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New sighting of a black Panther like cat warrants an official search says Biosecurity New Zealand senior adviser.
This is now the sixth sighting of a large cat in mid Canterbury (NZ) since 2001.
Mystery big cat sighted once more
A Biosecurity New Zealand investigator and staff member from Orana Wildlife Park have been searching the Ashburton River mouth after a reported sighting of a large cat.
It is the sixth reported sighting of a large black panther-like animal in mid Canterbury since 2001 and the second time that biosecurity officials from the Ministry of Agriculture have conducted a search.
The latest sighting reported was last week at Hakatere Beach, near Ashburton. A couple and their grandson described the animal as much larger than a domestic cat.
Biosecurity New Zealand senior adviser, Sonia Bissmire, says it seemed credible enough to warrant an official search.
But, she says Biosecurity New Zealand will take no further action unless there is another credible sighting.