Paw print proof of Austinmer panther?

28/09/2019 | 苏州美甲学校 | By admin | 0 Comments

Paw print proof of Austinmer panther? HERE, KITTY: The paw print was the only undisturbed one of its kind in the area. It is shown against an 8cm Bic lighter. Picture: John Geragotellis


The print. Picture has been digitally altered to highlight the impression.

The print is as tall as an 8cm Bic lighter, in the original photo provided by John Geragotellis.

Vaughan King. Source: Facebook

Vaughan King works with a Sumatran tiger, Juma, at Australia Zoo. Picture: supplied

Dog spoors (front and hind) produce a perfect ‘x’ when lines are drawn between the toes and the planter pad, Mr King suggests.

… the same rule does not apply to these tracks, produced by a female leopard. Source: Vaughan King

Vaughan King works with a Sumatran tiger, Juma, at Australia Zoo. Picture: supplied

Sumatran tiger spoor.

Vaughan King works with a Sumatran tiger, Juma, at Australia Zoo. Picture: supplied

Mr King believes consistent reports of a large black cat roaming the Illawarra escarpment relate to multiple melanistic (black) Asiatic leopards (pictured). Supplied.


facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsappAn eight centimetre-long paw print left inthe foothills ofthe Illawarra escarpment has piqued the interest of a roving big cat enthusiast, who believes it proof of panther activity.

Vaughan King, 30, has deemed Austinmer’s Sublime Pointtrack a panther-spotting hotspot and flagged plans fororganised surveillance, including aprogram that would see 24/7 game cameras concealed in area bushland.

Mr King spent five years employed at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, working his way up from birds and mammals until he achieved his goal of working as a handler of Sumatran and Bengal tigers.

Hisrecently formed Australian Big Cat Research group managesa websitewhich maps user-generated reports of big cat sightings Australia-wide.

Already bound for Sydney fora meeting with a South African big cat expertlast week, Mr King spent time combing bushland offSublime Point track after a visitor to his websitesent him a picture of thepaw print.

“I immediately thought it looked like the hind foot of a leopard,” Mr King, of Queensland, told the Mercury.

“I have lined it up with a known leopard pug mark and it’s very similar.

“A feral cat would never get that big; the animal that would leave that sort of print would have to be between 50-60kgs. And with a dog, you can usually draw a line between the toes and the planter pad and you get a perfect ‘X’. Cats have a very different sort of footprint.”

He found no further sign of any bigcat, before an intriguing accountdrew him to Victoria, vowing to return.

Sublime Point hasproduced multiple big cat sightings over the years, including detailed encounters recorded by the Mercuryin October 2014 and January 2015.

Based on the repeated reports, and the now-photographed print, Mr King believesthe Illawarra sightingsrelate to anAsiatic leopard.

“The reports are generally always of the same size and colour, whichleads me to thinkit’s an Asiatic leopard,” he said.

“Asiatic leopards have a melanistic [all black] generunning through them a bit more strongly than the African leopard.

“There’s a theory that [the black colouring] is an evolutionary adaptation to livingin the jungle.”

With the blessing of his lawyerfiance,Mr King has put paidwork aside for the year to focus entirely on investigating big cat sightings.

He has dropped everything to investigaterecent sightings. He says he intends to carry out prolonged surveillance, starting with his preferred hotspot, Healesville, north-east of Victoria.

“If there’s a close second [hotspot]it would be Sublime Point,” he added.

“There’s a lot of weekend warriors that go out and do this sort of stuff, but it’s never been taken seriously.

“There’s so many sightings out there it’s ridiculous. I’m committing the next 12 months, full time, to basically proving this beyond the shadow of a doubt.”

Appin resident John Geragotellis took the photograph ofthe paw print off Austinmer’s Buttenshaw Drive, about 40-50 metres north of Buttenshaw Place, on Easter Monday.

He had seen a report on a recent big cat sighting in the area –attributed to an anonymous onlooker – and says hehad this on his mind when he noticed the unusual print amongmore familiar-looking tracks that appeared to have been made by dogs and humans.

“It was larger than the dog prints and it looked different, which led me to think it was possibly a cat print,” Mr Geragotellis said.

“I believe they [big cats] areout there and I would just like to have more information on what species they are andwhere they range around Australia.

“I think it’s really exciting.”