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On May 29th at 5 pm during a rescue exercise staged at a quarry a large cat described as possibly being a lion was seen at a quarry in Kaiwaka.

Does a Lion Roam Kaiwaka?

The cat was seen on the edge of the Parker Lime Quarry on Gibsons  Rd, at a distance of about 30 meters standing on a ridge by Volunteer Fire fighter Carl Swanson (18) during a Search and Rescue exercise.
During the exercise Swanson plyed the part of a victim in a car in the quarry, as he was waiting to be rescued he look up the hill and saw the Cat.
He described the cat as being about the size of a Labrador and about two metres long.
He commented.
" I told my colleague and it (the lion) was actually looking at us... like staring for a good one minute before it stood up and started walking on the edge of the quarry".
He also said "That was the walk of a lion.... really soft.
The cat was decribed as massive and kept walking around and eventually disappeared.
There have apparently been no reports of cattle or sheep maulings in the area.
John Bomar - Volunteer Fire Brigade chief began investigating the incident and came across a local man who is now a Minister.
Bowmar said "Hes no idiot".
"(He) saw it years ago, he was out duck shooting. It was a huge cat. There was no point in me shooting it. I turned tail and ran".
Bomar had been told the fireman reported the incident to the police
Parker Lime Company Quarry Manager talked to staff about the incident and they felt it may be one of the extremely large cats that prowl the bush around the quarry site.

Source 1

Sunday News - Big Cat Scare in Northland - Sunday,29 June 2008

Source 2

Big Cat Remains Elusive - Robyn Downey - Dargavile News - Wednesday,02 July 2008

My Comment:
Some of the feral Wildcats can grow as large as 14 kg, which is a pretty impressive size.
As there has been no cattle or sheep mutilations, and feral cats are known to inhabit the area, this could well be a case of mistaken identity.
With such a large predator patrolling the area you would think there would be more animal mutilations.
It is a shame with so many people involved in the exercise, "100 Fire, Police, and St. John's ambulance personnel, that there were no more witnesses to the sighting, and there surely must have been someone there with a camera.
This is also annoying in the fact that like so many cases of this nature it was not handled properly by someone with training as a Cryptozoologist.
No search for footprints was made, no casts were taken if there were any.
No media contact was had for an opinion.
This is why so many sightings are lost in the archives of newspapers and forgotten..

My sincere thanks to StrickerSports for the Heads up on this one.

If you have had a Big Cat Sighting - please email me with the details

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