Animal X - Natural Mystery Unit
Episode 10 - Alien Big Cats - Australian Investigation
To buy a copy of this episode click the Add to Cart button
Big Cats - they belong in the vast plains of Africa
roaming free…and we have all seen them behind bars in
the zoo. But are man-eating Big Cats stalking and killing
in the Australian Bush? Although this sounds like the script
of an amateur horror movie, many believe that these top predators
are stalking the rural towns all over Australia.
the past century, there have been an undeniable number of
Big Cat sightings which no-one has been able to explain
– that is, unless you accept that these cats are living
in the outback.
Cats are the top of the food chain and are efficient predators.
What if these cats are out there? Will humans become the
most recent and prevalent sightings come from an area called
Grose Vale in NSW on the East Coast of Australia. Even the
local Hawkesbury council acknowledge that it is more likely
than not that their region contains a population of Big
and Natalie meet with local researchers, Chris Coffee, Michael
Williams and Karen Dolan. They have been working on the
sightings data for more than ten years – painstakingly
recording every detail. Animal X are given exclusive access
to some of the witnesses and locations from the database.
talk with locals about what they have seen. The AXNMU trek
in the Australian Bush equipped with a Thermal Imaging Unit,
Motion Sensor Cameras and state-of-the-art Feline lures.
will they find?
Cats In The Bush
cats sightings have been reported across Australia since the 1880s,
but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the encounters hit the
headlines nationally following a spate of livestock kills in the
Cordering region in Western Australia. A journalist working for
The Australian newspaper, David O’Reilly, documented the incredible
chain of events in the book Savage Shadow.
study carried out by Deakin University in Victoria in the 1970s
indisputable evidence of big cat activity in the mountainous Grampians
region west of Melbourne. The study concluded “the data collected
by the Deakin group supports a level of credibility for the proposition
that a big cat population is established in the Grampians of south-west
Victoria that is beyond reasonable doubt”.
a report recently released by the NSW Dept of Agriculture, which
investigated claims of big cat activity in the Hawkesbury/Blue Mountains
area, found it was “more likely than not” feral large
cats were present in NSW. The panel that came to this conclusion
was made up of experts from Taronga Zoo, the Australian Museum,
National Parks and Wildlife, Moss Vale Rural Lands Protection Board
and NSW Agriculture.
vary as to how these kings of the cat world came to be in the
Australian bush. Some claim they are escaped circus animals or US
air force mascots, others point to the more likely scenario of deliberately
released animals once kept by individuals in private homes and zoos.
small band of researchers has been tirelessly working to solve this
mystery, among them co-authors Tony Healy and Paul Cropper, who
researched big cat sightings across Australia for their 1996 Out
Of The Shadows, which documented Australia’s mystery animals.
Researchers Michael Williams and Ruby Lang, and Hawkesbury-based
witnesses Paul and Christine Coffey and Karen Dolan have also been
following government paper trails, collecting eyewitness reports
and seeking physical traces of the elusive animals in both NSW and
believe the evidence they have collected so far overwhelmingly points
to a powerful predator operating in the Australian bush; a predator
that is not a part of the natural food chain. And they say it’s
just a matter of time before a big cat is captured, either on camera
or in the flesh, to prove them right.