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Does Broulee have a black panther?
by Josh Gidney
Bay Post (Bateman Bay, N.S.W.)
Date: Apr 1, 2011
A tourist has reported seeing what he believes was a black panther on a bush track south of Broulee early last month.

Wadonga resident Mark Nuggin, 21, was holidaying at Tomakin and was taking a walk with his mother and brother south of South Broulee Beach at about 3.30pm on March 3 when the incident occurred.

“We were walking across a sand motocross track when I saw it,” Mr Nuggin said.

“It was massive, like a black panther. I was terrified.”

He said the animal jumped onto the track and then ran off, and that he saw the side of its face, and it looked cat-like.

Mr Nuggin’s mother and brother were walking about three metres behind him and did not see the animal.

“They could see I was shaken up, and it was hard to convince them of what I had seen,” he said. “It was solid and had ridiculously big back legs.” They had a camera and, although they didn’t get the chance to photograph the animal, they got a photo purporting to be one of its paw prints.

Mr Nuggin said he had always been cynical when hearing about big cat sightings in the past.

“I would never have believed this before,” he said. “I have thought about what else it could have been, like a dog or kangaroo, and it wasn’t either of them. I have walked in this area many times before, and I have seen eagles and other wildlife, but nothing like this.”

However, upon seeing the paw print photo, Mogo Zoo head keeper Annalie Van Der Merwe believes it is simply a case of mistaken identity.

“I am nearly 100 per cent sure the paw print has been made by a large dog,” she said. “It is definitely not a big cat.” ACT-based cryptonaturalist Tim the Yowie Man was in agreeance.

“Due to the claw marks it is extremely unlikely to be a big cat, which is unfortunate, because I would like there to be one down there,” he said.

“Black panther sightings are by far the most common cryptonatural phenomena. There are more sightings of them than yowies, bunyips or UFOs, but there is never any hard evidence.”
2011
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PANTHER PRINT?: Mark Nuggin took this photo purporting to show a paw print of the creature he saw on a bush track south of Broulee.
A case of mistaken identity.
http://www.dailyexaminer.com.au/story/2011/05/19/motorist-catches-sight-of-a-big-yowie/
Motorist catches sight of a yowie
The Daily Examiner
Date: May 19, 2011
WHAT'S more than two metres (six foot) tall, solidly built and covered in shaggy hair?

If your answer was “that guy down at the local,” you're probably right but it's also a common description of a mythical Australian creature known as a yowie, a specimen of which has been reportedly spotted near Centenary Dr, north of Grafton.

A Hunter Valley man named Dean, who did not wish to be identified further, thinks he may have caught a glimpse of one of the creatures, a kind of an Australian version of Bigfoot, as he was driving along the section of road in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Dean, whose work sees him driving more than 5000km a week around NSW, was travelling south along the Pacific Hwy, north of Grafton just before 2.30am when he took the Centenary Dr bypass. Shortly after turning into the road he saw something that shook him to the core.
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SIGNS: Tracks in mud near where a yowie was seen.
“I reached the top of the hill and I was coming around the sweeping corner to the right when I noticed something a lot larger than a kangaroo in the middle of the road – my headlights weren't on it yet but it was a bright night and I saw what looked like a large person stooped over, with a big overcoat on,” Dean said.

“At the time I thought ‘you silly old thing, what are you doing in the middle of the road at this time of the morning', but next thing I knew my headlights started to light it up and it took one giant step off the road, it went from standing up like a person to going down on all fours and then it disappeared into the scrub in about three bounds.”

Dean, who is used to night-driving and fatigue management, slowed down and was looking into the scrub for the creature and said he saw it silhouetted against the sky.

“It had an almost sort of a square, shaggy block head sitting straight on its shoulders – I'm a pretty big guy but it made me absolutely awe-struck how huge its body was – it had its arm up against a tree and it had about a foot of hair hanging from under its biceps.”

He estimated the creature to be at least two metres tall and covered in what looked like jet-black hair.

Dean said he had no idea what to think until he described the incident to colleagues later who said it was similar to yowie-sighting stories they'd heard in their travels.

