Mark and Monika had a panther experience|Richard_F||10/18/03 at 16:28:46|richard_f|xx|0||Mudgee Guardian and Gulgong Advertiser
10th October 2003

Mark and Monika had a panther experience
By Diane Simmonds
Friday, 10 October 2003

A Mudgee couple have confirmed there are panthers in the region,
having seen a panther a number of times in the past and actually
shooting one.
Mark and Monika Gibbs had their interlude with a panther 13 years
ago. Although Mark shot that one, they are convinced there are many
more 'out there'.
Monika Gibbs saw what she first thought was a very large feral cat a
number of times when she and her partner lived at Green Gulley.
Being a city girl, Monika was frightened of snakes, so the couple
kept some kittens to ward off the snakes.
It was the kittens that attracted the panther and the cats got on
well with each other, she said.
But Monika was scared of the big cat that used to sit and watch her
with huge greeny yellow eyes and at times screamed a most terrifying
sound. Mark said it sounded like a woman being attacked.
So Mark borrowed a gun and took his place beside an open sliding
glass door, keeping watch.
The `cat' came up within two metres of Mark to visit the kitten's
milk and food.
"I could see its big eyes staring at me," Mark said.
Mark shot at the cat, but not being a `gun person' missed its head
and shot it in the throat.
The animal gave a heart piercing scream and ran, but had not gone far
when it dropped.
Mark and Monika could see its eyes staring at them still and
approached the dead animal with a torch and, being afraid of getting
into trouble for shooting it, dragged it and dropped it over a fence.
Mark went back the next day, but the animal had completely
disappeared - probably carried away.
Mark said he picked the cat's back legs up beside his belt and
dragged the head along the ground when he moved it.
"It had the most beautiful soft fur," he said.
Mark said he was sure it was a panther, and that other sightings of a
black panther are correct.
"If they put in a bit of time and effort, they will find them," Mark
said, referring to the Department of Agriculture officers who said
recently they are investigating reported sightings of a panther like
creature at Botobolar.