Monday, June 27, 2005

Mystery footprints in the Kimberley
cat, creature or Yowie?
Presenter: Vanessa Mills



Footprints fuel speculation on big cats, creatures and beasties near Broome.

A series of unusual footprints found along a coastal creek, south of Broome, have got people speculating about what kind of creature made them.

The tracks were found near the Aboriginal community of Bidyadanga.

Residents have been spooked by the discovery, with people afraid to go fishing at night.

Superstitions and imaginations are in overdrive on the possibility of dragons, dinosaurs and escaped panthers.

The prints are large three toed pads, a bit like a cartoon cat paw, and reputed to be the size of a human foot if not larger.

There are several sets of tracks that walk out of the bush, down to Nabiru Creek and along the edge.

A number of locals have seen them, including police, teachers, and nursing staff. The Conservation Department couldn’t identify the footprints from the photographs nor could track expert Barbara Triggs.

Barbara says the three toe pads are highly unusual and the only animal that has three toes is a bird. She speculates there might be different animals criss crossing the tracks, an animal walking in the same prints.

She says it is very hard to get an idea of the size of the prints from the photographs which were taken without a scale marker; she says to put a camera lens cap or a matchbox beside tracks, and to also take photos of the trail as a whole.

So what could the "Bidyadanga Beast" be?

Someone who is always keen to investigate such mysteries is Tim the Yowie Man, a cryptozoologist.

Tim has never had any reports of strange tracks or big cat sightings from the Kimberley so he is understandably excited by a new mystery.

Tim has seen a lot of footprints in his 15 years as cryptozoologist but these tracks have him bamboozled!

But Tim says he's never ready to write off a mystery until all avenues for investigation have been examined.

And if it is a hoax, Tim the Yowie Man says such tricks give mysteries a bad name.