Black Panther or Big Feral cat in Blue Mtns NSW

To: Michael Todd <>
Subject: Black Panther or Big Feral cat in Blue Mtns NSW
From: Peter Woodall <>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 09:58:50 +1000
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.
>Mick Todd

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  =
"hamba phezulu" (= "go higher" in isiZulu)


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