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Cats found in Australia!

1640 Views 30 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Citystyle
According to Today Tonight, large, long black cats have been found all along the eastern coast line. These aren't normal cats, but BIG AND BLACK PANTHERS that will eat you alive.

They even showed "footage" of black beings in the shrubbery, frolicking around then disappearing.

Who believes such crap?
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Can you stop polluting the forum with stupid threads?

Oh and stop watching Today Tonight. Don't you realise that show is only targeted at stupid people and bogans? The dumbing down of the masses is their only goal. Kthxbye..
I stopped reading after 'According to Today Tonight'.
The black panther thing is an old story, it's not even news and it's not a current affair that matters to anyone. Everyone knows about them already. I think it's fairly likely they exist but I don't really care. A while ago some guy claimed to have shot one and had photos of the carcass and everything. Forgot what happened to that story though.

This is more of a skybar thing then a news thing too.
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This was on ACA the other day aswell.

While I've known about this for ages I'm still pretty fascinated in the whole thing. These sightings are getting more frequent, which is a bit of concern especially near urban areas as these animals could easily serious hurt or kill a human.

Another thing that is a bit of a concern (especially for me) is that these so called big cats have been found at one of my favourite holiday destinations - The Otways in Victoria!!

I would hate to see one of these cats face to face, there would probably be no help in hell of surviving.
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^ huh? that's the bigfoot story about the politician in canada that wants them protected.
^^ Ha ha bigfoot protection bill.

As well as all kinds of big cats, there's sposed to be tassie tigers roaming Wilsons Prom as the animals where bought over from Tasmania in the early twenties for some reason, but where released a few years later when the government shut down whatever program they where doing.
Just some extra blah blah....
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isnt the lithgow panther urban myth?
There's also one apparently in Singleton.
Yeah and Albany, Denmark and Esperance.
Not to mention Foster, Rosedale, Licola, Tarra Bulga......
Apparently, we have more big cats than Asia & Africa.
And Sydney's outskirts including the new North West estates around Kellyville. Locals often claim that their animals have been chewed up by something big. It makes a good story at least, but could just be wild dogs or large feral cats that are evolving fast. The photo below is about as good as they get, it's all just a fable at the moment and quite old news (that keeps popping up when they run out of stories). I do know for sure, and without any doubt, that Penrith in western Sydney has it's Panthers.

Hunt for the black panther
February 27, 2005
The Sun-Herald

Photo: Picture courtesy of A Current Affair

A television crew is hoping to prove the existence of a mystery feline creature that has been haunting Blue Mountains residents for decades, Eamonn Duff writes.

Natalie Schmitt delves into her backpack and suddenly dry retches. It's not yesterday's sandwiches that trigger the zoologist's reaction, it's the kilo of leopard excrement she has nestled in her hands. "I'm glad you can smell how strong and pungent the odour really is," she says with a scowl. Leopards, indeed, should be ashamed of themselves. But on this occasion, faeces from no other animal will do. Acquired from a private zoo, the leopard scats are about to be used as bait - big cat bait.

Schmitt, a documentary presenter, is in the Blue Mountains with a crew from Perth-based Storyteller Productions to attempt to film or trap the mysterious black cat that for decades has plagued Sydney's west and north-west communities including Richmond, Grose Vale, the Hawkesbury and Lithgow. The crew has been commissioned by the Discovery Channel to produce a one-hour documentary about the possible existence of panthers (black leopards) in NSW. And they are setting down the last of eight infra-red motion sensor camera traps that have been strategically scattered throughout the Blue Mountains National Park.

"Leopards use scats to mark their territory," Schmitt says, "and in big cat territory, no other animal is capable of leaving a scent quite like this. That's why it's the ideal bait. Hopefully our target will believe something similar has wandered in. And hopefully, it won't be able to resist taking a look."

For a small army of urban warriors who live on Sydney's fringes, the film crew's presence is a welcome victory. After years of failing to convince anyone that a colony of "big cats" exists in their backyard, someone is finally taking them seriously.

While the legendary creature - and those who have seen it - remains the subject of widespread amusement in the big end of town, Schmitt has no doubt the animal exists.

