Australian author on panther’s trail

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By John Keast
Australian author Tony Healy is on the trail of Mid Canterbury’s famed black panther.
Mr Healy, author (with Paul Cropper) of Out Of The Shadows: Mystery Animals of Australia and The Yowie: In Search of Australia’s Bigfoot, is in the South Island until March 17, and the Ashburton district for the next week or 10 days.
And he wants to speak to anyone who has seen what is reported to be a big black cat roaming the back-country.
Mr Healy, carrying a sheaf of newspaper clippings about sightings in the South Island – and a cast he made of a cat footprint from Kangaroo Valley in New South Wales.
He said the footprint was bigger than that of a cougar.
Mr Healy said the cat was seen by impeccable witnesses, including a retired naval commander.
Mr Healy’s first book has a chapter on mystery black cats, and he has also written about the famed Tasmanian Tiger, yowies and bunyips.
Anyone with information can reach Mr Healy at tonyhealy05@gmail.com