Bega District News
19 June 2007
EARLY in May a we published a query from a visitor to the shire who claimed she saw a black panther near Tathra and asked if there had been any other sightings.
Since then we have had five reports from sightings, not only in the Tathra area but in the Tantawanglo and Bemboka regions as well.
These are the latest reports.
A 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, he said.
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 got 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.
Alf Waterson of Wallagoot and two mates made their sighting not far from Bournda.
It was in the late 60s and they were walking along north Tura beach at approximately 2pm not far from where the housing is now.
"We disturbed a large panther like animal very close to the beach; it took off up the slope at speed and we got a good look at it briefly for 20 metres or so," he said.
"As we were very close to it we saw it was jet black like a cat all over, body about 70cm, tail 50cm with a small head and short ears, exactly like a panther.
"My cousins who lived at Jellat at that time had seen a similar animal at Killapnee which is a property west of Bournda lake on the back Merimbula road.
"We never informed anyone of our sightings until years later when I saw an article in a shooting magazine and I wrote in and it was published in the magazine about eight years ago.
"This (latest) sighting is no mystery to me.
"Good on Ms X for bringing this to light as some stories that should be told never are for fear of ridicule."
CFZ credit: Ruby Lang