Saturday, 29 December 2007

Strange animal sighting in Victoria

More Strange Animal Sightings (Dec 12 Geelong Advertiser)

by Britt Smith

VICTORIA: Harry Cook yesterday told of having watched the mysterious four-legged creature on Friday at 4pm while showing a friend his property.

``We looked into the valley and this strange animal was standing there, with three wedge-tail eagles circling above. It had a dirty grey coat with white stripes on its rib area. I thought, God, it's strange,'' he said.

``When it saw us it went into a crouching run and took off into the creek.''

Mr Cook said the animal was about 1m tall with a small head, long legs and a slim build. He said the tail was upright and hairless, unlike anything he had seen before.

``What I saw wasn't a fox, foxes don't stand that tall. It's a new kid on the block, I suppose,'' he said.

Liz Wylie also reported seeing a similar creature on her nearby property in Modewarre.

The mum-of-three yesterday said she saw a striped animal three months ago casually walk past her horse being held in a paddock.

``I know what foxes look like and I know what wild dogs look like. This wasn't either of those,'' she said.

Big cat researcher Simon Townsend said anything was possible but the animal was most likely a mangy fox.

``If it's showing stripes it may be suffering from problems with its coat,'' he said.


Saturday, 22 December 2007

Tarra-Bulga - It's a Hoax!

As far as yowie sighting cases go, the Tarra-Bulga case, on the face of it, was a compelling one.
On April 23, 2006, at least six people heard strange 'bellowing' sounds and saw what they described to Parks officials as a 'big ape' at Corrigan's Suspension Bridge in Tarra-Bulga National Park.
Crypto sleuths Paul Cropper and Tony Healy began to do some digging and tracked down witness Mike Skelton.
He provided a detailed description of the creature that helped to put the sighting into perspective - it appears that Mr Skelton most likely saw someone in a 'Chewbacca' suit (a creature featured in the famous Star Wars movie trilogy).
A field site visit by Cropper and friend James Reid sealed the trio's suspicions that the sighting was actually a hoax.
For the detailed story, visit Cropper and Healy's website The Yowie File.
What do the veteran cryptozoology researchers, and authors of the new book 'The Yowie: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot', think of the hoax? "Clearly someone went to a lot of trouble to hoax this...Possibly this is a clear message never to even take multiple witness cases at face value".
This case could easily have been added to the annals of Australian cryptozoology as a bona fide mystery if someone had not bothered to do a little digging. 

CFZ Oz Team

Saturday, 15 December 2007

The Truth About Australian Snakes

Ho ho ho - it's almost time for Christmas.
So let's 'cut the crap', as Neville Burns' informative DVD about Australian snakes proclaims, and introduce you to the ultimate herpetological stocking stuffer.
This is one heart-pumping mini-doco! A few of the CFZers have known Neville (and his snakes) for quite some time.
He's a well-known Australian herpetologist and bushman of many years standing, and has rubbed shoulders with everyone who's anyone in the reptile world, including the renowned Irwin clan of Steve/Australia Zoo fame.
There isn't anything Neville doesn't know about our scaly friends, and the advice he shares in this DVD could save a life.
Buy the DVD from Strictly Reptiles.


Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Tasmanian Tiger Museum

Some CFZers have just returned from Tasmania, and the pickings are slim in that part of the world as far as exhibits of the legendary Tasmanian Tiger go.
The Tasmanian Museum and Art gallery narrowly beats the Cascade Brewery's display (they have a fake model in a glass box behind the bar) with its frankly pathetic exhibition of all things Thylacine. There were more tiger-related objects in the gift shop than there were in the natural history portion of the museum. Very disappointing.
You'd think, being such a drawcard, the Tiger might get a bit more prominence.
Here's what ~was~ on offer (not the 'real deal', but crappy reproductions, which we can understand...but the pup in the jar isn't even realistic when seen firsthand):

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Tassie Tiger's bite not so big

The extinction of the Tasmanian tiger from the Australian mainland may have been driven by its inability to kill large prey, which placed it in direct competition with the dingo for food, new research shows.
The finding, published in today's Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is based on computer simulations of the bite forces and stress patterns placed on dingo and Tasmanian tiger skulls when biting struggling prey. Read more here.

CFZ Oz Team

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

National Threatened Species Day - Sept 7

September 7 is National Threatened Species Day. It also marks the anniversary of the 'last' Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine), Benjamin, which died in captivity in a Tasmanian zoo in 1936.

20 Tips to Help Save Our Threatened Species

*Join a community group and offer to do voluntary work.
*Give your local Threatened Species Network office a call and find out what activities are happening in your area. They may need help with field and office work.
*Participate in local clean-up, tree planting and weed control activities.
*Find out what threatened species live in your area what they look like, what they eat, where they live.

*Plant some native trees in your garden to provide food and shelter for birds.
*Replace your water thirsty lawn with some native grasses.
*Build nest boxes in areas that only have young trees.
*At Easter, eat chocolate bilbies, not bunnies.
*Learn how to care for abandoned or injured wildlife by contacting the RSPCA (they can give you contacts for your local wildlife rescue service).
*Build a frog pond in your back yard.
*Desex your cat, put a bell on its collar and keep it indoors at night.
*Cut up the plastic collars on your milk and soft drink bottles before throwing them out.
*Report any sightings of unusual animals or plants or feral pests and weeds to your local Parks and Wildlife Service.
*Throw back fish that are too small when you are fishing. Be careful not to lose your nets, lines, hooks and sinkers in the water. These entangle or choke many animals such as whales, fish, birds, platypus and water rats.
*Take some binoculars with you when you go bushwalking and keep notes of the different plants and animals you see.
*Take pictures, not souvenirs.
*Support industries that support the environment.
*Extinguish your camp fires and cigarette butts when you are in the bush.
*Drive slowly at dawn and dusk, and where trees grow near the road. Many native animals get killed on the roadsides at these times.
*Take your own bag shopping. Plastics can choke whales, seals and seabirds if they get into the ocean.

CFZ Oz Team

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Attacks Could Be Big Cat

08 August 2007, Hawkesbury Gazette

A pile of dead lambs, including one without a head, lie in the back of Mr Hayden’s ute last week.

The back of one of the badly clawed ewes, which was later destroyed.
When fencer John Hayden heard what sounded like a woman screaming at daybreak a week ago, his blood ran cold.
What he found was enough to turn the stomach of any hardened bushie: his flock of breeding sheep had been cut down by something with razor-sharp claws. Altogether that night he lost 16 lambs and seven ewes, the bodies of the animals scattered around his Yarramundi smallholding.
"I thought it was a woman screeching down in the gully," Mr Hayden said of the noise.
"Then when I realised it couldn't be, I thought 'cat'.
"I've never heard a cat but we thought straight away that must be him."
One ewe had its hamstring ripped out, leaving it crippled. Several of the sheep in Mr Hayden's 43-strong flock were so badly mauled they had to be shot.
More was to come: last Saturday night he lost another ewe. This time just the head, skin and hindquarters were left behind.
"We've had the sheep for 12 months and never had trouble before, just since the lambing," he told The Gazette.
The predation has continued at the property from a variety of sources: "Yesterday morning an eagle got two more lambs, and I think a ewe has been taken by a couple of cattle dogs I saw on the property, but as for the rest, it doesn't add up to dog attack because they weren't ripped at all, except for one lamb that had its head completely missing.
"We still haven't heard from the Rural Lands Protection Board..."
Hazelbrook big cat researcher Mike Williams, who visited the property last week, said the injuries sustained by several of the animals – which included deep claw marks – were not consistent with a dog attack. "A sheep was attacked by an animal, which by using its front claws, ripped through about 120mm of wool and removed it to the skin on one side, leaving claw marks," he said.
"I do not believe dogs attack like this, neither do the two dog trappers and the agronomist that I contacted in relation to this case."

