Big cat sight­ings re­ported across Hills

Comment News (Armadale) - - News -

MYS­TE­RI­OUS sight­ings of large black cats prowl­ing the Perth Hills have re-sur­faced af­ter a res­i­dent claimed to have seen one of the elu­sive beasts ear­lier this month.

Lisa Speyer said she was pick­ing up her son when she saw the big black cat in Chid­low.

“I’m not talk­ing about a do­mes­tic size cat, I’m talk­ing about pan­ther size,” she said.

“It moved dif­fer­ently to a dog, was crouched like a cat and had dis­tinc­tive eyes.

“In the 43 years I’ve lived in the Hills I’ve never seen any­thing like it.”

The sight­ing prompted a flood of res­i­dents to share their own glimpses of big cats in the re­gion, in­clud­ing in Bed­fordale and Jar­rah­dale.

Aus­tralian Big Cat Re­search Group founder Vaughan King has no doubts big cats were in the Hills. He said doc­u­mented sight­ings pointed to a healthy, es­tab­lished pop­u­la­tion of cougars and pan­thers, and pos­si­bly black leop­ards, sur­viv­ing and thriv­ing in outer ar­eas of Perth.

“The thick bush that cov­ers the Hills would al­low a pop­u­la­tion of big cats to live out its days rel­a­tively in­con­spic­u­ously,” he said.

“It has the three main things a big cat needs to sur­vive – prey, wa­ter and shel­ter.”

He said the big cats were likely de­scen­dants of es­caped cir­cus an­i­mals or US Navy mas­cots.

Big cat sight­ings can be re­ported to bare­footer­mike@ or www.big­cats.

Picture: Bruce Hunt d478697

Nat­u­ral­ist Mike Grif­fiths be­lieves there are big cats liv­ing the Hills.

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