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  #1  
Old 22 August 2012, 09:44 AM
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Australia Australian state gov't to review big cat sightings

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Decades of shadowy sightings, grisly livestock kills and mysterious paw prints are being scrutinised as scientists sink their claws into verifying the existence of Victorian big cats.

But rather than scouring bushland for the fearsome beasts armed with traps and nets, they'll be working from the safety of state government offices.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh says Department of Primary Industries and Department of Sustainability and Environment officers will spend months reviewing sightings, photos, reports and other evidence submitted over the years to determine whether the elusive creatures exist.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/ba...822-24ly9.html

There's been rumours of panthers, pumas and various other types of big cats roaming wild in the Australian wilderness for a long long time and it's gotten to the point where the government has thrown money behind a review processwhich will try to determine whether there's anything to the story or if it's just an urban myth. Of course, even if they find a reasonable explanation for every single sighting and show that all the paw prints and photos are of other animals then that won't stop the rumours and people will keep on believing that panthers are on the loose.
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  #2  
Old 22 August 2012, 10:19 AM
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An awful lot of paw-prints and grisly kills are going to be feral/stray dogs, but humans don't like the idea that "man's best friend" can also be a livestock killer. It's so much easier for them to believe there are unidentified big cats out there doing the killing.
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  #3  
Old 22 August 2012, 10:40 AM
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Hello Kitty

Here's another article from our other large newspaper:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/vic...-1226455280709
This one has a photo of a large house cat OMG amazing!!!

This article has a photo of the 'unexplained' paw prints, they're pretty darned small:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/gov...-1225996478032

This article has another photo, you can tell by the thickness of the tail that it's not a panther but a regular cat:
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/vic...-1226238972102

Finally, here's a collection of video evidence collected in the area:
http://video.heraldsun.com.au/227126...-or-feral-cats
There's absolutely no indication of scale in any of the footage except one shot where the 'mystery cat' is close to a grey kangaroo. Considering that many grey kangaroos are 3 to 4 feet tall the cat isn't very big at all.


They're feral cats. They're not panthers.

Last edited by Gutter Monkey; 22 August 2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: More articles
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  #4  
Old 22 August 2012, 11:50 AM
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I have larger "unexplained pawprints" on my driveway from where one of my cats decided, for some unexplained reason, to walk across wet concrete
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  #5  
Old 23 August 2012, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
There's been rumours of panthers, pumas and various other types of big cats roaming wild in the Australian wilderness for a long long time and it's gotten to the point where the government has thrown money behind a review processwhich will try to determine whether there's anything to the story or if it's just an urban myth. Of course, even if they find a reasonable explanation for every single sighting and show that all the paw prints and photos are of other animals then that won't stop the rumours and people will keep on believing that panthers are on the loose.
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Australia has no native cats, but plenty of feral ones. The image above shows that this is a fairly large feral, judging by the size of the fence posts and wire pattern. I go hunting quite often, and recently found a dead goat which had been scavenged. but the prints around it were fox prints, which may have been the killer. It's not too big a guess to imagine that feral cats will also appear for a feed. Despite reading a few dozen hunting and shooting magazines every year for the last 20 years, I don't remember any articles about big cats being shot other than normal feral animals. Incidently, feral cats are a declared species in this state, and landowners are obliged by law to shoot them.

The photo of the paw print casts is sad. It's a prime example of forced perspective.
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  #6  
Old 23 August 2012, 02:24 PM
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Dog

Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
An awful lot of paw-prints and grisly kills are going to be feral/stray dogs, but humans don't like the idea that "man's best friend" can also be a livestock killer. It's so much easier for them to believe there are unidentified big cats out there doing the killing.
I don't think we have a problem with accepting that feral dogs can be killers. Their have been to many reports of domestic dogs attacking people and other animals over the years. And there are laws about dangerous dogs. I think people just like the idea of the Australian conditions making super large cats from normal domestic cats (after a few generations in the bush). Or the conviction that someone is covering up the presence of large cats that have gone feral. Most of the reporst I have seen or read have been about sightings rather then the killings.
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  #7  
Old 18 September 2012, 02:06 PM
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The results of the review are in ! Oh my god, you'll never guess what they say!!! Well unless you guessed they'd say "Uh, probably not??" in which case you'd be totally correct.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/so...918-263yy.html
Quote:
There are almost certainly no pumas, leopards, jaguars or cougars roaming regional Victoria, a state government study has found.

While the report author says it is impossible to prove something doesn't exist, his survey of about a century's worth of anecdotal evidence alleging big cats exist in Victoria has concluded it is highly unlikely.
I'm sure that was worth every penny of the taxpayer's money that was spent on it.
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  #8  
Old 18 September 2012, 06:13 PM
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Well, that is what I'd expect from such a report, given the difficulty of proving a negative.
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  #9  
Old 18 September 2012, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Well, that is what I'd expect from such a report, given the difficulty of proving a negative.
It might help if they actually got out of the office and looked, instead of reading newspaper reports.
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Old 18 September 2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Well, that is what I'd expect from such a report, given the difficulty of proving a negative.
That's the ridiculous part of it: the people who believe that these animals are out there will in no way be dissuaded from that belief by this report. They'll probably latch onto the part which says that their existence is "highly unlikely" and spin it as saying that he government agrees there's a slim chance that they do exist.


Quote:
Originally Posted by damian View Post
It might help if they actually got out of the office and looked, instead of reading newspaper reports.
It's even harder to prove a negative by searching through the bush.
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  #11  
Old 18 September 2012, 06:32 PM
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If there was any real evidence to support the idea that people who claimed to have seen large cats in the Australian outback actually had seen something other than a feral Felis catus, perhaps they would have.
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  #12  
Old 19 September 2012, 08:53 AM
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I think many people are confusing the term "big cat" with "Big cat".
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  #13  
Old 19 September 2012, 09:39 AM
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Maybe the gouvernment should spent some money to introduce Big cats to Australia. Maybe a pair of (neutered) pumas?

"Yes, there are big cats in Victoria. They are called Steve and Paula, and here's the reading of their GPS tracking devices. Can we move on now?"
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  #14  
Old 19 September 2012, 10:25 AM
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Because Australia is lacking in the dangerous animal department?
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  #15  
Old 19 September 2012, 11:00 AM
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Snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
Maybe the gouvernment should spent some money to introduce Big cats to Australia. Maybe a pair of (neutered) pumas?

"Yes, there are big cats in Victoria. They are called Steve and Paula, and here's the reading of their GPS tracking devices. Can we move on now?"
The local spiders & snakes would kill them within 48 hours.
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  #16  
Old 22 September 2012, 01:00 PM
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Hello Kitty

Sorry guys we have a enough problems with feral (normal sized) cats killing the wildlife without introducing actual big cats (neutred or not).

And like many of these types of things, nothing will convince the true believers that these animals aren't out there trickly avoiding any government survey/hunting party/bunch of searching school kids. There is a lot of Australian bush in which to hide. Especially those imaginary ones, they are buggers to find.
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