Sightings of exotic big cats in Australia began more than 100 years ago. The New South Wales State Government reported in 2003 that it was "more likely than not" that there was a colony of exotic big cats living in the bush near Sydney.
Gippsland phantom catIn the Gippsland region of south-eastern Victoria, the origin of the cats is claimed to be American World War II airmen who brought cougars with them as mascots and released them in the Australian Bush. Photographic evidence is often difficult to interpret.
Grampians pumaA study by Deakin University concluded that a big cat population in the Grampians mountain range is "beyond reasonable doubt".
Blue Mountains PantherThe Blue Mountains Panther is a phantom cat reported in sightings in the Blue Mountains area, west of Sydney, New South Wales for over a century. Speculation about the Blue Mountains Panther includes the theory that it is descended from either circus or zoo escapees, or is a descendant of a military mascot.
Video footage showing a large black cat near Lithgow was examined by a group of seven zoo, museum, parks and agriculture staff, who concluded that it was a large domestic cat (2–3 times normal size) based partly on its morphology and partly on the behaviour of a nearby normal-sized domestic cat.