WE believe in the Lake Macquarie panther. Let’s be clear about that.
A panther has roamed the outskirts of Sydney for decades, so why wouldn’t there be one here? It’s a sign that panthers are starting to recognise the Hunter as a perfect place to raise a pride and prowl the woods. We’re not some panther backwater.
Hailing as this writer does from the part of Sydney that first experienced a panther, we’d like to offer our expertise.
Despite all the sightings – and everyone who lives between Dural and Penrith knows someone who knows someone who’s seen the panther – it’s notoriously hard to photograph.
All the snaps are too grainy, too blurry or, most irritating of all, not of a panther. Yes. Panther photos often turn out to be black cat photos.
That’s likely to be an obstacle with our Lake panther. But let’s worry about that later. First we need to set up a surveillance network.
Let’s call it, say, Panther Under Regional Review. PURR.
One possible model for PURR to follow is the Facebook group ‘‘I believe in the Kenthurst Panther’’.
With the mission statement ‘‘Let’s keep this baby under control and monitored’’, it reports sightings and looks for patterns. There have been some alarming reports.
‘‘He was in my backyard,’’ claimed one bloke.
‘‘I was feeding my cat and I turned around to throw away the rubbish and he was at my bin.’’
Those are the sorts of sightings we’re looking for. Stay safe, people. And practise taking photos on your phones.