Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 22nd, 2008
For those that think that “panther safaris” and “puma hunts” are recent happenings in Australia, here’s an old one.
The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, Australia, November 25, 1933:
IS IT A PUMA?
MELBOURNE, November 24.
A party armed with heavy rifles will make a thorough search tomorrow in an endeavour to clear up
the mystery of the strange animal, which has been lurking In the rugged bush country near Briagolong, Gippsland, and has been alarming settlers for some “time.
Unlike the mystery “lioness” seen at Mount Best, near Toora, the Briagolong mystery beast has not
been caught sight of, but numerous sets of its tracks have been seen. Footprints which were 3ft apart from front to hind paws were each 6in long and 4in wide. They resembled the footprints of a cat.
After comparing the footprints with those illustrated in a book on animals a local resident is of the opinion that the beast is a puma. Recently a large number of sheep were found dead in peculiar circumstances on various properties in’ the district. The only marks of violence were two holes
punctured in the sheep’s throats, from which the blood appeared to have been sucked.
Thanks to Jerome Clark for this archival story. He adds: “As I’m sure most of you know, pumas are not native to Australia. — J. Clark.”