Author Topic: mutilated sheep carcase  (Read 4178 times)

Offline catseyes

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mutilated sheep carcase
« on: July 17, 2009, 04:49:14 PM »
The Border Watch

Friday, July 17, 200
New evidence of big cats

Posted on September 11, 2008, 9:09am and updated on September 11, 2008 at 4:29 pm


When Mount Burr resident Fred van der Heul found a mutilated sheep carcase in the pine forest behind his home yesterday morning, his first thought was of the elusive “black panther”.

Mr van der Heul and his black labrador cross alsatian Roxy were taking their usual morning walk through the forest to the Millicent Golf Course when he spotted the sheep just off the track, still warm.

All that remained of the creature was its head, legs, back strap and stomach, which had been torn away, and a bundle of wool two metres from where it was left.

According to many locals, the panthers were released into Western Victoria when World War Two United States Army troops were found to have smuggled them into the country as mascots.

They were ordered to put them down, but they took up residence in the Grampians.

Mr van der Heul said he had found a footprint about the size of a saucer on the other side of Mount Graham that was neither horse or dog.

He thought the panthers had been pushed down from the Grampians when drought and fires reduced their habitat.

Many people believe the big cats are responsible for slaughtering kangaroos and farm stock across the district for more than 60 years.

More recently, South East residents have reported sightings of the panthers as close to home as the forests around Mount Gambier and Penola.

According to Mr van der Heul, there may not be proof of the panthers’ existence in these parts but he has definitely found evidence.

“What killed that sheep was bigger than a dog or house cat, even a feral cat — you could tell it had been a heavy animal from the amount of fleece left behind,” he said.

“The nearest sheep to here are Mitch Williams’ stock, down near the Glencoe turnoff.

“There is no way the sheep could have got there by itself and it would have taken a lot of strength to drag that one to the other side of Mount Burr.

“I don’t think we need to worry about our pets — there are plenty of kangaroos and deer around, and a dam half way up the hill.

“Hopefully whatever it is doesn’t keep attacking livestock though.”

ELLIE TURNER


Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2009, 06:30:06 PM »
Don't big cats usually take the carcass away before they eat it? 

Foxes on the other hand, chew into it on the spot. 

Offline catseyes

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2009, 07:12:35 PM »
no not necessarily.  We also have had carcasses taken up tress too.  Its hard to say what is usual behavior for a big Australian cat...........they could be inbred or a new pieces altogether.  IMHO there is no 'norm'


Offline Alien88

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 07:56:23 PM »
Yeah; depends on the type of cat as leopards will climb trees.
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Offline catseyes

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 08:11:31 PM »
leopards and pumas can take their kill away or up trees, but in a country where there is no one to try and snatch their kill and where they are the apex predator there really is no need.


Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2009, 10:36:11 AM »
Why can't they look for DNA on the carcass, from saliva and so on?   If its a cat, that should be obvious, as opposed to another animal species.

Offline catseyes

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2009, 03:33:09 PM »
I believe that has been tried Salty


Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2009, 07:59:28 AM »
Well they didn't try hard enough.  They can definitely get saliva DNA from bite marks on murder victims.   

Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2009, 10:06:30 AM »
Other suggestions would be forensic dentist - who can identify 'what' animal caused the bite- cat, dog, human, bird, etc.

Also people in fields such as veterinary science, zoology and so on have specialists who can identify what animal caused the injury, wound, bite mark, by the way the wound is shaped, ripped, torn, gouged out and so on.   And by droppings or prints.

There is also the obvious aspect that a feeding cat or any other animal that was closely engaged in tearing apart and eating another creature, would leave hairs or fur of its own at the scene, somewhere. 

If you take into account all of those possibilities that could be used to determine whether it was possibly a big cat attack, then I think it lacks substance for the investigators to say there was no evidence. 

There's also the pattern of attack - the way various species inflict the 'kill wound' and the way they then proceed to eat the prey.  Do they start at the throat, or the gut, or on the limbs, for instance?   

Blood - was the animal eaten while still alive, or stored somewhere?  Like up a tree?  They can tell whether humans were stabbed before or after death, so they can tell the same about animal prey.   

Also, the taking of carcasses up trees, is what I was intimating with regard to big cats taking their prey to a safer area to eat it, or store it, or feed their young.   

I think that with most of these cases, they lose credibility because they tend to allude to it being some kind of 'big cat', before they do any actual scientific study to try and get some shred of evidence to offer the public. 

Even if they just said that they enlisted the help of one of the specialists (above) before they broadcast it with the only evidence being that some member of the public claims they saw a big cat at some other time, cross their path somewhere.   

Considering we're usually talking about rural areas, its obvious that many different creatures would cross someone's path, big and small. 

I believe there are big cats in the Blue Mountains region, but its never going to be proven by relying on the stories of people who happened to possibly see a panther, cheetah or whatever, but none of them manage to ever return to the spot and perhaps take a photo - considering animals have territories and are not all just wandering predators with no particular area that they frequent.  And most don't look for anything evidentiary in the way of identifiable prints or droppings.

Thankfully one chap has managed to take plaster casts of some big prints he found - but again, prints in mud can enlarge or shrink, depending on the conditions such as rain or dryness.  So unfortunately, unless he saw the animal that made the prints........

I spent a lot of time in the Blue Mountains region years back, and you hear all kinds of things - wild pigs, koalas, and so on  - but you also hear sounds that are quite like the screeching of a large cat.   I think those sounds are actually what some people assume are yowies.   


Offline GaryTheDemon

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2009, 03:20:12 PM »
Could have been a squad of carnivorous swallows.....

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Offline catseyes

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Re: mutilated sheep carcase
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2009, 04:21:16 PM »


i know of many tests to try to gather DNA etc.....also vets doing autopsies ect.....bite ratio, yes and all the rest.  End of the day, quite often DNA comes back inconclusive, which also happens a lot in crime scene investigations ect.  DNA is better at telling you what something isn't than is.

 Also consider that though these animals look like pumas, they may not be.  They could be something very different.  They may have been here in small numbers since the land bridge connected us to PNG and from there Indonesia and evolved differently.

Heres, Fur samples, fecal matter, DNA etc, all been done.  It boils back down to the firm stance of......There are no big cats in Australia, without a body nothing will ever be good enough.


 


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