MIKE Williams doesn’t believe Australian big cats exist. He knows they do.
Williams and his partner Rebecca Lang have just published their book Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers and in it they not only ask such questions as: what are they? and where did they come from?.
They also seek answers in a revealing look into one of Australia’s greatest mysteries.
One of the stories featured in the book is that of Kenthurst’s Luke Walker’s encounter in March, 2003.
His experience will forever be etched in his mind and that of Hills residents, as the cat “the size of a labrador” leapt at him in the dark and left him with deep cuts to his arm.
Williams, a writer and photographer, said he was a sceptic about the big cats until he was asked to video a conference Lang, a journalist, was holding about the mysterious feline species in 2001.
“At the conference I saw a picture taken of a lioness around 1986/87 caught by police at Broken Hill,” he said.
“From then on I knew these cats existed.
“The whole subject is fascinating.
“It is very hard to hunt down a ‘big cat’ in Australia because they are smart animals, there is not much open bushland and we don’t have trained hounds. Especially in the back of Grose Vale, you can’t see more than 100m in front of you at times.”
Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers book took the pair eight years of research and interviews to complete and during that time their experiences and discoveries have been featured in various documentaries including the Discovery Channel Animal X.
Their work has also appeared in many magazines including Australian Shooter, Big Cat Yearbook 2007, the Centre for Fortean Zoology Yearbook 2009 and The Fortean Times Paranormal Handbook 2009.
You can pick-up a copy through their website at http://www.australianbigcats.com.au