Sunday, June 20, 2010

On The Hunt For The Big Cat That Refuses To Die

Exotic feline or enduring phantom? Something big, something strange has been stalking the Blue Mountains for decades and it's back in the spotlight, Eamonn Duff reports.

PAUL CAUCHI and his girlfriend Naomi were in a celebratory mood.

The couple had just signed the paperwork for their new home near Mudgee but that's not why they will remember May 28, 2010.

''We were driving through Yarrawonga and Naomi saw it first,'' explained Mr Cauchi.

'''Look,' she said, 'Can you see that? … It's … it's a panther!'

''And the moment I saw it, I swore out loud in disbelief - because that's exactly what it was.''

The couple had ''a perfect seven- or eight-second view'' of the creature standing in front of them, outside a goat farm.

''I'd heard the stories but never believed a word of it,'' said Mr Cauchi. ''I've seen how big feral bush cats grow, but this was no feral cat. There is no mistaking, this was a panther. Now I'm thinking, how has this remained in doubt for so long?''

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