“They had short front legs, long hind legs, and were nearly as big as a fox, with long tails like a monkey” described Mrs G Breda in an interview with The Advertiser on August 13, 1971. Mrs Breda also described the creatures she witnessed as moving “With a loping action”
What were these creatures that were being spotted in South Australia's South-East in the late 1960's into the 1970's. Numerous sightings of these strange “cat-like” animals were coming in over the years, with most descriptions being similar to the “ Tasmanian Tiger”, or Thylacine, the last of which was shot in 1933.
The Thylacine had been extinct on the Australia mainland for over 2000 years according to scientific studies.
In 1966, Mr C. Barker of Mt Gambier witnessed a “great overgrown cat” in his headlights as he drove a stretch of road from Keith to Naracoorte. He described it as about the same size as a sheep dog, with “black white, or black grey vertical stripes across its back”. The animal bound across the road “like a tiger” according to Mr Barker. The report reminded some people of the earlier sightings of the Tantanoola Tiger – could this be a descendent?
The animal was sighted again in 1966 by a 9 year old boy named Richard Weckert in Kingston SE. Whilst on a hunting trip with his Father, the boy witnessed a cat-like creature in the wild, what was unusual, and stuck out most in his mind, was the very unusual tusks protruding from near its mouth.
In 1967, a sighting of the creatures happened near Naracoorte, when an animal fitting the previous description was seen “loping” across a field.
Reports followed over the years, coming from as far as Beachport, Robe and the Coorong.
The following year the creature was seen again near Naracoorte, and “Jumped on to a fence post like a cat”. It was then spotted by children on a school bus near Lucindale.
A witness described the animal as ““He was a large animal, a bit like a fox and a kangaroo, but neither ... he had a dog’s head and ran with a long, loping gait. His torso was striped in grey, the rest of his body was brown.” after watching it through a telescope near the Coorong.
The last sighting of these animals was in 1971 near Mt Gambier. Did they die out, were they hunted down...or did they go further into the scrub as humans moved into their hunting grounds?
Have you seen a cat-like creature in South Australia's South-East – we would lovwe to hear your experience over on our facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide