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 road..as 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 waterfall......in 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 etc....like 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 cfzaustralia@yahoo.com.au

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 cfzaustralia@yahoo.com.au

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: cfzaustralia@yahoo.com.au

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."


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