June 8th 2012
Two new sightings of Magnetic's mystery big cat
At 8.30pm, under the light of a full moon on Monday night, Magnetic Island resident since 1973, Olva, better known as Patti Winn, was walking home after a night out with a near neighbour. Having seen her friend Julia safely to her house in Nelly Bay’s The Grove, Patti walked back out onto the road when large branches in one of the old mango trees above her began shaking and swaying wildly.
“There was something hefty moving in the branches and as I moved away across the road it moved into another tree (behind the first). I looked back and saw a body form coming down the trunk. I didn’t see the head or a tail but it was as big as a medium sized dog. I panicked a bit. I knew it wasn’t a possum. I just ran home. I just wanted to get inside! I don’t know where it went.”
Suffering from recent shoulder surgery, Patti finds exertion like running painful. Still, she ran.
That is how Patti described what may well have been the very large, mysterious, cat which Magnetic Times has now taken witnesses' accounts of for the third time in recent months.
A wider view of where Patti saw the swaying branches
and caught a glimpse of the animal at The Grove
Patti tells her story
And while Patti’s story adds to the growing evidence of this strange and alarming creature’s existence, we note that Patti is the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger, Nathan Winn’s mother, and clearly not given to fantasy of exaggeration.
Patti’s other son, Adam, heard Patti’s account and was stunned himself as he had read our previous accounts (Click here). Patti, who was unaware of the articles, was describing something very close to what Adam had been reading about.
Both Nathan and your correspondent have searched the sandy areas about the trees for tracks but, as heavy leaf litter covers the bases of the trees, nothing has been revealed.
But, Patti’s isn’t the only recent sighting.
QPWS Ranger in Charge, Partick Centurino, has confirmed that another sighting was made at the end of Mandalay Avenue early last week. “A woman who was cycling saw it. She was stopping at the entrance to the Hideaway Estate and could see it next to the entrance to the walking track. It was all black and as big as a small labrador with a cylindrical round tail,” said Patrick.
This sighting was at 5pm and Patrick Centurino said, “It seems to be moving at dusk,” adding, “It’s certainly firming up as a big animal”.
He had also checked for prints but without luck. The area is a type of turning circle for vehicles with many tyre prints.
A large trap has now been set for the animal.
Patrick believes that given the various locations of the sightings in Nelly Bay that the creature may be using Gustav Creek as a type of corridor.
Patrick commented also that for Islanders who come across suspicious tracks, “Cat prints are similar to dog prints but, instead, there is no claw marks as they can retract them while dogs cannot.”
Magnetic Times has also been out and about and searching Gustav creek’s sand banks for tracks but, so far, without success.
It is worth noting that, while an animal of this size could well be a danger to pets and children, from all of the accounts so far, the cat has not displayed any aggression towards people.
Patrick is keen for any members of the public who make a sighting to contact the QPWS office on 47785378.
Magnetic Times is also very keen to hear of more sightings, unusual animal carcasses or accounts of inexplicably injured pets or wildlife. We can be contacted on 0427398838
For all of the articles Magnetic Times has published on this mysterious animal, (Click here).
Story and photos: George Hirst
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