Saturday, 1 September 2012

Zookeeper the latest 'big cat' witness in Victoria

The latest Victorian 'panther' sighting has been made by a Wild Action zoo keeper, who said she was approaching the Mt Macedon zoo early this morning when the predatory cat ran came within metres of her before dashing off.

The former Parks Victoria ranger, who wouldn’t give her name, said while she was previously a skeptic, she was “adamant” the animal she saw was a panther.

“It was the size our dingos, it was on all four legs and it moved like a cat and it had a long tail coming after it,” she said.

“I know it sounds crazy and I wouldn’t have believed myself."

“(But) I’m so adamant of what I saw.”

The fresh sighting comes after the State Government recently announced a review into all reported sightings of the legendary big cat.

The keeper said she entered the gate to the zoo just after 6am.

She spotted what she thought was a wallaby trying to escape through fox wire, but it turned out to be a large black cat.

She said the animal bolted past her through the open gate, before she ran to hide in the reptile shed.
“I was so scared, thinking I was going to die,” she said.

Wild Action owner Chris Humfrey, who is experienced in tracking wild cats, said the animal’s footprints were consistent with a large cat.

He also said two large Western Grey Kangaroos and a Cape Barren Goose had recently been found decapitated nearby.

Mr Humfrey said he would set thermal imaging cameras around the zoo to record the animal if it returned.

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