A mysterious big cat has surprised two men fishing at Point Impossible.
One of the men supplied the Indy with several pictures of the animal, taken from the other side of Thompsons Creek around 10am last Saturday.
He was adamant the animal was feline and too large to be a feral cat.
“I looked across to the other bank and could see this big black thing,” he told the Indy on condition of anonymity.
“I thought it might have been a dog, but then it stood up and flicked its tail around its body like a cat. Then it pricked up its pointy ears and slowly walked into the saltbushes.
“To be a dog, the tail wasn’t correct, the ears weren’t correct, the head shape wasn’t correct and it was jet-black. The size of it, the shoulders, the way it walked; it was a cat.
“My mate at first said it was a big, black feral cat, but I said it was a panther – he ended up agreeing with me.
“It was not a dog – we know what we saw.
“We decided to call it The Rivermouth Panther.”
The animal appeared to be stalking two dogs on a walk along the sandy creek bank, the man said.
“It was there to hunt, that’s why it was there.
“It would sort of crawl along on its belly to a piece of seaweed and blend in. It was sleek and quiet.
“It’s not something you see every day, let’s put it that way.”
The animal disappeared when a tall man and two children appeared behind the dogs, the witness said.
He and his mate had clear conditions to view the animal upwind and about 20 to 30 metres away.
“It was so close, I could have cast my rod and hooked it.”
The man photographed the animal on a small waterproof camera, which he said he always took to Point Impossible to take surf photographs.
The man was already a believer in Australian big cats before his experience at Point Impossible, he said.
“There are so many theories and too many sightings, even videos. It’s very hard to dismiss.”
But Australian big-cat author Mike Williams said the man’s photographs were inconclusive.
“From the witness, it’s a big cat but from the pictures it could be anything from a labrador down.
“I can’t rule it out as a cat, but I can’t rule it in, either.”
The sighting’s time of day was “atypical” but other apparent big cats had been seen on beaches, Mr Williams said.
Witnesses have claimed numerous big-cat sightings around the region in recent years, from Lara to Torquay, Mt Duneed and along the Surf Coast and its hinterland.
Many witnesses have compared the animals to large cats such as panthers and pumas, although some believed they were thylacines, or Tasmanian tigers. The last officially documented thylacine died in captivity in Tasmania almost 100 years ago.

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