Tuesday, 1 December 2009
This pygmy hippopotamus, shot by hunter Nico Courtney, has revived talk of released and escaped exotic animals in the Australian bush. What else is out there? It was shot dead during a pig hunting expedition in the Territory. The hippo is normally native to the swamps of west Africa, in particular Liberia.
Instead, this one - estimated to be about 250kg - was shot while roaming the bush of the Douglas Daly, 200km south of Darwin. This is about 16,000km away from Liberia.
It is believed the female hippo is an old escapee from Tipperary Station, from when it used to be an exotic animal reserve.
Lynda Keane said she was driving near Bahrs Scrub when a black cat-like creature ran in front of her car.
She recounted the bizarre sighting after reading a report in last week’s Albert & Logan News about a similar creature seen in Eagleby by Jack Van Uffelen.
Ms Keane, who lives in Sydney and was in Logan visiting family in early August, said she was driving along Bahrs Scrub Rd from Windaroo about 6pm when the creature appeared.
“We came up to a causeway and it came running across the road,’’ she said.
“It was right in front of us and then disappeared up the embankment and through the trees in to the scrub.’’
Ms Keane said her brother-in-law passenger also saw it.
“There was no way it could pass as a skinny dog,” she said.
“It was huge with this long tail and what looked like markings on it’s side but it could have been it’s ribs coming through.
“It frightened the crap out of us!’’
Ms Keane said her brother-in-law and his 18-year-old daughter had spotted the animal again about a week later but it had not been seen since.
Mr Van Uffelen, who saw a similar creature near a dam that backs onto his Olympic Court property twice last month, said he was still hoping to capture video footage of the strange animal.
RUMOURS are flying after reported sightings of a large cat-like animal in bushland near Eagleby.
Olympic Court resident Jack Van Uffelen said he spotted the panther-like beast twice last week roaming near a dam that backs on to his property.
“I thought I was going mad but then my wife saw it too,” he said.
“It’s bigger than a full-grown labrador, got a tail about three-foot long (90cm) and a body that is longer than any greyhound by about a foot.”
Mr Van Uffelen, who moved to the dead-end street six weeks ago, has set up a video camera on his back verandah in an attempt to capture footage of the animal.
“There’s no way it’s a feral cat or a greyhound because we’ve seen it run and it’s a full gallop,” he said.
“I asked around at the Eagleby Tavern and a few people had heard stories about a panther being in the area about four or five years ago. Did it escape from a zoo or from a circus?”
Mr Van Uffelen said the beast’s 10cm paw prints could be seen along the banks of the dam.
Have you seen the panther? Comment email firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.