There’s been another reported sighting of the legendary Otway Panther. 

Twin brothers Royce and Ben Chaffey, 43, were going for a walk near the Otway Ranges northwest of Lorne on Sunday morning when they spotted what they described as a “big black panther”

Royce Chaffey told the Geelong Advertiser “the big cat was jet-black, at least 1.5 metres in length and thick, with a big jaw and head.”

“In the middle of this track, there was this big black panther thing,” Chaffey said.

It disappeared before they could get video footage.

“It just looked like a panther — it was jet black.

“It was not mistaken for something else — it was a large predator cat.”

It’s certainly not the first reported sighting, with rumours of Geelong’s secret panther population raging for decades.


Local big cat researcher, Simon Townsend believes the cat could have been a melanistic leopard.

“I am pretty confident and so are a lot of other people, in the fact that they do exist,” he said.

“These animals are big, sleek and muscular … they are very low in density and are not common.

“But there are certain areas that are hot spots and the Otways is one of them.”

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