CFZ Oz Team

Hunting the elusive tiger...

THE LAST documented thylacine - Tasmanian tiger - died at Hobart Zoo in September 1936, and the species was declared "presumed extinct" in 1986. But is it? Travel anywhere on Tasmania's west coast and you will meet locals who tell tales of some of the 4000 claimed sightings of the mystifying marsupials over the past 70 years. Read the full Sydney Morning Herald travel story here.

CFZ Oz Team

McLeod's Daughters Go Cat Hunting

The scriptwriters for Blue Heelers did it, and now one of Australia's most popular soapie exports, McLeod's Daughters, has jumped on the cryptozoology bandwagon.
Last night Channel Nine aired Episode 194 — 'On The Prowl': Something is out there, killing the stock… but it’s not the only beast on the prowl as Kate unleashes the bad girl within…
Yeah yeah, well, we don't really give a rat's about Kate's 'bad girl within'. This show lost all credibility when the actual daughters of McLeod, Claire and Tess, did a bunk (well, OK, one died pretty horribly - but not at the paws of a big cat) and left the picturesque homestead.
What's interesting is that the scriptwriters have obviously been paying attention to what's been going on in the 'real world' in regards to mystery animal sightings.
Character Kate finds her horse Turbo injured and sees a dark shape run across the rear drive that looks like a big cat. Then the actors come across the carcass of a sheep in a tree!
The hunting parties are dispatched...but it seems the panther mystery is solved when Stevie and Grace shoot dead two wild dogs. However, a cow has been killed, and dragged for metres…something that dogs cannot do...

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Report a sighting to CFZ Oz

Have you seen a strange animal in Australia or New Zealand - something unusual, rare or (allegedly) extinct? This could be anything from an eastern quoll, night parrot or a moa, to a thylacine, (mainland) Tasmanian devil or a big cat (yes, we know we're not supposed to have any of the latter left).Let CFZ Oz know by emailing us at
We're busy compiling an Australian-New Zealand database of mystery animal sightings, so no matter if your experience is old or new, we're keen to hear about it. We're especially keen to see photographs, video footage and plaster casts.

CFZ Oz Team

Friday, 13 July 2007

Prints of Darkness

CFZ Oz members recently viewed this kick-arse NZ documentary put together by the very capable Mark Orton and Pip Walls, and featuring CFZ Oz member Mike Williams. All we can say is - buy it! Either that or wait for it to screen on your TV, because that's definitely where this gem is headed. It even has its own thrashy soundtrack! Check out the website here.

CFZ Oz Credit: Ruby Lang

Mainland Tassie Devils?'s Debbie Hynes has been a busy beaver (or should that be devil?), opening up a fresh line of enquiry into mainland Tasmanian Devil sightings.
You can read about her initial findings here.

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Tassie squid 'one of the biggest'
July 11, 2007

A GIANT squid washed up dead on Tasmania's west coast is one of the biggest ever found, weighing in at 250 kilograms, with a cross-section as big as a truck tyre and longer than a station wagon. Scientists, who see it as an exciting and intriguing discovery, will take DNA and tissue samples from the sea monster before transporting it to Hobart for a post-mortem examination. Tasmanian Museum curator David Pemberton said the eight-metre long Archotheuthis is one of the biggest ever discovered. The museum's senior curator of invertebrate zoology, Genefor Walker-Smith, is heading a team of experts investigating the discovery at Ocean Beach, near Strahan. "It is a whopper,'' Ms Walker-Smith said while en route to the scene today. "The main mantle of the squid is about one metre across and its total length is about eight metres. "It's a very exciting discovery and we will be carrying out a number of tissue tests and take pictures and measurements on the animal today.''

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Night Parrot Secrey Angers Bird Lovers

"Dubbed the Tasmanian tiger of the skies, this small, drab, budgerigar-like bird has fascinated scientists, frustrated twitchers and inspired artists, poets and novelists for more than a century. Elusive and enigmatic, the night parrot appears to have been relatively common in central Australia in the 19th century. But numbers mysteriously declined, and it was declared extinct by some experts as long ago as 1915." Sydney Morning Herald, June 23, 2007.
Bird lovers are up in arms over a perceived failure to further investigate the discovery of a dead Nigh Parrot in Boulia in 1990. Another deceased bird was found in Diamantina National Park, Queensland in 2006, but its discovery was kept a secret until February this year.
Have scientists missed the boat in rediscovering and protecting this thought-to-be-extinct bird?

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Tassie Tiger DNA Mission

Tasmanian Tiger extinction mystery
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

LEFT: Dr Jeremy Austin and a mounted specimen of a baby thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger.

A University of Adelaide project led by zoologist Dr Jeremy Austin is investigating whether the world-fabled Tasmanian Tiger may have survived beyond its reported extinction in the late 1930s.
Dr Austin from the
Australian Centre for Ancient DNA is extracting ancient DNA from animal droppings found in Tasmania in the late 1950s and `60s, which have been preserved in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
"The scats (droppings) were found by Eric Guiler, Australia's last real thylacine expert, who said he thought it more probable they came from the Tasmanian Tiger rather than a dog,
Tasmanian Devil or quoll," Dr Austin said.
The Tasmanian Tiger, or thylacine, was widespread in Tasmania when European settlers arrived in 1803. Resembling a large, long dog with stripes, a heavy stiff tail and big head, the thylacine was the world's largest marsupial carnivore at the time of its extinction in 1936 when the last one in captivity died in
Hobart Zoo.
"If we find thylacine DNA from the 1950s scats it will be significant," Dr Austin said. "The last Tasmanian Tiger killed in the wild was in 1918, so there's a 20-year gap between a wild sighting and one in captivity. It's a long shot that they were still around in the 1950s, but we can't rule it out at this stage."
Dr Austin is also extracting DNA from bones of both the Tasmanian Tiger and Tasmanian Devil found on mainland Australia. Scientists believe the Tiger lived on the mainland 2000 years ago and the Devil 500 years ago.
"The DNA may be able to reveal they were different species to the Tasmanian animals, although it's unlikely. It's only been 10,000 years since Bass Strait flooded and Tasmania was separated from the mainland. That's not a long period of time in evolutionary terms.
"The main reason people think they may have been different species is that the Tasmanian Tiger was much bigger than its mainland cousins. That's not surprising given the climate because the colder the environment, the larger the animal."
Dr Austin is working in collaboration with Oliver Berry from the
University of Western Australia, another zoologist who is extracting ancient DNA from scats in Tasmania to find evidence of foxes.

