'Panther sightings' in the Wingecarribee stir up old legend

Phantom panther: Mystery cat or overgrown tabby? Have you had a panther sighting? Share it on our Facebook page. Photo: Ken, Wombeyan Caves, 2011.

Phantom panther: Mystery cat or overgrown tabby? Have you had a panther sighting? Share it on our Facebook page. Photo: Ken, Wombeyan Caves, 2011.

On Friday the 13th, superstitions, myths and mysteries are always discussed a little more freely.

Perhaps it’s apt then that a decades-old Highlands mystery has resurfaced over the holiday period, and people are talking.

An elusive black panther, said to roam the bushlands of the Wingecarribee, has popped up in Facebook posts on several local pages. But it has people questioning – fact or fiction?

The rumour mill suggests the large dark cat escaped from Bullen’s Animal World - a circus-style theme park at Wallacia in the Greater Western Sydney region - after the park closed in 1985. With several purported sightings across the state, including several in the Blue Mountains region, many give weight to this theory.

Others suggest it was set free from a private zoo, while many discount its existence all together. Regardless, it’s a lasting legend that locals love, or love to hate.

A Wingecarribee Shire council spokesman said council staff had been alerted to freaky happenings across the shire.

“Council is prepared to establish a team of appropriately qualified investigators to investigate the likelihood of this and other issues including bull shark and crocodile sightings in the Wingecarribee River, and UFO sightings above Mt Gibraltar,” he said.

Have you ever had a panther sighting? Does your family have a version of the long-time legend? Share it with us - even better, send us your photos!