I have always been sceptical about reports of 'panthers' in the Victorian bush. They come up in the papers every few years however there never seems to be any photos or casts of prints etc. Last year the sun published a photo taken by a man who said he had shot one of these panthers, it was obvious that the panther was just a large feral cat and that the shooter had posed the photo so that the cat appeared larger than it really was.
However a good and trusted friend of mine who surf fishes at Wilsons Prom saw one on sunday the 12th November. I have no reason to doubt that he saw something and that he genuinely believes it to be one of these 'panthers'. Apparently it was about 4.30 in the afternoon, he was waiting for the tide to turn and was looking back from the beach towards the bush. About 70 metres away he could see a large black thing lying on the ground. The object appeared to be moving so he started to walk closer, after he had gone about 10 metres he stopped and he said he could see it was a large (about 1 and 1/2 metres long not including the tail) pure black cat grooming itself. After a minute or so the creature rose and walked into the bush. He did not approach any closer as it was so large he feared it may attack. As is usual with this sort of thing he had no camera and nothing to preserve prints etc. He did report it to the parks office however he thinks they did not believe him. He stresses to me that he has never seen such a jet black cat, he has seen feral cats before they are large but nothing like the size of this sighting and their colour is usually a crappy dun/grey etc. One thing he mentioned that did sound odd to me was that he said that the cat when standing would have only stood about 60 to 70 cm high. I am not that familiar with panthers or large cats however I would have thought that they would stand higher than that.
So, I have a trusted friend who says he has seen a creature that I have always doubted exists.