"We've studied all the evidence and, based on what people say they have seen, particularly the creature's tail length, it sounds to me as though it's most likely a melanistic leopard, as opposed to a jaguar, which is larger.

"As for how it got here, well I guess that would be the real mystery. We know there are records of private local zoos that go back to the turn of the century. We also have to consider that in times gone by it was pretty easy to get your hands on one of these creatures if you really wanted to."

American goldminers brought big cats to the region in the 1850s, as did soldiers returning from World War II. "If, over time, those same animals were set free, then it's highly possible they would have survived. There's an abundance of food and no competition, after all."

If anything convinced the Discovery Channel to fund the project and screen it as part of its popular Animal X series, it was the number of people who claim to have seen the creature. Since an official "big cat database" was launched seven years ago, 145 people, including a doctor, dentist, jeweller, pilot, Rural Fire Service personnel and an officer from the Department of Agriculture, have stepped forward. A NSW detective is among the most recent witnesses.

The detective claims that he watched the cat, which was about 50 metres away, for more than a minute. And like most others, he was convinced it was a panther standing before him.

"These are all reasonable, rational people, three-quarters of whom had no prior knowledge of the cat's existence," says the woman who started the database, Grose Vale resident Chris Coffey. "They had nothing to gain by coming forward. But sadly, many have since discovered they had everything to lose."

The problem, of course, is that while the mysterious creature continues to pop up, nobody has ever landed the sort of indisputable evidence that would prompt David Attenborough to book the first flight to Sydney.

Armed, however, with the best high-tech gadgetry money can buy, the crew are hoping to change all that. From the moment they arrived at the beginning of February, the team of six has been concentrating efforts in areas where sightings have been most prolific. Generally, that means Grose Vale, where on January 19 construction worker Andrew Prentice became the latest person to see the creature.

The father-of-two tells The Sun-Herald: "I was up for work, daylight had just broken and I went to check the weather because if it's been raining, I can normally count on having an easy day. I opened up the curtains and, as I did so, I noticed this large black animal come out from the side of my dam. It walked up to the high side of the driveway. I looked at it in utter disbelief. I looked again and again. It was at least a metre long, it had a tail that was dragging down to the ground. But what really stood out was the way it walked. It was sly and it was slinky. It stopped, turned, gave a quick look towards the house and then strolled out of view.

"The rumours, for me, had all of a sudden come true. The thought of a camera never even came into play. I just kept thinking, this is bloody unbelievable."

Prentice, 49, adds: "I'm really pleased I saw it, for the sake of others as much as for myself. There are people around these parts who have taken a lot of stick down the years. When I contacted them, I could see from their faces how much it meant."

When asked if he considered the creature to be a danger to children, he replies: "It's big. I'd be concerned for anyone if they caught it on a bad day."

If you believe what locals say, there's something about Prentice's suburb that attracts the creature at a certain time each year. It's where the film crew are hoping to strike gold. After carefully negotiating their way down a steep ridge, they have anchored down at a dry, overgrown creek bed.

Apart from the eight infra-red cameras, the crew have travelled to NSW with three night vision cameras for their camp-outs. Then there's the Flir thermal imaging camera which detects body heat and can record the outline of a creature, even through dense scrub.

Alongside each infra-red camera, the crew have also laid down a special Ecotrap, an Australian invention which they hope will catch the creature should it come within a sniff of the leopard excrement being used as bait.

Before leaving the site, the team goes to painstaking lengths to blend its equipment in with the natural surroundings. And true enough, by the time they leave, you would never have guessed they were there. "There really is great potential to land something here," says director Carolyn Bertram, as she leads her team back towards the urban fringe. "One trap has been in place for a month. The rest are all now in position."

Bertram admits her crew are not expecting immediate results. "Inevitably, we will have disturbed areas and maybe left a few strange smells behind. It'll take time for the cat or cats to return. So we need to give it time."

