THE elusive Grampians puma has been spotted again, this time near Glenisla.
The Grampians puma is one of the longest-running stories to appear in the Mail-Times with countless sightings and articles dating back to the early 1970s.
Dimboola resident John Feery said he spotted the mysterious animal while driving home from Port Fairy on Saturday.
"I stopped on the highway at 10.30am in a cleared area just before Glenisla," he said.
"There were probably two or three trees on the right hand side of the road and I stopped near the first tree.
"I spent 10 to 15 minutes walking around taking photos of the Grampians.
"I then got back in the car, turned on the radio on and plugged the phone into the charger.
"I started driving and before I got to the second trees, this animal came out from behind the tree and ran straight across the road into the scrub on the other side.
"It was not hopping or jumping - it was definitely running."
Mr Feery said he slowed down and looked into the bush where the animal had disappeared.
"It was thick, low scrub so I couldn't see anything," he said.
"Ever since then I have been wondering why I didn't stop and get out - I had my camera, I could have gone searching for it.
"It's been annoying me ever since."
Mr Feery said he had never seen anything like it.
"Next time I am on that road, I know what I'll be thinking about," he said.
Sightings of pumas, big cats and even lions throughout the Grampians, have come from as far north as Mackenzie Creek to Hamilton in the south.
The theories behind how the exotic animal might have arrived in the Grampians have also been wide and varied.
An article in the Mail-Times in 1989 cited an 1877 report which raised the question of whether wealthy young squatters had released lions in the mountains to kill ostriches and deer introduced by Longerenong Station founder Samuel Wilson.
Another theory was that pumas were kept as mascots by members of the United States of America military forces based in the region during the early 1940s and that the cats were released into the Grampians prior to the troops departing.
Despite decades of puma sightings, no conclusive proof has emerged that a big cat exists or has existed in the Grampians area.
In 2012, the state government investigated the big cat sightings, but the study found it was highly unlikely there were large cats living in Victoria because of a lack of evidence.