Incredible footage reignites 'black panther' theory after sighting on Aussie property

The video showing a huge black cat running on a field in NSW has made people wonder if panthers really do exist in Australia.

Large feral black cat roaming through grass on Moree property.
A woman has questioned whether a large black cat near her property in Moree, NSW was actually a panther. Source: TikTok

There's a mystery that remains unsolved in Australia and one that's got locals hooked. But the debate has reared its head once more after yet another baffling discovery on a property in rural NSW.

Footage showing a "huge" black cat was shared by the property owner on social media this week after she found it strolling calmly through long grass near Moree — a sight that left her wondering "is this a big feral cat or an infamous black panther of Australia"?

For decades there have been reports of oversized panther-like animals roaming fields and farms across Australia, mostly across NSW. In April, a prospector from Ballarat was shocked to see what he described as "blackness in the paddock" which was "moving in a straight line". To him, and others, it resembled a "big black panther".

Responding to his claims, others insisted they too had seen big cats around Bendigo, as well as Grafton and Tamworth. And previously in South Australia. But now it appears Moree could be home to wild black cats too.

The footage shared by the Moree woman this week shows the wild animal gliding smoothly through the grass with its long black tail swiping the air as it walked. A debate erupted in the comments over whether or not it was "just a cat" or if it was indeed a panther, with obvious details apparently enough to distinguish the two.

"I believe panther, look at the tail after it gets past the tree it hangs like big cats hang their tails," one person said. But another suggested "the tail is too short for a panther" concluding it's just a "huge cat".

Another thought its face was too "flat" to be a panther which tends to have "a more pointy type face". "Definitely a cat and is abnormally huge," they concluded.

Posting in the comments, the woman shared her thoughts and added: "Yep, I’m thinking it’s a huge feral cat, it eats all my cat's food on the back veranda every night".

Big black cat running through field in Ballarat.
A gold prospector from Ballarat previously saw a big black cat which he claimed was heavier than others he'd ever seen before. Source: Source: Gold Coins and Relics Australia

Feral cats in Australia are known to grow to a massive size — there's famous footage of one in the Northern Territory taking out a small wallaby. On a sad note, they've caused more extinctions in Australia than any other animal except for humans, Yahoo News previously reported.

When James the prospector first shared his footage online in April, it garnered over 1.2 million views in a matter of days. The slow-motion one-minute clip shows what appears to be a large black cat running in front of grain silos and tall trees.

And just like with the Moree sighting, many were sceptical. So the mystery remains, it seems.

Love Australia's weird and wonderful environment? Get our new newsletter showcasing the week’s best stories.