A family has identified the mysterious beast recorded roaming the countryside near Lithgow earlier this week which sparked cries the region’s infamous black panther was real.
It’s their family pet, a cat named Toby.
“Sorry to let you all down, but this is my cat, Toby,” owner Danielle Donlan commented on Facebook.
“That is my paddock being filmed and yes, he is a large, desexed black male who loves to visit the neighbours.”
The situation wore thin on the family as the videos of their pet gained more and more attention: as of Wednesday morning one of them had been viewed almost 300,000 times.
The family had concerns more people would try to come and gain pictures of Toby, or even hunt the ‘panther’.
Ms Donlan said it should have been clear from the footage that Toby was simply a large male cat.
-Central Western Daily
Earlier: There has been a purported panther sighting close to Lithgow with Belinda Baker uploading footage to Facebook on the weekend of what she believes to be the infamous black panther.
Ms Baker said she saw a creature roaming along a slope in Kanimbla on Monday afternoon, “not far from the Coxs River”.
“We watched it walking around for about half an hour. It was huge!” Ms Baker wrote in a post on Facebook.
What do you think?
Numerous sightings of a black panther in the Illawarra have been reported over the years from Austinmer to Coalcliff to the Sea Cliff Bridge.
The last reported sighting in the Illawarra was last year, when an Austinmer father and his teenage son were driving around doing their usual surf check.
They drove down Buttenshaw Drive and were in between Middle Heights Road and Buttenshaw Place when they spotted the creature on the escarpment side of the road, they told the Mercury.
“There’s no question to my mind in what I saw,” the man said.
“We both looked at each other and it was totally it.”
Prior to that, an Albion Park man Alex Vourliotis and his partner Tanaya Webb said they saw it at Coalcliff.