Apollo Bay, Victoria
Around January 2005 i was holidaying in Apollo Bay with my then girlfriend....We decided to spend a day visiting the many waterfalls that litter the Otways surrounding Apollo Bay most of them only accessible via dirt tracks.
Whilst driving along these dirt tracks we saw at least 3 "feral" cats...2 black and one fawn in colour along the side of the road.
These were in no way possible to be mistaken for anything other then feral cats.
Whilst returning to our car up some very roughly made steep steps (girlfriend tired lagging behind) i had stopped to wait for her when i had the feeling of being watched..
Looking out into the surrounding bushland i spotted a rather large tabby cat sitting on a log not more then 25 metres from me. As I have always been very intrigued and fascinated by ..ufos.. cryptozoology..and other related topics i was kinda spooked by this as i started recalling stories i had read about big cats etc...
It was getting a little late in the evening but we decided we would visit one more waterfall before returning to Apollo bay I do not recall the name of this waterfall but it was located in a gully surrounded by heavily logged pine forest with a public camp ground located at the end of a dirt track On leaving you come of this dirt trackand turn onto a sealed road..as we did this and i started accelerating i got a glimpse of the rear end of a very large black cat as it leaped of the roadside and up an embankment which was about 3.5 metres high My girlfriend saw it before me and said "did you see that" so i guess my mind was not playing tricks on me.
We stopped and reversed back to where we had seen it. There were shrubs on top of the embankment behind these there was forest....we could not see it and we were to scared to leave the vehicle and venture up the embankment It would have been at least a little taller then a german shepard, jet black, but what really got my attention was the long black curved tail which stayed curved and rigid as it leapt.
There is no way it could have been a feral cat in our opinion we both have had pet cats and this was not your everyday pussy cat. You wouldn't get me camping out at that waterfall......in fact i don't think id walk down that way again either I find it interesting that most people cannot believe/accept the idea of bigcats living in the aussie bush....fair enough when it comes to yowies etc when you take into account there is no confirmed species matching them anywhere in the world..but bigcats of allsorts shapes and colours are known to exist in many countries...why not here?
What effect would proof of this have on tourism etc....like i said it has put me off camping and bushwalking too not to mention the political nightmare it would be in regards to how/what to deal with it...It will be interesting to see if current issues like drought bushfires bring these creatures out of hiding and into more contact with humans. Kevin
CFZ credit: Paul Clacher