i live in rural nsw Australia and always hear stories of big cats that people see from time to time. i never really believed it until i was out shooting one night just on foot with a 243 in the middle of a paddock ages away from my ute at dusk. i see a big mob and start aiming for a bigger one. something spooks them and most start to run so i take a shot to try and get one. what i didn't know was i didn't spook them the giant fucking panther about 50m away from me that attacked one of the kanagroos was what scared them.
there was a moment when we both realized the other was there and i sat there looking into those big yellow eyes for what seemed like a good 5 seconds before it took off into the bush. i have never run so fast holding a gun in my life after that. i was sure it wouldn't come back because they are from what i hear afraid of people especially after i shot the gun.
older zoos circuses and traveling shows use to have panthers and if they couldn't take care of it they would release it or escaped. cougars use to also come on the WW2 battle ships from what i heard. i don't really know about the cougars but definitely there are panthers in australia