At 17:55 14/05/2001 +1000, you wrote:
>Hello Big Cat Searchers,
>I hate to put the mocker on the "Black Panther" sighting that was reported
>on a Current Affair. However, the cat filmed was clearly a domestic cat.
>You can roughly judge the size by comparison with the wire behind it and
>the grey and white cat that was also shown. Also look at the grasses that
>are in front of and near the cat. They clearly show that the cat was
>nothing more than a domestic cat. The head on shot of the cat sitting was
>also very reminiscent of a Felis catus. The "expert" they interviewed from
>was non-committal (I wonder how much they paid him!).
>To cap it all off, the reaction of the woman when asked whether she had
>heard about panther sightings before was very unbelievable, as though she
>had been coached on what to say beforehand.
I largely agree with Mike on this. I too saw the programme on CA and I
felt that the key issue was size. Since the "cat" was videoed against grass
and the fence it would be relatively easy to measure its size.
Leopards have a mean total length of 1.7-2.1m for males, 1.7-1.85m for females
in southern Africa (South Africa n=31 and Zimbabwe n=20, respectively).
I've been lucky enough to see them a few times in the wild, once at close range,
on foot in Chewore NP in the Zambesi Valley.
They are MUCH larger than any pussy cat I know!
Dr Peter Woodall email =
Division of Vet Pathology & Anatomy
School of Veterinary Science. Phone = +61 7 3365 2300
The University of Queensland Fax = +61 7 3365 1355
Brisbane, Qld, Australia 4072 WWW = http://www.uq.edu.au/~anpwooda
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)
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