The rumours have always been of exotic pets that escaped and created a breeding population, or zoo's that dumped their animals. All pre-1950s.
The downside is that it's hard to judge the size of the cats in the footage. With nothing to use as a scale they could just be large feral cats.
I just came across this page the other day, It's the assessment the Victorian government released about the possibility of large cats in Australia.
The conclusions for anyone who won't read the whole page::
- The available evidence is inadequate to establish that a wild population of ‘big cats’ exists in Victoria.
- The lack of any formal evidence from considerable mammal survey effort, using a broad range of techniques over many decades, strongly suggests that there is no wild population of ‘big cats’.
- The most parsimonious explanation for many of the reported sightings is that they involve large, feral individuals of the Domestic Cat Felis catus.
- Notwithstanding conclusions 1-3, some evidence cannot be dismissed entirely, including preliminary DNA evidence, footprints and some behaviours that seem to be outside the known behavioural repertoire of known predators in Victoria.
- Only primary evidence in the form of specimens of unquestioned provenance, or DNA from sources of unquestioned provenance, can establish, once and for all, that a population of ‘big cats’ occurs in Victoria, and the specific identity of any such animals. High quality photographs of proven provenance would also constitute compelling evidence.
Edited by DKO, 20 May 2013 - 03:57 AM.