthers to Australia as mascots. The men spent time in the Blue Mountains before leaving to fight in New Guinea. Hmm, I’m not convinced! Mind you, our own soldiers took wildlife mascots overseas, especially in WWI. My great-uncle left Hobart with the 12th Battalion in October 1914, and their mascot was a Tasmanian Devil.
MORE CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH WILDLIFE
Of course we do have to expect interaction with wildlife up here. My GP had a wombat take up residence under her house in suburban Leura last year. She wisely left it to leave on its own terms.
The following photo was taken by State Rail staff in Mount Victoria, one stop higher than Blackheath. At least the roo was standing behind the yellow line!
UPDATE – This week a Blackheath resident claimed to have been disturbed by a giant emu thudding down her driveway in the dead of night. OMG! , that’s almost creepier than a panther. I may have to leave, it’s all becoming too much.
For more information on the Blue Mountains giant felines, CLICK HERE.