Panther spotted near Kyogle: ‘Could not believe what we saw’
Is there a panther skulking around the bush near Kyogle?
It's been a local legend for years, but plenty of residents claim to have spotted one.
Grayson Marychurch recently posted on Facebook about a "large black cat" spotted "just over the Ettrick range travelling to Ettrick".
He wrote on the Kyogle (the friendly town) group that the animal was standing still on the side of the road, staring at the car.
"Who else has spotted this creature, or knows anyone that has?" he asked.
He was inundated with comments.
Jenelle Moore said she had seen a "big black cat … about the size of a large dog".
"Could not believe what we saw, so pleased others are seeing it too," she wrote.
Paul McMahon had also heard of a sighting near Ettrick.
"Went back the next day and found a paw print as big as your fist in soft earth on the side of the road where they'd spotted it," he wrote.
Joanne Monteith said she saw a large black cat in Larkin St, Kyogle, twice in the last fortnight.
"My huge dog went off and it didn't move," she wrote.
"It was no house cat ‒ it was black, huge and I was bit scared of it so I took off."
Panther-like creatures have been spotted in other areas too, including Urbenville, Upper Toolum, Wiangaree, The Risk, Billen Cliffs, Old Grevillia, Woodenbong, Lillian Rock and Barkers Vale.
They have been spotted numerous times around Nimbin in recent years
In 2017, there were concerns that a panther or even a Tasmanian tiger was responsible for the decapitation of a joey at Bonalbo.
And while many people have tried to capture clear images of the creatures, they have so far proven to be quite elusive.
Amy Glock posted a photo of an animal she saw out Eden Creek way in September 2019.
"Zoom in, its muscles are big," she wrote.
Linda Roberts also shared photographic evidence, taken with a trail camera on her property at Doon Doon.
"We picked up a couple of shots of this cat but this is the best one," she posted.
"The image was caught on a ridgeline that the wild dogs travel … there is plenty of food here and there is no reason they would come into the open."
Christopher Hammond agreed that a panther-like creature could easily survive in the bush on the Northern Rivers.
"They have a never-ending supply of food in our forests," he posted.
"Many reports of sheep carcasses found up in trees.
"I have been following these sightings for years and I for one would not bushwalk in any of these sighting areas without a rifle.
"I am amazed that no one has ever been taken."