Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

June 8th 2012
Two new sightings of Magnetic's mystery big cat

Patti Winn points to where the animal shook the branches 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.

The trap

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

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Two new sightings of Magnetic's mystery big cat
Kelly G
June 8th 2012
Thanks for noting that the animal has not shown any aggression, as I would hate to think that some islanders out there may get it into their heads to hunt this creature down. It would definitely be amazing to have it captured, but also sad for the animal who is obviously used to living in the wild. What would happen after it was captured? Could it become part of the Bungalow Bay zoo?
Wendy Tubman
June 8th 2012
I appreciate your concerns for a living thing Kelly, but if this is a wild cat, it is probably doing an awful lot of damage to our native wildlife. Even domestic cats are not supposed to be roaming around outside at night.

I live very close to Gustav Creek and know of at least one koala that moves between my place and other trees around Gustav. We lost one to a dog (or was it a big cat?) a few years back - it would be awful to lose another one.
June 11th 2012
I live in Lintern Place and had a very young possum living on my veranda until last week, I last saw it when I got home one evening running of the veranda with a big black car in hot pursuit. It is an aggressive animal that should be under control, not roaming around at night killing things
Louise Byron
June 12th 2012
My husband and I saw some very big cat paw prints in the dirt track at Swensen St. Horseshoe Bay about 10 days ago; could this be the marks of the big cat?
June 18th 2012
Great! The big cat has struck only waiting for its capture to discover the truth on this incredible animal...on the internet everyone is commenting on the strange sightings...p.s. for Louise Byron: I think so....I saw the animal in the bush behind the Bungalow Bay!

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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