By Evelyn Leckie
PODCASTER Ben Beed is calling for Macedon Ranges residents to contact him to contribute to his podcast Missing Panther.
The NSW man said he was fascinated by the intrigue of panthers and whether they exist in the Australian wild.
Sightings of panthers and big cats across the Macedon Ranges have been reported from time to time over the years.
“We’re doing a call out for those who have a story on a particular sighting or people who have any theories about how they arrived,” Mr Beed said.
“We’re talking to everyone, even if you feel strongly that it’s a myth.”
Mr Beed has released a few episodes already and said he had already spoken to a few Macedon Ranges residents.
“I spoke to one woman who said her pet goat was found dead, dragged up a tree,” he said.
“She didn’t believe in their existence in Australia, but saw large scratch marks on the tree.”
The podcast has snowballed interest across Australia, with television presenter Grant Denyer also contributing to it.
“We’re looking to talk to credible witnesses with a story to tell,” Mr Beed said.
The podcaster said he had been intrigued by the panther theory since he was 13.
“I had an interesting encounter when I was younger that’s explained in the first few episodes, that’s led me to this project,” he said.
Mr Beed said so far he had covered theories on US soldiers potentially bringing the large cats with them while travelling to Australia during the war.
The podcast also looks at mysterious stock kills and circus escapes as possible theories of how the panthers came to be in the wild.
“We’re looking to talk to people who live in places like the Macedon Ranges or any area with higher altitudes, everyone always knows someone with a story,” Mr Beed said.
People who would like to get in contact with the Missing Panther podcast can visit: https://missingpanther.com.au.