Bega District News
08 June 2007
Behind the News
WE are dedicating today's column to reported sightings of black panthers in the shire, in reponse to a query a few weeks ago from a visit to Tathra who was sure she saw one.
ROBERT Jennings of Bega says that in the mid 1970s he and two friends were riding motor bikes along the old back road between Kalaru and Merimbula when we they to the junction that now is the access road from Sapphire Coast Drive to the Merimbula waste depot. "We stopped the bikes to have a chat when out of the bush just below the intersection about 50 metres away came an awful noise and the bushes around it were being thrashed about; it sounded like something you would hear on TV, the sounds of a big cat playing or fighting with something. The noise really scared us all and then this big black cat rushed out of the bush saw us and fled back into the bush just as quick. It had a body about the size of a large german shepherd and a long slender black tail. We all looked at each other and rode off as quickly as we could, none of us could believe what we had just witnessed. Later on we talked about what had happened and we all came to the same conclusion: that no would believe us if we reported it so we didn't bother. However, it still haunts me to this day."
ROBERT says that a few years later he was talking to a person who lived at
Burragate and she told him a story she said he wouldn't believe; about how a black panther came to her creek to drink every morning.
ANOTHER Bega reader (who wants to remain anonymous) says that about 15 years ago he was bushwalking on the side of Bemboka peak when saw a black animal about the size of a labrador dog, but it was not a dog. It was definitely a type of cat. It "slunk" out of the bushes, looked at him and then slunk away again.
LISA Brown, formerly of these parts, says that eight or nine years ago on Tantawanglo Road she gt a good look at her panther. It was much bigger than a cat and smaller than a tiger, she said. It was sleek, longer than a cat and had more muscle tone than a dog. Lisa's story can also be corroborated by the person who was in the car with her at the time.
CFZ credit: Ruby Lang