Since then Dean said he had been researching ... to rationally explain what he saw but has yet to find a satisfactory answer.

“Anybody who knows me knows I'm the ultimate realist but this was an awe-inspiring moment, it's definitely made me a believer,” Dean said.

During his search for answers however, Dean came across the website of Australian yowie researcher, Paul Cropper who was very interested in his story.

Mr Cropper, who has also co-written a book on yowies, said Dean's story wasn't unusual.

“In our book we recorded around 350 reports going back to the late 1700s, early 1800s, but I imagine there's a lot more than that which don't ever reach the media – people have these experiences and then just keep it to themselves,” Mr Cropper said.

Theories abound as to what yowies could be, including an unknown species of ape or even an undiscovered close relative to homo sapiens, he said.

“One thing you can say with absolute certainty is that Aborigines and Europeans have been recording these things for a long time – the Aboriginal stories go back to the Dreamtime and the European stories go back to basically the first settlement ... there's just this consistent thread of stories up until Tuesday morning,” he said.
This report is typical of many alleged cryptid sightings – An apparently sincere individual catches a glimpse of some large animal resembling a big cat, is adamant that it was neither a dog nor a roo, and was shaken up by the experience. Yet in this case the evidence collected (the photograph of the creature’s footprint) specifically rules out big cat as an explanation.

This case provides an example of the fallibility of human perception/cognition and the unreliability of purely anecdotal accounts.

Why did the witness see what he believed to be a black panther?
Tasmanian tiger was no sheep killer
by Selina Bryan
ABC Melbourne
Date: Sept 1, 2011
New research has revealed the tasmanian tiger may not have deserved its sheep-killing reputation.

September marks the 75th anniversary of the death of the last known tiger, or thylacine, at a Hobart zoo.

When it was alive it had a bad reputation as a sheep killer.

From 1830 till 1909 there was a bounty on the species because it was considered a pest.

PhD candidate Marie Attard, from the University of New South Wales, says people thought each thylacine could be eating up to 100 sheep each year.

While it has been more recently acknowledged that that was an exaggeration, Ms Attard says thylacines may not have even been capable of killing and eating sheep.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-01/20110109-sheep-killing-stripes-cahnge-on-tasmanian-tiger/2865382/?site=melbourne

The research shows tasmanian tigers had jaws too weak to take down prey much larger than bandicoots and possums.

"We actually found that thylacines have really weak jaws," she said.

"Even though it had quite a large body and a large head it actually wasn't really very good at eating big animals.

"If you think about a sheep, it weighs about 90 kilos and thylacines were about 30 kilos and their jaws were just too weak to be able to take on something that big."

Instead, Ms Attard believes thylacines ate small animals such as bandicoots and possums.

"Animals that weigh over 22 kilos should be taking down animals that weigh about their body size or even a bit more," Ms Attard said.

"So the fact that this animal is eating very small animals, probably around five kilos, is quite an interesting find and it would also mean that they have to eat a lot of small animals to be able to survive."

Skull scans
The researchers used CAT scans of a thylacine skull to build digital 3-D engineering models.

"What we do is we can digitally crash test that skull to test its mechanical strength," Ms Attard said.

"It's actually quite similar to the software that engineers use to look for weak points in materials used to build man-made objects such as bridges and aircraft wings."

Ms Attard simulated thylacine behaviours including biting, tearing and pulling to see how they responded to struggling prey in their mouths.

In the images produced, different colours showed how much stress each part of the skull was under.

"In the end the skull basically, for the thylacine's case, ended up lighting up like a Christmas tree because it had so much stress in it," Ms Attard said.

UNSW's Doctor Stephen Wroe says the findings were surprising.

"I had expected that we would find that the thylacine would have been better adapted to take large prey," he said.

"That would have meant there would have been less competition between the thylacine and its close relatives, the tasmanian devil and the spotted tail quoll."

It is believed this competition for food, the bounty and settlers altering the land all contributed to the species' demise.
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'Yowie' may be wanted man
Manning River Times
Date: December 13, 2011
Source
BUSH fugitive Malcolm Naden may have been as far east as Mount George in August 2009 when two women saw what they believed was a "yowie" on Nowendoc Road...
 
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