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Death of a legend: NZ's Moehau

by Tony Lucas
It has often been mentioned there are no bodies, that one conclusive tangible piece of evidence, ever found of hominid cryptids.
Why? Here in New Zealand, as would be the situation with our Moehau - New Zealand's Bigfoot, once something dies in the bush it is very quickly adsorbed into the ecosystem and little to no trace of it remains. Many wayward trampers have ended there lives in this manner, never to be found.
If an animal were buried, the chances of discovery in regions of dense rainforest or bush would be slim. Most human bodies found in such areas are either chance finds, or found because they are in shallow graves which due to environmental factors or animal disturbance become exposed.
Another consideration is many hominids are described as having a social structure, family groups or territorial clans. If these sorts of social structures exist, it may further be that these beasts in addition have a concept of death and an afterlife. If this were so, burial may be a part of this notion. Assuming Hominids do have a loss concept, burials would certainly be deep enough so the corpse would not be disturbed or molested by animals.
I should think a secluded spot would additionally be chosen to give the departed one solitude and perhaps stop desecration by rival social groups.
These creatures live in the wilderness, it's their home and they know it intimately.
They are extremely skilled at concealment, not only of themselves but their activities.
Anyone entering a burial area would be hard pressed to notice anything a miss.
In nature any void is quickly filled over by vegetation.
The chances of stumbling upon such a grave are remote even after just a few weeks.
We know from testimonials, casts and eye-witness accounts these hominids are not immune to injury, disease and no doubt misadventure.
There have been incidences reported where American Bigfoot have been struck by cars and literally left on the side of the road, only for the motorist to return and find no injured Bigfoot or body. Some casts have been found in the United States showing foot irregularities due to disease or injury. Some of these abnormalities show as having afflicted the sufferer for a long period of time. If this is true the hominid would have needed the help of others in order to survive.
It seems they care for their sick and injured. It's therefore not unfair to assume there is further an afterlife concept among such creatures or even a tie of mutual caring and affection.
If this was not so why waste effort and resources caring for the sick and infirm.
This raises an interesting point, many indigenous societies suffered at the hands of their colonizers. The diseases they brought with them, to which the native community had no resistance, decimated many societies.
If the Hominids are close human relatives then cross contamination is a possibility.
If this were to happen it could have a disastrous effect on populations, especially isolated ones.
This may have been the case with the New Zealand Moehau.
Once European settlement commenced the Moehau sightings decreased.
Could European introduced diseases be the cause?
The Moehau was already; it would appear, to have been declining in population before the Europeans arrived. This may have been due to habitat destruction due to the massive burn offs the Maori used to clear land for cultivation. The introduction of European disease may have tipped the scales leading to their potential extinction. If this was the case extermination could have happened in a very short space of time.
It's interesting to contemplate that the frequency of Moehau reports decreased as settlers penetrated the more remote areas of New Zealand, especially in the southern districts such as Otago and Canterbury once gold was discovered and mining commenced.
If this did not have some impact on the Moehau, if anything one would have expected sightings to have increased not declined.
This along with the more sophisticated advanced weaponry the Colonizers brought with them, the risk of catching a fatal infection may have been responsible for the change in behavior of the Moehau and other New Zealand Hominids. They moved from being aggressive and dominating to being shy retiring creatures that avoided man as much as possible. With the appearance of the Europeans something changed in their attitude.
Who knows, perhaps the answer lies buried in the bush and may never be found, or if disease has wiped this species out without our first getting to know it, somewhere out in the bush the answer to one of New Zealand's most enigmatic mysteries lies undiscovered.

CFZ credit: Tony Lucas

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Bega Big Cats 2

Bega District News
19 June 2007
Panther tales

EARLY in May a we published a query from a visitor to the shire who claimed she saw a black panther near Tathra and asked if there had been any other sightings.
Since then we have had five reports from sightings, not only in the Tathra area but in the Tantawanglo and Bemboka regions as well.
These are the latest reports.
A Bega reader (who wants to remain anonymous) says that about 15 years ago he was bushwalking on the side of Bemboka peak when saw a black animal about the size of a labrador dog, but it was not a dog.
It was definitely a type of cat, he said.
It "slunk" out of the bushes, looked at him and then slunk away again.
Lisa Brown, formerly of these parts, says that eight or nine years ago on Tantawanglo Road she got a good look at her panther.
It was much bigger than a cat and smaller than a tiger, she said.
It was sleek, longer than a cat and had more muscle tone than a dog.
Lisa's story can also be corroborated by the person who was in the car with her at the time.
Alf Waterson of Wallagoot and two mates made their sighting not far from Bournda.
It was in the late 60s and they were walking along north Tura beach at approximately 2pm not far from where the housing is now.
"We disturbed a large panther like animal very close to the beach; it took off up the slope at speed and we got a good look at it briefly for 20 metres or so," he said.
"As we were very close to it we saw it was jet black like a cat all over, body about 70cm, tail 50cm with a small head and short ears, exactly like a panther.
"My cousins who lived at Jellat at that time had seen a similar animal at Killapnee which is a property west of Bournda lake on the back Merimbula road.
"We never informed anyone of our sightings until years later when I saw an article in a shooting magazine and I wrote in and it was published in the magazine about eight years ago.
"This (latest) sighting is no mystery to me.
"Good on Ms X for bringing this to light as some stories that should be told never are for fear of ridicule."

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Bega Big Cats 1

Bega District News
08 June 2007
Behind the News
WE are dedicating today's column to reported sightings of black panthers in the shire, in reponse to a query a few weeks ago from a visit to Tathra who was sure she saw one.
ROBERT Jennings of Bega says that in the mid 1970s he and two friends were riding motor bikes along the old back road between Kalaru and Merimbula when we they to the junction that now is the access road from Sapphire Coast Drive to the Merimbula waste depot. "We stopped the bikes to have a chat when out of the bush just below the intersection about 50 metres away came an awful noise and the bushes around it were being thrashed about; it sounded like something you would hear on TV, the sounds of a big cat playing or fighting with something. The noise really scared us all and then this big black cat rushed out of the bush saw us and fled back into the bush just as quick. It had a body about the size of a large german shepherd and a long slender black tail. We all looked at each other and rode off as quickly as we could, none of us could believe what we had just witnessed. Later on we talked about what had happened and we all came to the same conclusion: that no would believe us if we reported it so we didn't bother. However, it still haunts me to this day."
ROBERT says that a few years later he was talking to a person who lived at
Burragate and she told him a story she said he wouldn't believe; about how a black panther came to her creek to drink every morning.
ANOTHER Bega reader (who wants to remain anonymous) says that about 15 years ago he was bushwalking on the side of Bemboka peak when saw a black animal about the size of a labrador dog, but it was not a dog. It was definitely a type of cat. It "slunk" out of the bushes, looked at him and then slunk away again.
LISA Brown, formerly of these parts, says that eight or nine years ago on Tantawanglo Road she gt a good look at her panther. It was much bigger than a cat and smaller than a tiger, she said. It was sleek, longer than a cat and had more muscle tone than a dog. Lisa's story can also be corroborated by the person who was in the car with her at the time.

