Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers

“The authors’ even-handed, open-minded approach provides ample evidences for the theories they touch upon…this is a first-rate Fortean classic, fastidiously sourced, and essential reading for all students of the ABC phenomenon.”
FORTEAN TIMES, April 2011

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It’s one of Australia’s greatest mysteries. For decades there has been talk of big cats roaming the Australian bush.

And now for the first time Australia’s ‘black panther’ legend is explored in all its detail in Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers by Mike Williams and Rebecca Lang.

These large cats – predominantly black – have only afforded their witnesses fleeting glimpses, and left behind tantalising clues: scraps of fur, a paw print or three, unusually large scats, and livestock carcasses surgically dismembered and picked clean of flesh.

In their wake, they leave carnage and bewilderment: What are they? How did they get here?

These questions inspired a 10-year journey to discover the answers, and what the authors have found will intrigue the sceptic and the believer alike.

Big cat sightings have been occurring with greater frequency across the country in the past 20 years, leading to speculation there may be a breeding colony of large cats in Australia.

Australia isn’t the only antipodean country touched by the black cat mystery. Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers also dedicates a chapter to the profusion of sightings and speculation in neighbouring New Zealand, documenting reports right up until 2009 and sharing for the first time highlights from the unpublished manuscript of New Zealand’s first big cat hunter.

Flesh-and-blood or flight of fancy? Exotic pest, mutant feral or ‘extinct’ marsupial lion? Join the authors as they explore one of Australia’s greatest mysteries.

Read our free book extract here.

Buy the book here.

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