Black panther sightings in NSW have been happening for decades and, in May 2001, a freedom-of-information request revealed that the State Government had been maintaining an active secret file on the creature. The Government's own X-file was opened in 1999 after local wildlife officials decided they could no longer afford to dismiss the stories they were being swamped with. In a letter to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Agriculture's then technical manager for exotic animals Bill Atkinson said: "Eight months ago I started receiving reports from reputable people about a large [panther size] black cat being seen in the Grose Vale area. The animal has apparently moved into the Blue Mountains National Park each summer and returned to the Grose Vale area every winter for the last five or six years and killed a number of sheep and goats."

In a 1999 letter to NPWS director-general Brian Gilligan, Department of Agriculture head Kevin Sheridan also expressed concerns. "The reports are becoming too frequent for us to ignore the possibility. To do so could bring into question Government's duty of care if these alleged attacks happened to result in injury to a person."

The NSW Government agreed. In fact, it became so edgy about a possible threat to residents, it commissioned big-cat expert Dr Johannes Bauer to provide a professional opinion. When his findings were circulated in an internal memo, it sent a chill down the spine of everyone who received it. "Difficult as it seems to accept, the most likely explanation of the evidence . . . is the presence of a large feline predator," he said.

He went on to describe the vast, dense region in which the reports were surfacing as "optimal leopard habitat", adding: "In this area, [it is] most likely a leopard, less likely a jaguar."

The Department of Agriculture was later ordered to send "a suitably skilled person to enable this animal to be tracked, located and identified". Instead, it sent along an officer and a German shepherd dog. The "hunt" lasted just 72 hours and predictably ended in failure.

Atkinson told The Sun-Herald at the time that finding the creature would be difficult. "Planes go down in that region and are not recovered for days," he said. "People get lost and want to be found but they're not traced for days, either. So imagine trying to track one of these creatures when it simply does not want to be tracked. That's the task we face."

Around the same time, a Lithgow family produced a grainy video clip of a large, panther-like cat that had casually roamed into their backyard. And in 2002, Kenthurst teenager Luke Walker suffered deep lacerations following what he described as a terrifying struggle with a creature of the same description.

Atkinson , who used to be only too happy to provide a comment on the creature, now says he's been "instructed" not to speak on the subject. And while the last State Government inquiry in 2002 again concluded it was "more likely than not" a colony of big cats was roaming Sydney's outskirts, the latest official line is that no action be taken until scientific proof arrives in its lap.

Residents have been trying to obtain that evidence by sending locally found scat samples to laboratories for professional testing. Frustrated that results have for years been coming back negative, Hazelbrook resident Mike Williams decided to conduct a reliability test. In December last year, he collected scats from a panther at Bullens' Animal World at Warragamba and delivered them to two labs as part of a "reliability test". One of those labs is named by the State Government as a preferred site for testing of such material. Yet both have just returned back with the same result - "dog".

Coffey remains hopeful the documentary team will succeed where she and others have so far failed. If they don't, she fears a life may be lost before someone finally sits up and take notice. Hawkesbury Council mayor Bart Bassett shares that view. "I think it's very much here," he says. "I think it's been here for a long time. Do I think it deserves to be here? The answer is no. It's out of its natural habitat. It could end up killing or injuring somebody severely and I think for that reason, the authorities are playing a very dangerous game."

The question is, if conclusive proof is found, how do you even begin to eradicate the animal from an area of 1200 square kilometres? Not without spending a lot of money. Hawkesbury Council chief engineer Chris Lane says: "We as a council are well aware credible sightings are becoming more regular. Maybe it's because the breeding population has grown much larger, perhaps the drought has pushed them closer to the urban fringe. We don't know. But as a council we are genuinely concerned."

The documentary is due to screen in the US this year and here next year. Whether it creates history and vindicates a small but growing band of believers remains to be seen. For the time being at least, the legend of the Blue Mountains panther will remain just that.
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For those who are actually interested in this topic, the website below collects articles about big cat sitings and shows siting maps. It looks like NZ gets it's fair share aswell.
For those who are actually interested in this topic, the website below collects articles about big cat sitings and shows siting maps. It looks like NZ gets it's fair share aswell.
Where are the siting maps?
^^ It probably is a dog
Looks like a cow to me.
Aww what a cute pussy cat - looking at theory 4

I want one :)
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