9
   

Mystery footprint

 
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 02:43 pm
@rosborne979,
Don't know if this is in the same neighbourhood or not, but if there were fires in the area, this could be an animal that was badly hurt and some how survived. Or maybe an animal attack. It might account for the lack or tail or the odd tracks.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 10:22 pm
@Francis,
The range for wombats does not extend to the west Kimberley region at all. That said, this is a rather remote region, and not the kind of country one treks over by foot. I do most of my bushwalking at night, because the day temperatures are quite high, and so is the humidity.

Large older wombats don't match what I saw, and the prints are clearly elongated, rather than wide, like in your photo. The toes are longer, though the claws are a good match. Perhaps this critter is a large burrowing animal, rather than a tree climber. Not many larger trees around here, except for the mahogany trees planted on our block.

It would be great to have found a new species, but I'm thinking I'll have to do a lot more night walking, to have any hope of sighting this creature again. There are feral dogs, donkeys, and rather large scrub bulls in this region, so I have to take my dog walking with me for protection, which is not conducive to spotting wildlife.
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Mar, 2011 10:26 pm
@Ceili,
I actually accidently set fire to the surrounding scrub just before Christmas. It would be surprising if any creature could have escaped the heat of such a blaze, and the fire was not moving very quickly, so escaping would not have been difficult.

I don't discount the theory, but I don't think the fire I caused would have done it.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 12:03 am
@Builder,
Builder, I'm not sure where you are in Oz, I'm in canada, so I was refering to the terrible fires in Australia. I don't know if it's near the area or not. I've heard of animals surviving some pretty terrible things. It's just a shot in the dark.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 01:09 am
@Ceili,
Quote; Ceili "Builder, I'm not sure where you are in Oz, I'm in canada, so I was refering to the terrible fires in Australia."

Earlier in this thread, we posted this atlas link. http://maps.bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&p=7131&cmd=sp

I'm the "stormin" that posted the pics and story about the place.

I'm in the far north of Western Australia, and after the wet season growth, the fires can be deadly and hell-hot. I've seen a paddock of green grass blazing away, burning into the breeze.

If you look to top of the following map, I'm pretty much right under the plane symbol to the left of Derby, north of Broome. Right up the top left.

http://www.westernaustralia.com/en/Travel_Info/waMaps/Pages/Google_Maps_Western_Australia.aspx
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 02:15 am
@rosborne979,
Quote:
You've described a very unusual animal. A mammal, fairly large, with no (or very short) tail, sitting/standing on hind limbs, but skuttling away on all fours, dark fur, no obvious (proud) ears, body stature resembling a hyena (bulky top, narrow bottom).
Fine ! Criticise me all you want.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 02:27 am
@Ionus,
Quote:

You've described a very unusual animal. A mammal, fairly large, with no (or very short) tail, sitting/standing on hind limbs, but skuttling away on all fours, dark fur, no obvious (proud) ears, body stature resembling a hyena (bulky top, narrow bottom).

Fine ! Criticise me all you want."



Show us your foot, please.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 02:29 am
I have seen in Western NSW a cat that was the size of a small large cat or a VERY large house cat . It was black and ran away from us though we did patrol right up to another not as large but still VERY large feral house cat that was waiting outside a rabbit burrow, presumably to catch rabbits . I can believe the stories of a black panther sightings having seen one for myself . I wonder if black cats might be growing larger in the bush to suit the size of their prey, an evolutionary strategy that took us from sabre tooth cats to big cats and back to sabre tooth cats several times .
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 03:50 am
@Ionus,
I've heard reports of huge feral cats in Australia, but I've seen larger cats in people's houses, pretending to be tame.


While searching the interknob, I found this brilliant footage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=z4xueqvdb-8
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 07:36 am
@Builder,
Look for the number of scene/camera angle changes to see how much of it is faked . Awesome pics anyway.....
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Mar, 2011 07:39 am
@Ionus,
Quote:
Look for the number of scene/camera angle changes to see how much of it is faked . Awesome pics anyway.....


Yeppers. I've done endless hours of vid shooting and even more on the editing side. My hat is off to this one. The humanoid soundtrack is pretty out there also.
0 Replies
 
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2011 08:34 pm
Update; one of the contractors we provide accommodation for, was returning from a fishing trip three days ago, and he told me about this weird creature he saw "scuttling" across the track. His description closely matches mine, though I hadn't mentioned my sighting to him at all.

I'll ask him some more details when next we meet, but he was more inclined to think that it was some kind of cat, though he now doubts that, after seeing the tracks and video I shot. He actually saw the critter crossing the road, while I saw it only from behind.

So, I'm thinking there is more than one of these animals, or the same one is frequenting the same area. Such a shame that he couldn't find any tracks in the dry sand. We have another tropical low approaching today, so I'll head out in the morning checking for more prints.
Ionus
 
  2  
Reply Sun 3 Apr, 2011 09:46 pm
@Builder,
You need to give up your day job and become a recluse dedicated to the capture of the Broome Beastie . And if you happen to make a quid from the tourist industry that would be purely accidental .
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 04:22 am
@Builder,
Did he think it had a tail, or no?
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 12:59 pm
@rosborne979,
No tail. His view from the side didn't show the narrow waist in relation to the shoulders, but he said the front legs were longer than the back, and the ears were flattened to the head, like a cat does when angry or frightened.

He also says that rather than having fur, it was covered in coarse hair. Much like myself, his original reaction was WTF was that? When confronted with a conundrum like this, we tend to look for the closest match in our database for a descriptor. His was feline. Mine was dog. But we are both grasping at straws, for mine. He put the weight at about twelve kilos, or twenty-five pounds, and being a fisherman, that guess would be somewhere near the mark.

No word from the boffins, as yet.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 01:03 pm
@Ionus,
Tourists rarely walk the bush around here, due to the feral critters being rather dangerous. Large scrub bulls, donkeys in the hundreds, and wild dogs that hunt in packs. I take my ridgeback cross with me, along with short stabbing spear, and sometimes a shotgun.

Most people think I'm a bit mad for walking anywhere up this way, especially at night.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 01:13 pm
@Builder,
Does a cell phone work there? Thinking it would be great if you guys could snap a photo..
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 02:08 pm
@ossobuco,
Cell phones work fine here. The trouble is, the only place that I'm likely to see this critter at the moment is on the road, as the long grass is head high now that the rain has been falling for months.

I have a hi-def handycam with nightshot, so I can shoot in total darkness. Just went for a walk up the road about four kilometres. The rain is increasing here, so I headed back.

Here's hoping for a chance encounter on a night with some moonlight. Oh, and the mosquitoes having a night off would be a bonus too.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 02:10 pm
@Builder,
One thing about my area of New Mexico is that mosquitoes are rare. I do not miss them...
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Apr, 2011 06:30 pm
@Builder,
Builder wrote:
No tail. His view from the side didn't show the narrow waist in relation to the shoulders, but he said the front legs were longer than the back, and the ears were flattened to the head, like a cat does when angry or frightened.

Based on that description alone (without the footprints), if I didn't know better I would say that sounds like a chimpanzee or some other ground primate (like a baboon, except that baboons have tails). But I'm assuming you would recognize a chimp pretty easily.

Are there any zoo's nearby that might have lost a primate? Or maybe a private ranch with exotic animals?
 

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