Big Cat 6 Letters

Big Cat 6 Letters – Despite the ‘slim’ possibility of leopards roaming the wild, die-hard enthusiasts insist ‘you have to see it to believe it’

A wild cat drinks in a pond in Mungo National Park, NSW. These animals can reach impressive sizes and have been behind at least some reported sightings of big cats. Photograph: Genevieve Vallee/Alamy

Big Cat 6 Letters

Big Cat 6 Letters

He first met Scott Lansbury 25 years ago. It was in the Victorian town of Upper Beaconsfield, close to midnight, that he and his brother saw the animal walking along the footpath across the road from where they lived.

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“He was bigger than any dog ​​I’d ever seen,” he recalls. “Bigger than a Labrador, bigger than a [German] Shepherd.”

Lansbury is convinced that the mysterious animal, which he says was black and went with a cat hunt, was a big cat. He says that he has seen similar animals several times in the past years.

“I kept hearing more stories,” Lansbury says. So ten years ago he started a Facebook group called Black Panther Sightings in Victoria, “kind of as a joke”. Since then, the group has grown to 36,000 people.

Members post a mix of blurry pictures and footage, videos of big cats that were clearly taken in other countries, and admitted testimonies of personal encounters.

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Sightings of mysterious cats in the wild – and accompanying reports of strange livestock deaths – are not a new phenomenon. Big cats have been rumored to roam the Australian bush for almost 200 years, says David Waldron, a folklorist and historian at Federation University.

The earliest reported sighting of a phantom cat identified by Waldron was near Adelaide in 1836. The sailor said he found “a cat-like animal with orange fur, black stripes on its back, and white tufted ears, preying on marsupial rats near a body of water.”

In the 1890s, panic broke out in the South Australian town of Tantanoola after stories emerged of a predator stalking land, scaring farm dogs and killing sheep.

Big Cat 6 Letters

The trade in exotic animals was widespread in the late 1800s, Waldron says. The ads of the day offered leopard and panther cubs for sale.

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The Tantanoola Tiger, as he became known, was eventually captured. It turns out that the beast is not a cat, but a Eurasian wolf. A wolf, equally misplaced in the Australian bush, was believed to be a stowaway who survived a shipwreck off the coast. It was stuffed and remains on display at the Tantanoola Hotel.

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In the last century, rumors of wild big cats were also fueled by stories of escaped circus animals such as lions and tigers, and of American soldiers bringing exotic pets into the country as military mascots.

In Victoria, sightings have been reported in Gippsland and the Grampians National Park, while in New South Wales there have been hundreds of reported sightings of the big cat in the Blue Mountains – known as the Blue Mountain panther or Lithgow lion.

Last year, a video of a black cat was captured on Sydney’s upper north shore by a university student who described it as over 1m long, “with a body on ‘roids’.”

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“If you see a [wild] domestic cat… your first impression might be: Wow, that’s a big animal.” Photo: Russotwins/Alamy

To the untrained eye, accurately estimating the size of an animal after a cursory glance is a difficult task, says Peter Menkhorst, an ecologist at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research in Melbourne.

“If you see a [wild] domestic cat that maybe weighs something like 10 kg, which is about twice what most domestic cats weigh … your initial impression might be: Wow, that’s a big animal,” says Menkhorst.

Big Cat 6 Letters

In 2005, deer hunter Kurt Engel shot what he thought was a black panther near Sale in East Gippsland. He estimated that the cat was about 1.5 meters long. Engel kept the animal’s tail as a trophy, which was 60 cm long, about twice the length of the tail of a common house cat. However, DNA testing later revealed that the animal really was

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In 2012, a report commissioned by the Victorian Government concluded that the available evidence was “insufficient to demonstrate that there is a wild population of ‘big cats’ in Victoria”.

Menkhorst, who co-authored the report, says the chance of unknown big cats being found in the Victorian wilderness is “slim”.

“No one has ever actually brought back a corpse or even a part of one of these mythical beasts.