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Monday, 11 June 2007

Mystery of the three-toed prints

Left-Johnno Photo right- Paul Clatcher

My story goes, last Christmas / Newyear period 27th Dec 2006 I went on holiday in southern Victoria and Sth Australia, the first night was spent in Mt Gambier then on to the Vic coast the next day, I was heading for the Great Ocean Road and had just entered it's western end, I though I'd turn off on to one of the many 4wheel drive tracks to getaway from the hoards of visiters to the region, anyway as you would expect I didn't have a 4wheel drive just a normal car so it turned out that I could only go about 5kms down this particular track before it became in accessable to me, which annoyed me as I could see the ocean about 1 km ahead and heard the voices of people carried on the wind. I had been travelling for sometime with my last stop actually being at Portland, so nature was calling and like any aussie bloke a quick look around then do the buisness. I looked down to my shock I saw fresh tracks in the sandy dirt of the track I was on, they were as big as my hand about 5 inches across and wandered up the track a little before entering scrubland. I nearly shit myself mate, I instantly recognised them as belonging to a feline as I have owned cats all my life and know the distinct difference between a cats and dogs prints, besides there were no claw marks at the front of each toeprint common to a dog, though I had camera equipment with me I never took any photos as a big cat was all these could belong to I thought, and I could see they were pretty fresh no more than a few hours old so I wasn't sticking around to become lunch and I was travelling alone. Unfortunately the name of the National Park I was in eludes me at this time, but It had a steel scaffolding type structure erected as a public lookout about 2kms in off the western end of The Great Ocean Road.
BTW I too though of a wombat but the retracted claws and the size of them and stride was too great to be a wombat, as for the prints I photographed in the Riverland 2 weeks ago, I emailed them to a professor at the Adelaide Zoo, but haven't heard back from him yet, like I said they are definately not cat prints almost human like except with 3 big toes about the length of a finger each and all inline with each other, they wander long the side of the dirt road I was on and off towards a deserted but full sheep watering troff, the area was clearly a deserted and a farm at some stage as even with a 500mm telephoto lense attached to my SLR I couldn't see any animals or farm houses about, just a windmill powered borepump and the troff on the opposite side of the road, I took closeups and another shot which shows them as belonging to something that must walk upright, I also swear I never made them and can't see any reason for anyone else to have, as the chances of someone stumbling across them was almost infinite. I still can't identify them as the more I look at the pictures the more puzzling it becomes.

Received Tuesday 05/06/2007 - "How uncanny, they do seem to be made by the same creature, though the pictures of your 3-toed mystery looks as though they were made when the area was rather muddy or wet, what I didn't mention to you was that if you look at my photo of the prints taken from side on you'll see my shoe print crossing a tyre track, now whats interesting about this is I'm over 100kgs in weight and I barely left a indentation on the road yet look at how deep the 3 toed prints are in the imediate area, this must be one very heavy creature what ever it is, the same seems true for your prints where the ground appears sort of squashed. Besides it would take one powerful animal to lift a full grown male roo into a tree like that, I doubt that any cat smaller that a tiger or lion could do this, just because of the body weight ratios.

Could we have a new creature? Well yes, or maybe just a very old nocturnal one that keeps out of sight! I find that kangaroo up a tree very interesting as a fox or dog simply couldn't do this, yet a panther would, it's natural for them to drag their kill into trees to protect it from other plains scavengers but is it strong enough, however your three twoed prints found in that area are hardly from a cat of anykind so what exactly is it we both seem to have stumbled across? I don't want to yell Yowie or Bunyip just yet but it's beginning to look like it, must see if I can find a "Black Tracker" they might know :) Howmany of these things are out there? I mean its a bloody long way from Queensland to the lower riverland here in SA, and I can't imagine something travelling that far on foot and to never have been spotted. (Paul - Johnno, I cannot be certain how the roo got up the tree at all. And I can't know if the hindquarters of the roo were either cut off or torn off as the level of decomposition made it difficult to tell, but those strange three (3)-toed prints were very close. And, yes the ground there was quite compacted, so whatever made those indents, must have had considerable Mass.). Johnno.

CFZ credit: Paul Clacher

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Lithgow Panther Gets YouTube Treatment

Let it never be said we can't laugh at ourselves! This hilarious send-up of the search for the Lithgow Panther is a hoot! And very well done.

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Rossville's 'white panther'

Man and couple claim to see mysterious white panther at Rossville
by Ross Irby, 6.6.07
Cairns Post
“I WASN’T drinking and definitely no funny smokes. I think it was this mystery ancient animal people talk about that was here.”
Rossville resident Jim Stone is not laughing off the mysterious creature he saw running through his property near the Bloomfield Valley on a Sunday afternoon last month.
And his son’s partner, JaJa Elliot, also was stunned when she saw it. His son, James, reported seeing something very much like the creature six months before.
Mr Stone said last Friday what he saw was like a white panther: “I swear blind it’s shape was like a panther, a long, lean animal.”
He and JaJa were watching TV when the white animal ran past the front door then around the house and back into dense rainforest.
It was the same scenario witnessed by his son last year of a swiftly moving creature near the family home.
For a brief moment, they mistook it for JaJa’s dog, only to realise Spanner was inside. Also strange was the way the pet did not react to the animal. “It looked like a white panther. We have been trying to figure out what it is,” he said.
“I know the feral dogs and dingoes in the area and it definitely wasn’t a dog. I even thought (briefly) it may have been a calf because of the size of it but there is none around here.”
Perplexed by the mysterious beast Mr Stone three days before found unusual imprints in the wet earth near his home, of an animal making three-toed prints. The resident of 25 years said it reminded him of stories about people seeing what might have been a black panther on Black Mountain and north of Cooktown.
His mystery follows other mysterious sightings of a creature near Myola that has left people wondering if it was a feral pig, dog or the mysterious North Queensland tiger.

CFZ credit: Mike Williams

Monday, 4 June 2007

Fortean Times Feature Aussie Cat Mystery

CFZ Oz member Mike Williams and Ruby Lang discuss big cats Down Under in the upcoming issue of Fortean Times. AUSTRALIAN ABC SIGHTINGS - Why are there so many reports of strange roars and inexplicable stock predation coming from down under? Find out by buying the new issue, available now in the UK, and in several weeks in Australia.


Saturday, 2 June 2007

Tarra Bulga Yowie Update

On April 23, 2006, at least six people (two couples and two male bush-walkers) heard strange “bellowing” sounds and saw what they later described to National Parks officials as a “big ape” at Corrigan’s Suspension Bridge in the Tarra-Bulga National Park. Read all about it here.
CFZ credit: Paul Cropper

Friday, 1 June 2007

Yowie sighting at Batemans Bay

Are they out there? By DAVID WHEELDON
A MYSTERIOUS creature allegedly sighted scampering into the bush outside Batemans Bay has all the hallmarks of the legendary Yowie, according to cryptozoology experts.
Around 11pm last Saturday a Batemans Bay resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, saw what she described as a two-legged non-human creature in her headlights. She said it was more than six feet tall, covered in a dark brownish fur and appeared and moved like no other animal she had ever seen. After hearing the report, cryptozoologist Paul Cropper said it was consistent with many he had heard from around the country.
Mr Cropper said Batemans Bay was one of the country's hot spots for sightings of the mysterious ape-like creature.
He said while the subject was "certainly a little bit out there", it remains a mystery that has intrigued many people around the Eurobodalla.
"The thing is there is a strong tradition of these cases dating back to the 1800s around that area," he said. "Many of the reports have come from quite reputable people."
Mr Cropper has spoken to around 130 eyewitnesses himself.
"The question is, what are they?" he said. "When you think about it, there's no other
animal they can be mistaken for. In America people may just be spotting bears, but not in Australia."
Famous Australian cryptozoologist Tim The Yowie Man agreed that the latest description fits the profile of a Yowie.
He said Batemans Bay was one of Australia's top five spots for reported Yowie activity.
A book authored by Mr Cropper and Tony Healy, The Yowie: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot, references Batemans Bay several times.
This includes a letter to the Australian Town and Country Journal in 1882 by a H J McCooey.
He claimed he met an Australian ape in the bush between Batemans Bay and Ulladulla and said he knew at least half a dozen local men who had seen the same.
Mr McCooey described it as "a most uncouth and repulsive-looking creature, evidently possessed of prodigious strength".
The authors claimed this fits in well with local Aboriginal lore, as it described the Cockwhy Mountain area where an Aboriginal elder said Yowies had lived until at least the 1950s.
The book describes an encounter with a pair of the creatures in 1972 when a Bowral truck driver stopped near Cullendulla.
And in 1977 the Moruya Examiner reported the discovery of giant footprints and strange activities on Budd Island, however the authors tended to think this case was a hoax. But they list several other cases, some on the western fringe of Batemans Bay as well as in the Mogo State Forest among other places.

