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View Poll Results: Which of SMH's theories do you believe to be true ?
Theory 1- Goldfield's Puma 0 0%
Theory 2 - Armed and Dangerous US Army mascot 5 38.46%
Theory 3 - Black Beauty - from a zoo ? 2 15.38%
Theory 4 - It was here all along ? 0 0%
Theory 5 - BS/What's Dave been smoking? 6 46.15%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-01-2003, 23:03   #1 (permalink)
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What's up now pussy cat ?

Big cats not a tall tale
SMH 2/11/03
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/...597200706.html


Quote:
Big cats not a tall tale
By Eamonn Duff
November 2, 2003
The Sun-Herald

A State Government inquiry has found it is "more likely than not" a colony of "big cats" is roaming Sydney's outskirts and beyond.

The revelations are the result of a fresh four-month investigation into the "black panther phenomenon" which for years has plagued residents across Sydney's west, north-west, Richmond, the Blue Mountains and Lithgow.

While National Parks and Wildlife officials are yet to implement a positive course of action, a senior source confirmed last night a big cat expert had been contacted with a view to future work.

He said: "While we still haven't got conclusive evidence that the creature exists, compiled evidence points strongly to the fact that it does."

The source added: "If and when an expert is commissioned, the first aim would be to identify exactly what sort of animal it is. The second would be to ascertain how many there might be."

Although big cat sightings across NSW date back more than 100 years, speculation intensified in May 2001 when a successful Freedom of Information request revealed the NSW Government had been maintaining a secret file on the creature.

It also revealed wildlife hierarchy were so concerned about the potential threat to humans that they commissioned big cat expert Dr Johannes Bauer to evaluate what had previously been deemed unthinkable.

He concluded: "Difficult as it seems to accept, the most likely explanation of the evidence . . . is the presence of a large feline predator."

While conclusive proof has failed to materialise since, sightings have continued to flow in from bushwalkers, tourists and local residents, including a NSW police officer and a Qantas pilot.

When Kenthurst teenager Luke Walker suffered deep cuts in March this year and said they were the result of a terrifying struggle with a panther-like cat, the NSW Government reopened the case.

The latest report, compiled by NSW Agriculture and obtained exclusively by The Sun-Herald, included a review of sightings and extensive interviews with residents of Grose Vale, where the creature has frequently been sighted.

It found that recent witnesses to big cat activity in NSW were highly credible.

Also taken into consideration was a previous report by Dr Keith Hart, district veterinarian of the Moss Vale Rural Lands Protection Board, who, after testing scat samples, concluded a large cat was living in the Grose Vale area.

The report said: "Nothing found in this review conclusively proves the presence of free-ranging exotic large cats in NSW, but this cannot be discounted and seems more likely than not on available evidence."

One theory the report refused to dismiss was that "historically, sightings in Eastern Australia occur in old gold mining areas and that anecdotal evidence suggests pumas [Felis concolor] were brought to Australia by American goldminers in the 1850s.

The report added: "These animals may have subsequently escaped or were released, causing numerous sightings over many years."

Even as the Government was preparing to go public with its latest findings, a Central Coast family approached NSW Agriculture last month with claims that a huge black cat was "openly roaming" their newly purchased Mudgee weekend holiday home.

Speaking to The Sun-Herald, Chris, who refused to reveal her surname through fear of would-be hunters overrunning her property, said: "We've watched it stalk wallabies, we've seen it sitting high up in a tree. It roams around like a large family dog that thinks it owns the place."

She added: "There is absolutely no disputing what it is. The kids are terrified and, to be perfectly honest, so are we."
Now, what Im wondering is, if anyone on the forums has seen it ? My Dad claims he's seen it twice, I saw it once - I was with him once driving down in the Moss Vale region - a bloody big black cat crossed the road 80 meters infront of us - I was only 4 at the time, my recollections are a bit vaigue now.

My Dad saw it another time whilst walking through the Gross Valley with friends. For the record he's a bean counter, and one of those people who enjoys Golf more than a yarn. We take theory 2, given the proximity of sightings to old WW2 US army barracks.

So what do people think? Any sightings considering how many km we drive?
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Old 11-01-2003, 23:09   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

My dad was supposed to have seen it once a while back before I was born so >17 years ago on his way out to lithgo from penrith. Dunno where it was though.
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:06   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

It's hard to say whether it is real or not.

I've done a lot of shooting and feral cats can look huge at a distance. I'm not saying that they grow as big as panthers but they do get a hell of a lot bigger than your average pet cat. It is very easy to mistake them for something else.

I've also came across packs of wild dogs that were once domesticated so it would also be easy to mistake a black German Shepard for something else.
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:34   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

i was out past lithgow a lot 12 months ago, every weekend for about a year, and many moons ago my bro claimed to see something stalking a sheep....but being out there so much, there are some bloody big cats out there that were nothing but feral cats, and as for wild dogs, packs of them in the valley, took my two week old foal, and plenty of big roo's seen ripped to pieces! I dont know whether i believe it or not, but i'd never say never
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:51   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

ill say this, it sure does get hot in that black suit thats for sure

although my mountain climbing has definately improved since
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Old 11-02-2003, 03:30   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

We have the same kitty cat stories in Gippsland. Allegedly from US forces in WWII. Makes camping in the hills interesting when you've got "city folk" with ya

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Old 11-02-2003, 07:34   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FalKeen
ill say this, it sure does get hot in that black suit thats for sure

although my mountain climbing has definately improved since
haha I know what you mean, damn I hate it when you stop to rest and a feral cat trys to go yah!
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Old 11-03-2003, 06:56   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

I shot a cat out the back of Griffith a few years ago and it was bloody (no pun intended) massive. It took two 12 guage OO rounds to put it down. It had a tabby patterned coat but was short and dense like a possum. It's ears and tail were shorter than a normal cat and its face seemed flatter. It easily weighed over 10 kg. Wish I had a photo.
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Old 11-03-2003, 07:23   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

Hah - crap sure it wasnt a marsupial lion? (see SMHs graphics)
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Old 11-04-2003, 02:00   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What's up now pussy cat ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xf_250
I shot a cat out the back of Griffith a few years ago and it was bloody (no pun intended) massive. It took two 12 guage OO rounds to put it down. It had a tabby patterned coat but was short and dense like a possum. It's ears and tail were shorter than a normal cat and its face seemed flatter. It easily weighed over 10 kg. Wish I had a photo.
That's what I was saying earlier. One of the best shots I've ever seen was a mate with my 222, head shot at around 300 metres. I was watching it through my scope and I thought that it was a dog.
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