New documentary brings Aussie big cats out of the wilderness
FOR years, black leopards and mountain lion sightings have been subject to debate across Australia and new documentary The Hunt is out to settle the debate once and for all.
The species are normally found throughout Asia and Africa, but there's often been sightings claimed in Australia, including in Nimbin.
Stu Ross, director of The Hunt, said the documentary would likely surprise viewers with the vast amount of work it takes to verify a sighting.
"We were just alongside the researchers and if they got a sighting in Newcastle and wanted to investigate, we went with them, if they got a sighting in WA we went with them - we were for a long time jetsetting across Australia chasing sightings as they occurred," Mr Ross said.
Mr Ross said the documentary focused on the cats but also on the people who have devoted their lives to tracking the cats across the country.
"It's more looking at the what's being done to prove theses animals are out there - it touches briefly on the origin stories of the animals, but more about the researchers who have devoted their life to it and how they go about it," he said.
"It's more about what they go through and the obsession - these guys are towards their end of the career and it's a real rollercoaster for these guys.
"It's an emotional journey for these guys."
Mr Ross said the documentary was a great chance for viewers to be exposed to the world of big cats which is an under-researched area.
"There's not a ton of documentaries out there; this is the only documentary out there about this particular subject - apart from the odd story in the paper here and there, no one really knows what's being done in this area," Mr Ross said.
"Everyone tends to be a believer or sceptic and passes it off as 'whatever', but it's interesting to look behind the curtain at what goes into a big cat research."
While there's no Nimbin Panther, there's plenty of feline action for Northern Rivers' cat lovers.
The Hunt: In Search of Australia's Big Cats airs on Tuesday, May 5, at 9:30pm on Discovery Channel.
The trailer is available to view here.