We’ve reported some exclusives over the years here at The Watsonia Bugle, but this is arguably biggest of the lot! Early this morning, we were contacted by a member of the public with undoubtably the best image ever captured of the mysterious “Plenty Gorge Panther” – the elusive beast that stalks the large nature reserve just north of Watsonia North.

While the presence of the powerful creature has long been hinted at by eagle-eyed locals, high quality images confirming its existence have been hard to come by. However, while taking his daily walk this morning, Watsonia North resident Ben Haberman managed to snap the panther in its natural habitat, just moments before it scurried away into thick scrub.

Speaking to The Watsonia Bugle about his incredible encounter, Haberman said, “Mate, it was amazing. I was actually on me phone, just scrolling through some messages when I sensed something up ahead. At first, I thought it would just be another kangaroo, but when I looked up, I saw that majestic creature just prowling through the woods. I couldn’t believe my luck. I mean, I’ve heard the rumours, but I’m a believer now, there’s definitely a big cat living in the Gorge. What a beauty!”

Tales of big cat sightings have become folklore in many regions around Australia, with footage of varying quality often submitted as alleged proof, along with the occasional livestock corpse with unexplained claw markings. Exactly how such an exotic creature could find itself in the Australian bush attracts a variety of theories, with the most popular being an escaped circus animal, or the live mascot of an American army corp being released into the local wilderness at the conclusion of World War II.

Have you seen the Plenty Gorge Panther, or evidence of its existence? Please let us know as we continue to monitor this evolving story.