CFZ credit: Paul Cropper

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Big Black Shiny Brute - Sneak Preview

A New Zealand documentary maker delves into the mystery big cat sightings in his own backyard...and this is what he finds...the film will be released June 9, 2007. CFZ Australia, through Mike Williams, provided some background material to help Mark Orton in his quest.

CFZ Oz Team

CFZ Unplugged

The great days of zoology are not done...

CFZ Oz Team

Monday, 28 May 2007

Warner Bros' Devil Rescue Funding

Cartoon king Warner Bros has kicked in funding to save the Tasmanian Devil from possible extinction. The feisty marsupial was the inspiration for one of the Warner Bros empire's most popular cartoon characters, Taz the Tasmanian Devil. Right now a cancerous facial tumour is decimating Tasmania's population of devils.

Tasmania's Tourism, Arts and Environment Minister Paula Wriedt said Warner Bros. had struck a deal with the Tasmanian Government to donate one Australian $ dollar - the equivalent of 82 cents - for each sale from a new series of DVDs to be released in Australia featuring the company's cartoon characters. Proceeds will be donated to a fund managed by the University of Tasmania to help the animals, Wriedt said. "This partnership will go a long way to assist in raising funds, awareness and future opportunities to ensure the survival of the Tasmanian Devil," she said.

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Friday, 25 May 2007

Rare Koala Twins - Made in China!

It's not often other countries get to crow about our native wildlife, but this is an exception - twin koalas! Koala joeys Little Michelle and Little Amanda emerged from their mother's pouch to greet adoring fans at China's Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou recently. Experts say the marsupials are the first twins to be born in captivity since the early '60s, when twin koalas were born at Sydney's Taronga Zoo. Read more here...
A little known rather grim fact is that most mature koalas eventually lose the ability to eat gum leaves - the constant grinding wears down their blunt teeth and they don't grow back - and in zoos they must be fed a eucalyptus-based paste to stay alive. The oldest koala in captivity was called Sarah and she reached a ripe old age of 23, but then she didn't have to contend with cars, dogs and developers. If koalas manage to avoid these three, in the wild they can expect to live up to 10 years. Koala numbers are at present in serious decline, with fears they could be headed towards extinction in some parts of Australia.

CFZ Oz Team

Interview with CFZ UK's Jon Downes

Recently CFZ USA's Nick Redfern interviewed Center for Fortean Zoology UK director Jon Downes about the CFZ, its origins, work, expeditions, and plans for the future. If you've ever wondered about the origins of the group, then read on...


Monday, 21 May 2007

Report a sighting to CFZ Oz

Have you seen a strange animal in Australia or New Zealand - something unusual, rare or (allegedly) extinct? This could be anything from an eastern quoll or a night parrot or a moa, a thylacine to a big cat (yes, we know we're not supposed to have any of the latter left).
Let CFZ Oz know by emailing us at
We're busy compiling an Australian-New Zealand database of mystery animal sightings, so no matter if your experience is old or new, we're keen to hear about it. We're especially keen to see photographs, video footage and plaster casts.

CFZ Oz Team

Mega mystery 'cat' casts from Victoria

A Victorian prospector by the name of Les shared these monster casts with CFZ Australia's Mike Williams last week. We're interested to hear what our readers might make of them - many of them are unmistakably cat...but they'd leave your average house moggy for dead!

CFZ credit: Mike Williams

Sunday, 20 May 2007

'Giant Quoll' or Thylacoleo?

Gilderoy (Vic) (Near Warburton), mid-June 2002
I came across the two stills you have of an animal seen in the Charleville area. Your photos made me remember something I'd seen in Victoria. Back in 2002 I was living in Yarra Junction outside Melbourne, located in the Yarra Valley and Ranges. My family and I were out early one morning, out past Gilderoy, inside a now disused logging coop. It was June 21 (mid winter) and it was around 0645 (we'd gone out to see the sun rise for the winter solstice); the weather was typical for that time of year - misty, cold and rainy. We were driving in an easterly direction on a clay/gravel track deep inside the coop with a steep hillside to the right and a sharp drop to a gully to the left. Driving slowly with the Rangie's lights and spots on, one child commented that something was coming down the hill towards the road as he could see the undergrowth moving around. Thinking it might be a kangaroo or wombat I slowed down. The thing came off the hillside and got onto the road. My first thought was it looked like a quoll on steroids it was so big. It was uniformly dark in colour, about 80cms at the shoulder and about 1.5m from nose to tail. The head had the same sort of stub nose like a Tasmanian Devil (with the same sort of heavy jaws), and a long tail like a kangaroo which it seemed to use for balance or steering - (it didnt move about like a cats, it looked fairly rigid and slightly curved). (Paul - sounds like a Thylacoleo) The thing looked large and powerfully built, but it had a quite graceful (almost arrogant) stride to it. I stopped; it walked into the middle of the road (and our lights); turned and looked at us for perhaps 30 seconds and sauntered across to the other side where it went down into the gully. I drove to the spot, got out and took a mobile spot to the edge of the gully. The animal followed the creek for about 10-20m, crossed it and disappeared into the bush on the other side. My family and I looked for tracks but the road was pretty much covered with gravel and small rocks and so not much could be seen. However the smell in the air where the thing had been was pretty unspeakable - rotting flesh.

Queensland Museum Thylacoleo model
(Photograph by Paul Clacher)

Now my job has taken me to some pretty remote sites in Australia, and I've seen huge feral cats, dogs and pigs, but this thing wasn't any of those. It really reminded me of something along the lines of a quoll or a Tasmanian Devil but much much bigger. I've also heard the stories around the Yarra Junction and Warburton Pubs about the 'Toolangi Tiger' and a couple of other odd sightings and would be really interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. Any ideas as to what it might be? Red

CFZ credit: Paul Clacher

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Have you seen this fugitive?

The Eastern Quoll is believed to be extinct on the Australian mainland. The last spotted marsupial carnivore of its description is believed to have been sighted near Vaucluse, Sydney in 1963 - unfortunately for it, it had been run over by a car so the specimen was added to the mammal collection at the Australian Museum.
But the story of the Eastern Quoll doesn't end there - there have been many sightings of the diminutive native in recent years, suggesting that small pockets of Eastern Quolls have survived despite man's best efforts to oust them. Most recently
Nicole Palmer in the Hawkesbury, a rural area on Sydney fringe, believes she had a run in (but not literally, luckily for the quolls) with a couple of Eastern Quolls as she drove home one morning. CFZ Australia knows the exact location were this happened, however we contacted the NPWS in that area and made them aware of the incident so hair traps could be laid to confirm their presence - and to ensure their home wasn't trampled unnecessarily by well-meaning visitors. We haven't heard back yet, but we're hopeful that a small community survives and thrives there.

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Devil anti-extinction plan

Devils relocation considered
A committee of experts looking at the facial tumour disease affecting tasmanian devils has recommended the animals be relocated to several offshore islands, including Maria Island.
The committee has made the recommendation to the State Government's Department of Primary Industries.
A spokesman for the Department says the recommendation to quarantine devil populations is being assessed by the State Government.
If approved it is expected about 100 devils will be allowed on Maria Island, and more sent to other islands.
The move is part of a plan to prevent the extinction of the species.

ABC Radio - May 4, 2007

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Lair of the meat-lover

Lair of the meat-lover
Tasmanian Devils are an often-overlooked species of Australian wildlife. Devils are short, pudgy and not a little cantankerous, lacking the mystique of its 'extinct' cousin and the wow factor of cuter national icons such as the koala and kangaroo.

