Wonnarua Aboriginal elder Warren Taggart couldn't believe his eyes.
"I was up in the mountains the other day and I came across the biggest paw-print I've ever seen in my entire life," Warren said.
"I read in the paper that this bloke spotted a black panther, so I thought I'd let you know about this footprint."
He was referring to a report about a black panther sighting at Mount Sugarloaf.
BIG CAT YARNS:
Chris Trees, 35, was riding his mountain bike when he spotted "a big, black cat" drop from a red gum tree.
"It was easily the size of a rottweiler. It had a big, black, bushy tail. It scared the shit out of me," said Chris, of Macquarie Hills.
Having seen the large paw-print "up the back of Wollombi", Warren said: "I really do think that bloke is telling the truth".
Warren, of Singleton, saw the print while "in the mountains with two other gentlemen".
"They were planning a boy's camp for two days, looking at where they're going to camp and walk," he said.
"We were walking back along the roadway. I said, 'Holy hell, have a look at the size of this print'.
"There were three prints. I took a photo of the best one."
The story about the Mount Sugarloaf panther produced a big response on the Herald's Facebook page, including these comments:
Amber Dick: "It's probably the same one that I saw cross Rhonda Road near Wakefield Road out the back of Teralba. It was huge."
Jenny Ottaway: "My husband and I saw a large black cat the same size as a large German shepherd, only longer, at Barrington Tops years ago. That's what we saw and I can't explain it other than it's the largest feral cat ever."
Gary Stuart: "My wife and I also saw one on Barrington Tops. It jumped in front of the car and we had to pull up. I have shot feral cats and this was no feral cat."
There have also been numerous reports of panther sightings in the New England North West.
Bernadette McGuire said she came face-to-face with a panther in Glen Innes, out the front of the old cottage she lived at near the airstrip, eight years ago.
Noel Sadler has seen a big black cat in north of Tamworth twice in his lifetime, both in the 80s.