Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Is it a panther? Is it a puma? No, just a cat and a huge claws for frustration

Rangers are sick of mistaken panther sightings, which detract from the fight against feral cats 

Fri 6 Jul 2018 23.26 BST 

A large cat in Western Australia that was mistaken for a panther is the latest in a long line of mythical big cat sightings that wildlife rangers say are unhelpful. 

The large black feline – estimated to be 50% larger than a house cat – was spotted in the town of Coorow, 275km north of Perth, in late June, and reported to wildlife authorities as a potential panther or big cat. 

But local wildlife ranger Tim Gilbertson told the ABC he was getting sick of panther reports. 

“People need to get over the idea the cats are panthers,” he said. “It is just not on. They are big feral cats, at least 50% bigger than a house cat and they are powerful.” 

Gilberston believes that mistaking cats for panthers detracts from the fight against feral cats, which cover 99% of the Australian continent and kill 1 million native birds a night

“If you are getting larger cats, you have to ask what they are eating,” he said. “They are eating native animals.” 

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