The Devil, or Sarcophilus (literally "meat-lover") is the garbage man of the bush, hoovering up the remains (commonly bones and all) of deceased animals.

CFZ heard a tale from one bushie of a rescue party searching for a presumed dead bushwalker in Tasmania - all they ended up finding was his wristwatch and a half-chewed leather shoe!

Although presumed extinct on the mainland, there have been several documented sightings of devils and several corpses found in New South Wales and Victoria so it seems unlikely that they are completely gone, though one presumes their numbers would no doubt be small.

Like the eastern quoll, the mainland Devil seems to be clinging to existence - just. Could many of the five-toed prints (see picture) that we occasionally find belong to this tenacious survivor? Let's hope so.
CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Indonesia's Clouded-Leopard a New Species

Indonesia's Clouded-Leopard a New Species

Clouded leopards found on Sumatra and Borneo represent a new species, research by genetic scientists and the conservation group WWF indicates.
Until now it had been thought they belonged to the species that is found on mainland southeast Asia. Scientists now believe the two species diverged more than one million years ago, and have evolved separately since.
With bodies up to 1.1m long, clouded leopards are the biggest predators on Borneo and one of Asia's largest cats.
It's incredible that no-one has ever noticed these differences
Andrew KitchenerThe separation of the species was discovered by scientists at the US National Cancer Institute near Washington DC.
"Genetic research results clearly indicate that the clouded leopards of Borneo should be considered a separate species," said Dr Stephen O'Brien, head of the Institute's Laboratory of Genomic Diversity.
"DNA tests highlighted around 40 differences between the two species."
Supporting evidence came from examination of fur patterns. Leopards from Borneo and Sumatra have small "clouds" with many distinct spots within them, grey and dark fur, and twin stripes along their backs.
Their mainland cousins have large cloud markings on their skin with fewer, often faint, spots within the cloud markings, and are lighter and more tawny in colour.
"The moment we started comparing the skins of the mainland clouded leopard and the leopard found on Borneo, it was clear we were comparing two different species," said Dr Andrew Kitchener from the National Museums of Scotland.
"It's incredible that no-one has ever noticed these differences."
WWF, which maintains a large conservation operation on Borneo, estimates there are between 5,000 and 11,000 clouded leopards on the island, with a further 3,000 to 7,000 on Sumatra.
"The fact that Borneo's top predator is now considered a separate species further emphasises the importance of conserving the 'Heart of Borneo'," said WWF's Stuart Chapman, co-ordinator of a project seeking to preserve the island's wildlife.
The three governments with territory on the island - Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei - signed an agreement earlier this year pledging to protect the "Heart of Borneo", 200,000 square kilometres of rainforest in the middle of the island thought to be particularly high in biodiversity.

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Panther sighting in Armidale

Armidale, NSW, 1984
I was recently listening to a talkback show that had brought up the discussion of panthers in Australia. I was surprised how many people rang in their sightings. but also annoyed by the skeptics sarcasm.
As a kid about 10 yr old, around 1984 at a guess, my sister and I just hopped off the school bus and mum was on the verandah about 100m away going ballistic. when we got home mum took us to the kitchen window and asked us what we saw in our neighbors back yard.
There was a large black cat as big as the neighbors Doberman it had a long tail drooping to the ground. as we watched mum rang the neighbor.
We watched as it jumped the fence and slowly and so gracefully bounded across the paddock we watched as it jumped fence after fence it appeared to be following Ben who had hoped off the bus with us.
As he started to run the cat turned and just disappeared into the scrub. that week there were many sightings. a farmer went to get his water bottle from a tree and found a panther on the limb the bottle was hung on. a lady opened the curtains one morning to find a panther looking in the window at her.
Many years later about 1996 I was privileged to have a glimpse of another panther. This time I was at Toppers mountain Tingha.
Each morning as I drove through the forest to go to town there was a wallaby and its Joey sunning themselves on the road. this morning they were not there. disappointed I looked into the clearing to see if they were there. I saw a huge black cat sitting there. as I stopped the car and reversed to have another look there was nothing there. No black object no black tree stump or anything that could have looked like a cat. I then realized I had just had my second sighting.
In 2006 a friend was on his property in Bingara he and his brother heard a screaming noise and saw a large black cat disappearing. that same week there were other sightings in the Bingara area. I have no doubt they are there but I don't believe that they need to be proven to exist so the government eradicates them. Africa has lions and we love to watch them there would be an uproar if someone decided to make them extinct due to the risk to people. aust has a panther so what. we have many national parks that no one goes deeply into. there is plenty of room for them to exist and as long as we know they are there we can behave with knowledge.
Every other country has its dangerous animals and we have plenty of our own. there are more snakebite victims than panther attacks so why seek them out just to kill them, they are a beautiful creature that deserves our respect. Tanya

CFZ credit: Paul Clacher

Friday, 11 May 2007

Strange encounters of the panther kind

Strange encounters of the panther kind
Macarthur Chronicle, 29Jan07
THE mystery of a colossal cat seen roaming the region began to unravel last week as residents reported more panther sightings to the Macarthur Chronicle.
Wedderburn resident Ted Lalor, 70, said he and a neighbour saw a panther near their homes six months ago.
"The boys in Appin who saw the panther last week were fair dinkum," he said.
"I've shot feral cats before and there's no way a cat could grow to the size of the animal I'm talking about. Eventually someone will knock off one of these creatures, then people will finally believe they exist."
Two people who won't need much convincing are teenagers Emilly and Karrine.
Emilly said she saw the creature while riding her horse at Sugarloaf Horse Centre in Menangle.
"The first time I saw the panther, it chased me on my horse," she said.
"But I've seen it other times and it just hangs around then goes back into the bush. My friend Karrine told me she saw the same thing."
Other reports included Kelly, 29, who saw the big cat near the Broughton Pass in Appin, and Dale Shackleton who recalled a panther terrorising his Appin farm and the Inghams chicken sheds more than 30 years ago.
Cryptozoologist Mike Williams said scientists believed a breed of big cat existed in Australia but they were unsure whether it was a mutated feral cat, native, or an exotic cat, like a panther.
"There is something out there," he said. "Where there's smoke, there's fire. People don't just wake up in the morning with an urge to say they have seen a panther."
Mr Williams said big cats were among the best animals when it came to camouflage and were largely nocturnal.
"That humans see these creatures is not amazing - what is amazing is that we see them at all," he said.

CFZ credit: Ruby Lang

Apollo Bay, Victoria sighting

Apollo Bay, Victoria
Around January 2005 i was holidaying in Apollo Bay with my then girlfriend....We decided to spend a day visiting the many waterfalls that litter the Otways surrounding Apollo Bay most of them only accessible via dirt tracks.
Whilst driving along these dirt tracks we saw at least 3 "feral" cats...2 black and one fawn in colour along the side of the road.

