Creators of a new documentary are calling for people who have seen the elusive black panther in the Illawarra to report the sighting.
Big cat expert Vaughan King will investigate the myth of big cats in the Australian bush in a new documentary, The Hunt.
He is asking members of the public who have seen a big cat in the Australian bush in the last two months to report the sighting. The reports will be investigated over the next six months and filmed for the documentary.
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 Illwaarra 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.
There was also a reported sighting near Pulpit Rock in Blackheath and near Martin’s Lookout in Springwood.
The Hunt director Stu Ross said big cats in the bush are often dismissed as an urban myth.
“In the film, via the painstaking and committed efforts of our researchers, we have an opportunity to document the emergence of such a myth into the light of scientific observation,” Mr Ross said.
The latest evidence gathering techniques include top of the line technology in motion activated camera traps and thermal drones, he said.
Creators said they don’t intent to hurt the animals, they only want to see them protected and proven to be there.
You can report a big cat sighting here.