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Thread: Where is Tommy?

  1. #1
    Pulsarblu's Avatar
    Pulsarblu is offline God like figure
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    Default Where is Tommy?

    Mystery 'panther-like' animal spotted in Canterbury
    11 August 2006

    A Biosecurity New Zealand investigator and a worker from the Orana Wildlife Park have unsuccessfully searched the Ashburton River mouth, after new sighting of a large feral cat.

    It was the sixth reported sighting of a large black panther-like animal in Mid Canterbury since 2001, and the second time that biosecurity officials have conducted a search.

    The latest sighting reported was last week at Hakatere Beach, near Ashburton, where a couple and their grandson described the animal as much larger than a domestic cat. A similar sighting was reportedly made in the same area in 1992.

    Biosecurity New Zealand senior adviser, Sonia Bissmire, said it seemed credible enough to warrant an official search by incursion investigator Caleb King.

    He was accompanied by Orana Park head gamekeeper Graeme Petrie.

    'The key thing with creatures of this size is that their major needs are food and a place to live,' Mr King told the Ashburton Guardian. The beach had limited cover.

    Black cat sightings had occurred over a number of years and each was plotted on a spreadsheet by MAF, which indicated some were of an animal it was difficult to identify.

    The latest sighting of the district's 'feral beast' was on Friday and was described by Brent and Jill Thomas as being larger than a labrador dog, at a distance of less than 30m.

    'It was a decent size, no question about that,' Mr Thomas told the Guardian. 'I've seen wild cats before and if that's what it was, it was the grand-daddy of all cats.'

    'It was absolutely jet black, not another marking on it,' said Mr Thomas, who is in no doubt that the animal was something other than a large feral cat.

    'There's no way in the world it was a grown-up domestic cat,' he said. 'It had a long tail, a tail that was about half its body length.'

    A large black cat-like animal, similar to the one seen by Mr and Mrs Thomas, has been spotted on several occasions in the Mid Canterbury foothills, but it has also been seen much further south, in the Lindis Pass area.

    One sighting recorded in Mid Canterbury was in the foothills behind Alford Forest in 2001.

    Since then, sightings have been reported near Mayfield and near the PPCS meatworks in 2003, near Blowing Point Bridge in early 2004, with another sighting on the Mt Somers walkway in June last year.

    Mr Petrie said it would be possible for a large feline to live in a riverbed of one of Canterbury's braided rivers, using the riverbed as a pathway.

  2. #2
    Debd's Avatar
    Debd is offline Oh Masterful One
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    Default Where is Tommy?

    Hey pulsarblu! I'll remember not to feed the strays at night then!!! [smiley=icon_eek.gif]

  3. #3
    Pulsarblu's Avatar
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    Default Where is Tommy?

    Haha! If you find that the strays are getting larger than the other strays or it is the only one alone when you feed because it scared the others away, then you got to be careful.

  4. #4
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where is Tommy?

    Second big cat 'sighted' in Canterbury
    The Press | Tuesday, 9 January 2007

    Folklore suggests that a large, black, panther-type animal is roaming Mid- Canterbury.

    Now, a huge ginger feline has been claimed to be in hill country further north, in the Waimakariri Gorge.

    Four hunters said they saw the cat gracefully padding along the hills above the gorge as they jet-boated upriver during the Christmas- New Year break. They could not believe their eyes, so they used the telescopic sights on their rifles to get a better view.

    They described it as a huge ginger cat slipping easily among the rocks and tussock. "It was its tail and the way it moved that gave it away," one of the hunters said. They said the cat was about a metre long and above knee-high to a man. Its tail was about 8cm in diameter and long. They were stunned at its size.

    One man said the sighting was a "once-in-a- lifetime" thing. He had been back a couple of times, but there was no trace of the animal. They were reluctant to reveal the exact location.

    Conservation Department biodiversity programme manager Mike Ambrose said he would be surprised if there was an "African plains-type" animal roaming the hills above the gorge.

    It was not unusual, however, to come across some large feral cats, particularly if there was a habitat nearby that treated them well.

    "Feral cats, depending on their home range, can grow large. It would be no surprise to find a few in the Waimakariri Gorge. There has probably been a feral population of cats there for years," he said.

    The claimed sighting of the big cat follows periodic sightings of a large, black, cat-like creature ranging from the Mid-Canterbury foothills to the Lindis Pass far to the south.

    Dunedin-based Mark Orton and film partner Pip Walls are trying to catch the beast on camera.They are making a 24-minute documentary on sightings of the mystery black cat to screen in Dunedin in May, and they plan to return to Panther's Rock, the new name for what was once the Mayfield Tavern.

    The tavern has become a popular place to swap big-cat yarns, and it keeps a file on sightings.

    - The Press
    Mother Bear

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