These were in no way possible to be mistaken for anything other then feral cats.
Whilst returning to our car up some very roughly made steep steps (girlfriend tired lagging behind) i had stopped to wait for her when i had the feeling of being watched..
Looking out into the surrounding bushland i spotted a rather large tabby cat sitting on a log not more then 25 metres from me. As I have always been very intrigued and fascinated by ..ufos.. cryptozoology..and other related topics i was kinda spooked by this as i started recalling stories i had read about big cats etc...
It was getting a little late in the evening but we decided we would visit one more waterfall before returning to Apollo bay I do not recall the name of this waterfall but it was located in a gully surrounded by heavily logged pine forest with a public camp ground located at the end of a dirt track On leaving you come of this dirt trackand turn onto a sealed we did this and i started accelerating i got a glimpse of the rear end of a very large black cat as it leaped of the roadside and up an embankment which was about 3.5 metres high My girlfriend saw it before me and said "did you see that" so i guess my mind was not playing tricks on me.
We stopped and reversed back to where we had seen it. There were shrubs on top of the embankment behind these there was forest....we could not see it and we were to scared to leave the vehicle and venture up the embankment It would have been at least a little taller then a german shepard, jet black, but what really got my attention was the long black curved tail which stayed curved and rigid as it leapt.
There is no way it could have been a feral cat in our opinion we both have had pet cats and this was not your everyday pussy cat. You wouldn't get me camping out at that fact i don't think id walk down that way again either I find it interesting that most people cannot believe/accept the idea of bigcats living in the aussie bush....fair enough when it comes to yowies etc when you take into account there is no confirmed species matching them anywhere in the world..but bigcats of allsorts shapes and colours are known to exist in many countries...why not here?
What effect would proof of this have on tourism i said it has put me off camping and bushwalking too not to mention the political nightmare it would be in regards to how/what to deal with it...It will be interesting to see if current issues like drought bushfires bring these creatures out of hiding and into more contact with humans. Kevin

CFZ credit: Paul Clacher

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Elementum Bestia arrives...

Elementum Bestia is the latest cryptozoology book to hit the shelves. The Southern Hemisphere is well-represented through the contributions of Australian cryptozoologists Tony Healy, Paul Cropper and Chris Rehberg, and the work of New Zealand-based Tony Lucas. Well done all!

WA panther encounter

Geraldton, Western Australia
I don’t know if this is the sight to go to but I was just watching today tonight 7th may 2007 and they had a report of big cat sightings.
It was exciting to watch and made me realize that what I have seen my self was very real.
We live on a 100acre property in a small rural area called Chapman Valley situated 20km north east of Geraldton Western Australia we were sitting out side of the house it was about 4 in the afternoon and we were looking out over our neighbors property, at the time they were growing rockmeleons I was looking at the paddock which would have been about 500m away and I could see this black animal of sort walking through the paddock of rock melons I tapped mum on the shoulder and pointed out and she too was quiet taken aback, even though we were quiet a distance away what ever we could see was moving slowly and was very big. I quickly raced inside and grabbed the binoculars and to my horror it was a bloody cat. It was huge it would have been about the height of our blue heeler dog and was long. And its tail was very distinct we all had a turn looking through the binoculars and couldn’t believe what we were seeing. The cat walked through the paddock and in to the swamp that resides between the two properties. And with much disappointment I have never seen the cat again. Yetna.

CFZ credit: Paul Clacher

WA panther sighting

Warren River, Nannup, WA
Last night on Today Tonight they ran a story with footage of large black cats. One can conclude that they do exist but at the same time remain very elusive. Just out of interest Nannup in Western Australia has reported the same sightings over the years however not much over the past few years. However my family ( wife and six children ) travelled to this area to camp at a place called the Warren River, which is about 15 Klm north of Nannup. While driving along a bush track myself and two sons saw a large black cat come onto the track in front of the 4wd, run along the track in front of the car and the turn off back into the bush. The animal was absolutely a panther-looking cat about the height of a large German Shepherd dog. Black, thick legs and tail and definitely a feline. So my account is 100% accurate and no chance it was something else. I don't know that it would still be alive today but they certainly do exist. Andrew

CFZ credit: Paul Clacher

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Reports flood in...

Here at CFZ Oz, big cat reports have been flooding in to members. We'll be uploading several here shortly. In the meantime, a reader has forwarded this to us from the Bega News.

Pauline Molony of Kinkumber on the NSW central coast has a curious request for Tathra residents. "I was in Tathra on Sunday, April 22, walking around the old Fords Headland property and saw what I think was a black panther," she wrote on our website. "Have you had any other reports of sightings in the area?
"I would be very interested to know because what I saw is only in my mind. I didn't have a camera and, besides, it was very quick.
"My two companions didn't see it as they were looking over a cliff at the time. "The animal was jet black, larger than a cat or dog, had a large tail and was very catlike in its movement.
"I couldn't think of any other animal that it may have been."
We are not aware of any stories about a panther in the area, although "Tathra" is an Aboriginal word for "place of wild cats". Ed's note: Tathra actually means 'beautiful country' according to Bega Valley Shire Council.

Do you have a mystery animal sighting you'd like to share? If so, email

CFZ Oz Team

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Big cats story on Today Tonight

CFZ Oz member Mike Williams flew the group's flag on Seven's Today Tonight program this week (note his fetching black CFZ tee).
The show was by far the best one ever done in Australia (perhaps even since Rilla Martin spilled the beans on her photo of the Ozenkadnook Tiger!). It was nice to see a serious treatment of the subject for a change. If you missed the show, watch it here:

If you've seen a big cat, email us here at

CFZ Oz Team

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Marsupial lions sighting?

Marsupial Lions and Thylacines, Warwick, Australia
Posted by Maddy Livingstone on April 28, 2007
When me and my family were driving back from Brisbane in Queensland, Australia about two days ago, we saw a very strange roadkill.
It was about two or three feet long and was a tawny color, with a canine shape and triangular ears. I couldn't see it's tail but it had blacky-brown stripes going down it's back.
The creature was very clearly dead, and it was found in the middle of nowhere, out in the bushy scrub forest between Warwick and Stanthorpe, two towns near the Queensland/New South Wales border. It was probably more towards Warwick than Stanthorpe, a long empty stretch of scrub. There was a lot of red soil there, rather than the Italian-like plants found near Stanthorpe. However, I was driving at night, so this may not be completely correct. It might have just been a feral cat or a dingo,but there have been several Thylacine sightings in the area, and there is a fabled creature from the area as well: The Beast of Wallamaroo, a cat-like creature that corresponds with a Marsupial Lion or a Thylacine.
Perhaps a careless driver finally killed the Beast, who knows?
Also, a friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous) has seen some very thylacine-like tracks on her propety, and a calf was found dead on another's. The dead calf could be the work of a dingo, but the heart was missing, and the throut was torn out.

CFZ credit: Mike Cleeland

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Big Cats on A Current Affair

On Friday night A Current Affair aired this piece on The Brady Bunch (despite the wanky name, it actually got a pseudo-serious treatment!). If you missed it, catch it here:

The panther mystery
A Current Affair

Fri 04/05/07
By Brady Halls
Over the past decade we've covered big cat stories roaming the Australian bush many times. More often than not it's been treated by reporters with humour ... well panthers aren't exactly native to these shores are they?
But as the years went on and the stories continued, more and more people from all walks of life began saying they too have encountered panthers in the Aussie bush. Now a team of concerned residents in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney have had enough. They have a data base with over 250 names of local people who've seen the cat or cats in far western Sydney or in the Mountains.
This big cat resident action group is calling on the government to investigate the claims but fear nothing will be done because if they did come out and say there are cats roaming the bush, then they'd have to eradicate them. And if the authorities can't eliminate foxes, what chance a panther?
The group has collected cast paw prints, hair and even scat samples. They've had them tested and each time scientists come back saying panther or leopard. I must say as I walked the bush with these people, strange noises took on a whole new meaning to me. A number of people I spoke to simply don't go out at night. When children come to visit them, they don't let them play outside unless an adult is with them. It's frightening stuff for many in far western Sydney.
So where did these big cats come from if they are out there? Twenty years ago there were a number of private zoos in far western Sydney, but legislation was introduced in the 1980's that required them to be licenced. Those that didn't meet the strict requirements let their animals go, according to the group. Other theories are they came in with visiting US servicemen as mascots in the second World War and even with goldminers who came from overseas during the eighteen hundreds.
Don't think the rest of Australia is big cat free. The Grampians in central Victoria is the Big Cat Capital of Australia, with more sightings there than anywhere else in the country. Big cats have also been seen in central Queensland and the south west of Western Australia.
Add one more to the great Aussie outdoors nasty list: Funnel Webs, Sharks and panthers. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Australian Big Cats: The Evidence

Do you believe there are big cats in Australia? Then you need to get the latest CFZ publication, which features a chapter on Australian Big Cats: The Evidence. Buy your copy today! Check out the CFZ's newly-published Big Cats in Britain Yearbook 2007.

