The great myth of the Australian Big Cat is a great yarn – To me, that’s all it is A yarn. Despite the paw print castings, photographical & video “evidence”. NSW Department of Primary Industries has looked at the evidence and concluded that there was no conclusive evidence to support the big exotic cat theory.
Considering that sightings have been reported in NSW, VIC, QLD & WA the population of these so-called big cats must be huge or lots of big cats have escaped from zoo’s or been released into the bush all over the country.
Lets take a look at what would be needed for a country wide population. You would need to have thousands if not hundreds of thousands of big cats to spread all over the country, If this is the case why are there hardly any sightings in SA but in Vic, NSW and WA there are man sightings all over those states? It makes no sense. How much genetic diversity would there have to be to have such a huge spread? I think we have to look at how many animals have been released in areas close enough to each other that they could breed. This is no mean feat, even if you have 2 or 4 pairs of big cat were released in one area it would take years to get an established and sustainable population going thats not to mention defects through breeding and normal survival rates.Perhaps there have been released and escaped big cats in Aus before and there have probably been a big cat or two who has comfortably lived out its life and died as its the only one in its area and has never bred. I can buy that, I can’t buy that there is a breeding population in this country however.
The other way they could be all over the country is if there have been several escapes or releases in different regions all over the country. If this is the case why are the majority of the sightings black big cats? Is it a co-ordinated attempt at introducing big cats in Australia by releasing the same species? It surely cannot be coincidence that the vast majority of sightings are of black big cats? Can it?
Either way it would seem that if there are big cats out there that there is a huge distribution of them throughout the country and yet the best evidence we can get is video and photos of large feral black cats? The sightings are unreliable also. The time of day you are most likely to see a wild animal and specifically a cat is going to be dawn, dusk and night time which are all times of low-light and that presents a problem.. You cannot see well in low light. You could have seen a pig, a swamp wallaby, a wild dog or even a feral goat.
The so-called evidence of those determined to find the big cat has all the same hallmarks of the evidence of Big Foot, Chupacabra, aliens and ghosts. What is next are we going to see images of big cats on our burnt pieces of toast?
The other thing that has me severely doubting the existence of big cats in Aus is the fact that we have thousands of hunters that go out there with centrefire rifles every weekend after foxes, pigs, deer and any other feral you can think of and the closest we have gotten to shooting one is a bloke who shot a larger feral (as proven by DNA) and through the body in the river after some poor photography that gave no reliable frame of reference to its size? What about fox callers or people who go spotlighting? If there are so many sightings out there surely someone with a rifle has seen one and shot it? Why hasn’t this happened? Because the fact is that big cats in Australia do not exist.
Bring me a carcass of a big cat that has been shot or hit by a car or died of poisoning or anything and have that DNA examined so that it is conclusive that it is not a feral cat and I’ll gladly say there is a big cat in Aus. I do not have an agenda or a point to prove by there being or not being a population of big cats in Aus but lets look at the science and evidence and agree that it is highly unlikely that there is a big cat in Aus. So please go out there and shoot a Big cat you’ll make millions and prove that there are big cats. I’ll be here and I won’t be holding my breathe.
I’ve put a poll up so don’t forget to vote in that.
Here are some good links on the subject:
Category: Keith Drain's Column