http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,24844943-5001021,00.html y Justin Vallejo, Urban Affairs Reporter December 27, 2008 12:00am MYSTERIOUS panther-like creatures, long reported to be stalking the outskirts of Sydney, could be moving towards homes. With at least 19 sightings reported this year, big cat hunters believe they're becoming bolder as they search for food and mates. Cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy said the elusive creatures - usually reported as fleeting sightings at night, often on lonely country roads - have been reported as far afield as Kenthurst, Lithgow, Penrith and Appin as they find migratory routes around Warragamba dam, linking breeding populations from the northwest to southwest via the Blue Mountains. Have you seen a big cat? Send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or MMS 0432 752 459 Plus - Read other readers' thoughts and sightings on the panther here. "They've become more active, males and females, in the past few weeks and months as they look to breed," Mr Gilroy said. Although there is no hard evidence the creatures exist, residents have become so frightened that the Department of Primary Industries has commissioned a report on the cats, due early next year. "The DPI is currently putting together a report following recent concerns from residents living in the Grose Vale area," a spokeswoman said. "The report will look at a range of options, as well as a review of the existing evidence." Grose Vale resident Chris Coffey, who operates a database that has recorded 330 sightings in the past decade, said she has seen a big cat the size of her 63kg rottweiler at least five times in her own backyard. While the DPI received 19 formal reports of a "large black cat" in 2008, there had been an increasing flood of informal reports. Mr Gilroy recently visited Burragorang Valley, where bushman Gavin Noakes found large paw prints bigger than a man's fist at 12cm to 15cm wide. The depth of the paw print suggested a heavy creature, in line with a number of recent sightings of a panther-like creature of about 30kg with a black-to-dark brown coat. "There's a migratory pattern in which they seem to come out of Grose Vale and penetrate out into the back of the Kenthurst scrub, moving back and forth," he said. "Two breeding populations of about half a dozen each have developed there." He believes they are distant relations of the extinct Thylacoleo carnifex owen, a marsupial lion that survived the Ice Age. holy shit balls, i spend a bit of time in the bush from time to time and i would shit my self silly if i saw one of these things. my mum is on a property deep in the great dividing range about 40 kms north west of taree, and she reckons shes seen one of these bad boys a couple of times. i was up walking along a spur up there once looking for foxes, and i saw a paw print that was feline, except it was about 8-10cm in diameter. ive read in sporting shooter about a bloke in victoria who reckons he shot one, silly bastard chucked the body in the creek but... i ridiculous amount of people are reporting sightings now, its hard to dispute that they exist. the photo in the article is unbelievable! what exactly they are in terms of their phylogeny will be up in the air untill one is recovered. has anyone here seen one? coming home on dusk after a long day scratching, or puttering around in the bush on the traily? some one must have?