On the track of unknown animals...

We're on the hunt for volunteer researchers based in Australia and New Zealand!

Do you have a strong interest in zoology/nature? Are you fascinated by animal mysteries and apparently 'extinct' or endangered species? Do you enjoy getting out in the Australian bush? Are you fascinated by our unique wildlife? If so, then this could be the best 'job' for you!

What's involved? Collecting and sharing articles and sighting reports from your local area, interviewing witnesses, taking photographs and contributing to this blog and the CFZ magazine, Animals & Men.

What are the rewards? The CFZ runs its own magazine and publishing house, so there's ample opportunity to get your work or contributions published, as well as the chance to rub shoulders with like-minded individuals and have some fun while contributing to the very neglected fringes of zoological research.

It is our aim to create a comprehensive database of publicly-accessible mystery animal sightings in Australia, published annually. To do this, we need to rely on a network of talented and dedicated researchers, writers and explorers who enjoy adventure, and are willing to share their findings with like-minded individuals.

Are you up for it?

If you're in Australia or New Zealand, then drop us a line here:

If you're reading this and you're in Canada or the US, go here. If you're in the UK or anywhere else, go here.

CFZ Oz Team

Tasmanian Devils In Danger

Tasmanian Devils In Danger
Fox-Like Animals Are Being Moved To Avoid Contagious Cancer
CANBERRA, Australia, April 11, 2007

(AP) Tasmanian devils - the marsupial made famous as a snarling cartoon character named Taz - are being relocated to an island off Australia to avert their extinction by a contagious cancer. Some scientists fear the move could endanger rare birds and other animals on the island, but other experts say it is a last resort and should pose no problem since the devils are scavengers, not predators. "The path to extinction is looking pretty certain on Tasmania," said William Karesh of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, who organized a workshop in Australia to help the government and biologists develop a plan to save the devils. Read more here

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Thylacine nabbed Azaria

"A dingo didn't take Azaria Chamberlain, it was a thylacine, a marsupial wolf - what we call a Tasmanian Tiger." So says rock art guru and painter Percy Tresize. "The tigers are much bigger and stronger and much stealthier than dingoes. They're elusive. They only come out on starlit nights to hunt. Never in moonlight. That's why people believe they're extinct. Very few people have seen them, but I have." Read more here

Farmers deal with dingoes

Australian farmers wrestle dingo threat
By Rob Taylor
GUDGENBY VALLEY, Australia (Reuters) - Between grey granite mountains and drought-ravaged farms is a strip called the "militarised zone", the frontline of a battle between farmers and environmentalists over the survival of Australia's dingo.
"In that zone no dog may live. It gets killed if it gets in that place," says senior parks ecologist Don Fletcher, bluntly laying bare the strategy to protect vulnerable sheep grazing flocks from Australia's top predator.
Dingoes are part dog, part wolf, a last remnant of Asia's ancestor to modern dogs. Their place in Australian folklore was secured by a sensational 1980's murder case involving baby Azaria Chamberlain, whose parents said she was taken by a dingo.
Read more here

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Panther 'caught'?

'Panther gets himself caught'
27 April 2007
Mudgee Guardian

The Kains Flat 'panther' has been caught. The cat was again sighted near the same place when first sighted by the McGuinness family two weeks ago.
‘Panther watcher' Norm Flynn sighted a large black cat last Friday night (April 20) and believes it to be the same animal seen by the McGuinness'.
"I feel this cat is what was seen the previous Friday as it was traveling back from the direction it was seen going," Mr Flynn said.
It was 600mm in body length and 330mm to the shoulder with long fur of more than 50mm.
"I was unable to find any evidence to support a bigger cat in the area at this time. It would have been hard for them to estimate the size of the cat and compare it to sheep when the cat was in the foreground and that would make the cat look larger.
"All the same this was a very large feral cat, made look bigger because of the length of his coat, which I believe was because it was probably of Persian breed origin."
However, Mr Flynn still believes there are panther size cats in the district and would like to hear from anyone who sees what would appear to be a larger than normal sized feline.
"I have no doubt that there is a panther size cat in the district," he said. "Sightings need to be investigated well and soon after a sighting.
"I would like to hear of any new sightings whether they be in the Kains Flat area or any other part of the Central West."

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Big cat in Warrnambool, Victoria

It was big, black and definitely a cat
March 28, 2007
LARGE cat-like footprint photographs published in The Standard earlier this month have inspired more Grampians panther-spotters to come forward.
Warrnambool couple Isobel and Arthur Peart were returning home from a Grampians holiday when they saw what they believe to be a panther on the side of the road.
``I don't care if nobody believes me - it was real,'' Mrs Peart said.
``We were driving back to Warrnambool from Halls Gap (and I saw) a black puma climbing up the (embankment) on the right-hand side of the road.''
She said the creature was just three metres from the car but when they turned around it had disappeared into the scrub.
Mrs Peart described the animal as having a shiny black coat and being lean like a greyhound. ``Its tail was a cat's tail and it was a long one,'' she said.
The Pearts immediately returned to Halls Gap to report the sighting.
``I thought people would say `oh yeah, pull the other one' (but) everybody was interested,'' Mrs Peart said. ``They said there hasn't been anything seen up here for years.''
Warrnambool man Rod Horwill took photos earlier this month of large cat-like footprints on the shore of Lake Bellfield, inspiring Mrs Peart to come forward.

Welcome to CFZ Australia

Welcome to the CFZ Australia website.

CFZ Oz is the Australian branch of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, dedicated to researching mystery animals around the globe.

Here in Australia we have our own fair share of mysterious beasties including the 'big cat' (Australia officially has no super-sized felines, not since Thylacoleo carnifex anyway) and the 'extinct' Tasmania Tiger aka Thylacinus cynocephalus (or 'pouched dog with wolf's head', for those who are struggling).

Other animals of interest to us include Tasmanian Devils aka Sarcophilus harrisii (not quite as cute as the cartoon would have you believe), the various species of Quoll (including the Tiger Cat aka Dasyurus maculatus) and oddities such as the Purple-necked Wallaby aka Petrogale purpureicollis.

Oh, and we almost left out those hairy fellas - the Yowie (no scientific name yet, but he's also known by the names bigfoot and yeti, among others), Australia's answer to Bigfoot and a bona fide riddle wrapped in an enigma. Despite the fact it's not supposed to exist, it keeps leaving ruddy great footprints everywhere, attacks people's dogs and creates general mayhem.

Then there's the water monsters (giant eels perhaps?) and all of those nasties that make Australia so frightening for visitors - poisonous spiders and snakes that leave a lasting impression. Anyway, we want you to join us in our search for Australia's fascinating cryptids - our hidden (and not so hidden) creatures that shun the spotlight.


CFZ Oz Team


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