Author Topic: Big cat sightings escalate  (Read 2389 times)

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Big cat sightings escalate
« on: July 17, 2009, 04:50:53 PM »
Big cat sightings escalate

Posted on August 5, 2008, 7:07pm and updated on October 26, 2008 at 7:41 pm

More big cats were sighted in the pine forest area near the border of South Australia and Victoria over the weekend.

Mount Gambier man Jose Lopezelara, 22, told The Border Watch he was accompanied by two friends Naomi Maddisin and Murdus Ashleigh when the sighting occurred.

“We saw several kangaroos with their heads missing and their hearts, livers and lungs ripped out. There were no claw marks on the bodies,” Mr Lopezelara said.

“Just on dusk we saw two big cats the size of big dogs run across the road in front of us — they were tan, not black.

“Later on we could hear them — they made a sound like a cow being attacked — a roaring moaning sound.

“I rang up the expert John Turner and told him about it.”

Naturalist John Turner said he and his colleague had now received 36 reports of big cats from people throughout the South East, as far north as Penola.

Since The Border Watch. July 24, edition highlighted the big cat sighting of Angela Beltakis, another 14 people have also reported big cat sightings to this newspaper.

“These are all sensible rational people seeing these big cats and no‐one can say they are all liars,” Mr Turner said.

He said a number of theories sat behind how the big cats came about.

One involved American Soldiers who came to Australia during the Second World War and had pumas for mascots.

When Australian Quarantine officers asked for them to be killed, the various soldiers instead let them go in areas they were staying.

Mr Turner said there had been reports and various eyewitnesses.

He said one eyewitness to American Soldiers with pumas was now 80 years old and still living in the South East.

Mr Turner said his colleague Simon Townsend had another theory.

“Simon’s theory is the cats were brought out here in about 1880 by wealthy landowners for either sport or to keep the kangaroo population down,” Mr Turner said.

“With the demise of digoes and Aboriginals hunting kangaroos, and with new pastures and watering points, the kangaroo numbers just exploded as you can imagine.

“Because there were no import restrictions in 1880, it would not have been any trouble at all to bring in Pumas from America or some leopards from Singapore.

“We actually think we have two species of animal — South American Cougars — they are greyish brown ones and we are not sure what the black ones are.

“It is genetically impossible for them to cross breed.

“They are not big house cats — its genetically impossible for a house cat to grow four foot long just as it is for a human to grow 15 foot high.

“My theory is that the black ones are native to Australia.

“Since researching these big cats, we have reports going back to 1880.

“There are no big cats in Tasmania — they are in Western Australia, South East South Australia but only as far north as Penola, Victoria and right up the East Coast of New South Wales.”



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