'Nothing about it was a dog': big cat sighting near Gympie
WHILE Pat Martin had never seen anything like it, it wasn't until she read of the pursuit by experts to prove 'big cats' exist in Australian bushland, that she wanted to tell her story.
Months ago, the Cooran resident saw something bent over in a Pomona bushy off-leash dog park, that could only be described as a 'big cat'.
Walking her two Maltese terriers on a sunny Saturday morning, Ms Martin caught site of a black creature, crouching in vegetation about 30m away.
"It was dark and as big as a medium-sized dog," she said.
"But there was nothing about it that was a dog.
"It was just the shape of it that really struck me - it's tail was round on the edge."
She said the animal did not turn to her, but was intent on what it was crouching at.
As Ms Martin approached, the animal disappeared in the mottled and shaded bush, but moments later as she passed three domestic cats on her walk near some houses, it gave the dog-walker a sense of the size of the 'big cat' she had seen.
"It had been at least five times the size of a domestic cat," she said.
"I hadn't seen anything like it."
The sighting is one of many in the Gympie region that 'big cat' expert and star of up and coming documentary The Hunt Vaughan King says is a hot spot for activity.
Mr King. who relocated his family from the Sunshine Coast to Victoria, has dedicated the next two years to the mission, now positioned where most panther and puma sightings occur.
On average, a big cat sighting has been reported every day in Australia over the past two years.
The research involves using the latest evidence gathering techniques including motion- activated camera traps and thermal drones.
If you have seen a big cat in the Australian bush in the last two months, you can report sightings to bigcats.com.au to help solve the mystery.