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The Tantanoola Tiger
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At the end of the 19th Century, and even into the early 20th Century, large areas of eastern Australia were still in a state that could be regarded as "wilderness" despite the proximity of cities and towns. Dense scrub, rough bushland and imposing mountains all combined to create places that had little appeal for human habitation by any but the hardiest of souls. It's probably little surprise then that it was easy to give credence to stories of strange, unknown animals roaming the populated fringes of the country. Legendary creatures, such as the Yowie (Australia's answer to Bigfoot) and the Bunyip, received their share of accounts in the newspapers of the time. But the most common "strange animal" reports concerned creatures that would be somewhat more mundane in comparison were it not for the out-of-place nature of their appearances. Tigers and lions. Presented here, then, is a collection of original newspaper reports of "big cat" sightings spanning the years 1885 to 1955. In cryptozoology circles, these creatures are known as "Alien Big Cats" or ABC's. The "alien" in this case refers to something foreign to the environment and not something from space. Whether it was a case of mistaken identity, people seeing thylacines (the marsupial 'Tasmanian Tiger', not yet declared extinct at the time), or people had not yet come to terms with how large feral cats could become in the wild, there were many sightings of "something" prowling the Australian bush.
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