One inexplicable piece of evidence was dung found in Winchelsea in 1991. Barbara Triggs, an expert on animal dung, identified the dung sample as most likely belonging to a leopard and isolated several hairs from the dung that she believed the animal might have inadvertently shed. swallowed during treatment itself.

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Mitochondrial DNA in the hair was tested in 2000 and confirmed that the sequence belonged to a leopard, although the scientist who tested it said he could not rule out contamination.

Menkhorst’s skepticism is also based on years of wildlife monitoring. “We’ve done literally hundreds of thousands of what we call trap nights,” he says, where camera traps that detect heat and movement are placed in the bushes to monitor them continuously for weeks.

“We’ve taken millions of photos, literally, and there’s nothing we can’t explain, everything from…dunnarts to dingoes. Lots of feral cats, no other kinds of cats,” he says. “Given the intensity of faunal surveying we’ve done in Victoria over the last 50 years, it’s almost inconceivable that we wouldn’t have found [a big cat] if it existed.”

Big Cat 6 Letters

Waldron agrees. “I’m skeptical in that there isn’t enough evidence yet,” he says. “There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea, you just have to find positive evidence.”

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“It re-enchants the bush, makes it mysterious, magical,” says Waldron. He joined big cat hunters on night walks and listened for animal sounds using directional microphones. “It’s quite an exciting and evocative thing.”

Unexplained livestock deaths may have a simple rather than terrifying explanation, Waldron says. “At the heart of this panic are usually kills that look different from what wild dogs normally do. When people got into it forensically – as with the animal mutilation panic in the US – they found that the cause was multiple predation on the same carcass by different predators.”

Twitch streamer Rainey Jay, who lives on the NSW mid-north coast, has been fascinated by big cat stories and online groups dedicated to them for years.

Although she’s skeptical of their existence, she says there’s something “romantic about the whole idea that maybe there are still some big mysteries out there for people to solve.”

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“You have people looking for Bigfoot or aliens, but for giant cats living in the wild, there’s something plausible about it.”

The fascination with the idea of ​​big cats in the Australian outback “overshadows the problem we have with feral cats”, says Jay. Feral domestic cats, which cover all but an estimated 0.2% of Australia, are both ecologically and economically damaging. It is estimated that they kill 1 million birds a day.

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Lansbury has no doubt he was right that night 25 years ago, and wants others to keep an open mind. “You can definitely see why people don’t believe them,” he says. “You have to see it to believe it.” This wild cat, 50% larger than a domestic cat, was spotted near Coorow and mistaken for a panther. Photography: Tom Barrett

Big Cat 6 Letters

A big cat in Western Australia mistaken for a panther is the latest in a long line of mythical big cat sightings that wildlife rangers say are unhelpful.

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The large black cat – estimated to be 50% larger than a domestic cat – was spotted in Coorow, 275km north of Perth, in late June and reported to wildlife authorities as a potential panther or big cat.

“People need to get over the idea that cats are panthers,” he said. “It’s just not on. They are big wild cats, at least 50% bigger than a domestic cat, and they are strong.’

Gilberston believes mistaking cats for panthers is limiting the fight against feral cats, which cover 99% of the Australian continent and kill 1 million native birds a night.

“If you’re getting bigger cats, you have to ask what they’re eating,” he said. “They eat native animals.”

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Dr Aaron Greenville, from the University of Sydney’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences, analyzed the image of the Cooroy cat and said it was a cat.

“You can see it’s a bright cat,” he said. “It’s a little bigger than usual, but the overall shape of the body, especially around the head, doesn’t really show any signs of a panther.”

The sighting of the ‘Coorow panther’ follows numerous sightings of the big cats across Australia, where myths and urban legends about panthers have been a part of life for years.

Big Cat 6 Letters

In June, a teenage boy in Queensland claimed to have discovered what he described as a 1.25m panther in his driveway in Glenwood on the Fraser Coast.

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Devano Mahardika

Halo, Saya adalah penulis artikel dengan judul Big Cat 6 Letters yang dipublish pada September 1, 2022 di website Caipm

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