Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Hills cat makes an appearance

Panther-like animal seen killing bird
BY COL ALLISON
26/08/2008 4:00:00 AM

A KENTHURST woman whose eight-year-old son saw a black panther-like animal kill a crow near the stables of her Ascot Road property last week is terrified for her three children.
``I'm not afraid of the big cat coming up to the house, but the stables aren't far away and my eldest son feeds the horse. Now I stand guard at the gate while he feeds it. He's terrified and so am I, frankly,'' the woman, who declined to be named, told the News yesterday.
``I won't go out in the yard on my own any more, but I worry about my two-year-old.
``I can't take my eyes off her as she's a goer.
``The dog is scared, too, and won't leave the house.''
The boy was down in the horse paddock last Friday at 5pm when a large black cat bigger than a labrador at about a metre long with long tail, short round ears and yellow eyes appeared from behind the stables.
``We thought we had a fox on the property knocking off our ducks and chooks,'' the woman said.
``Then the cat appeared.
``My boy was rooted to the spot and watched it for about 30 seconds from about 15 metres away.
``It went down on its stomach and launched itself over a bush and grabbed a big black bird, a crow, rolled twice and then went off into the bush with the bird.''
Very upset, she rang the Department of Primary Industries.
``They said I should fill out a form. They obviously didn't believe me. No one cares,'' she said.
The NSW Minister for Water, Nathan Rees, said at the River Summit last week that the ``black panther is an urban myth''.
This, despite a steady stream of hundreds of reported sightings of leopard- or cougar-like cats seen in the Hills, Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains regions over recent years.

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