NZ Mystery Animal Photo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 15th, 2009

Is there a new image that is proof of a big ginger cat said to be “the size of a small lion” stalking the hills of the island nation of New Zealand?

As you may recall, a year ago, reports of a mystery cat, said to look like a “lion,” had the Northland of New Zealand as the seat of much excitement.

The giant alleged wild felid, dubbed the “Kaiwaka Lion,” was seen, for example, by Kaiwaka firefighter Allan Swanson’s son Carl, 18, during an urban search and rescue exercise in a quarry at Kaiwaka, 90 minutes north of Auckland, on May 29, 2008.

Today, April 15, in Australia, the talk is of a photograph that may show a “New Zealand lion.” (Just for the record, lions are not native to New Zealand.)

While it is difficult to tell if the cryptid is even a felid mystery animal vs a canid one, it is good to, at least, have obtained some form of photographic evidence. Or, perhaps, in this case, without scale, from a distance, does this just confuse closeup sightings of larger felines with an image of a small domestic cat?

What do you see in this photograph? What is it?

A pair of Scottish tourists were surprised when they saw and photographed this cat-like animal (circled), which they claim was similar in size to an Alsatian dog (called a German shepherd in North America), near McLeays Creek on the Lindis Pass, New Zealand. Photo by Charlie Limond.

The Himalayas had their Yetis, while Canada’s Sasquatch was known informally as “Bigfoot”.

And now, the Lindis Pass hill country may – or may not – have its “Big Ginge”.

Scottish tourists Charlie and Marie Limond photographed what they described as a “lynx-sized mountain lion”, at McLeays Creek in the Lindis Pass.

“It was definitely way bigger than your domestic cat. About the size of an Alsatian dog,” Mr Limond told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

The couple were driving along State Highway 8, through the Lindis Pass, last week, when Mr Limond said he saw the animal “out of the corner of my eye”.

They turned their car around and said they watched the big cat, about 200m away, from the roadside for about seven minutes.

“I got a real good look at it through my binoculars. Our small digital camera wasn’t able to get a decent photograph, but it was the same goldy colour as a mountain lion,” he said.

Mr Limond was unshaken in his belief he had seen a “small lion-like animal”. He based his claims on having been to Africa and seen lions at game parks.

However, Wanaka Area Department of Conservation manager Paul Hellebrekers said the couple may have sighted an extremely large feral cat.

“There is nothing to substantiate that we’re not just dealing with a very large cat,” he said.

Dunstan Downs Station farmer Geva Innes laughed when the Otago Daily Times contacted her to ask whether there had been any reports of a “big ginger tomcat the size of a small lion” stalking the hills.

“We shoot feral cats round here,” she said.

The feral pests often roamed the hills and grew big. Feral cats could also carry the disease toxoplasmosis, which caused abortions in sheep, she said.

“Mystery animal snapped,” by Matthew Haggart, Wed, 15 Apr 2009
The Regions: North Otago

It’s Tax Day in America. My best to everyone going through this yearly spring ritual here. If you have an extra $10 left over, please know that amount from you builds to what we need to save the museum. Do remember to…

🙂 Thank You.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

22 Responses to “NZ Mystery Animal Photo”

  1. WOLVES-TALON responds:

    Loren, to me it looks like a light colored cow or a feeder pig. Looking at the head for this animal, it strongly resembles a pig though. And I see no tail on it either.


  2. kittenz responds:

    Where’s the scale? If it’s a cat it’s a regular domestic. I do not believe that “giant” domestic cats exist.

  3. Alligator responds:

    I had a little trouble figuring which end was which and since there is no scale, there’s no telling how big it is. Could the dry, but mischievous Scottish humor be at work here? 😉

  4. tampasteve responds:

    meh, that could be anything from a domestic cat to a sheep to a pig. No scale, not close enough to tell what it is at all. I dub the: Blobcat.


  5. Richard888 responds:

    Unless a higher resolution version of this image can produce more information, or unless image processing can reveal hidden aspects, there isn’t much in this picture, as it appears, to make me think that what is shown is a lion or even a felid. It wouldn’t surprise me if in NZ a higher percentage of cryptid false flags occur. There are many introduced animals roaming the NZ countryside and if a viewer sees one of those but expects to see a smaller marsupial, that might lead to a bit of cognitive confusion and other errors in judgment. Just my thoughts…

  6. Matt_J responds:

    It’s a Kneazle!!!

  7. maslo63 responds:

    It doesn’t appear cat-like to me, looks more like a sheep or a similar grazing animal.

  8. Ceroill responds:

    Matt_J, that’s a new one on me. Kneazle? I agree with others though, this is too vague to say what it is or how big it is. I like ‘blobcat’.

  9. cryptidsrus responds:

    I agree it looks too indistinct to be of any use.

    But I’m wondering why the Limonds would subject themselves to (expected) ridicule unless they actually saw what they think they saw. Surely they must have known that reporting an out-of-place felid in NZ would subject them to some interesting reactions, at the very least.

    It could be a case of mistaken identity, to be sure—I’m just finding it hard to question the sincerity of the folks there. Call me “naive.”
    And I know that trusting witnesses is not very “scientific.” Like I said, I’m just unwilling to question their willingness to come forward. That is all.

  10. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    Heheeheh you know Loren i have to put this in my Memory of Theories:

    a cat that is Sabretooth


    Hmmm.> Ginger???? if Ginger is somekind of Red, i have never seen one that is in a feline? maybe a domestic cat but a large felind that color

    Could be a variety of Known Felines that’s unknown!

    or a unknown feline that has no family kind/grouping in the animal kingdom.

    From the picture Here are my Theories
    (k i have i looked at the picture and all these came to mind)

    Sabretooth cat
    Unknown Variety Sabretooth Cat
    Unknown Non Sabretooth Cat
    Unknown Giant Domestic Cat
    Unknown Giant Dog
    Unknown Giant Fox
    Dwarf Tiger
    Unknown Variety Red Panda
    Unknown Giant Red Panda
    Unknown wolf
    Unkown Dwarf Wolf
    Unknown Giant Wolf
    Unknown Variety Hyena
    Unknown Giant Animal?
    Unknown Variety Tiger
    Unknown Variety of cat
    Unknown Variety Lion
    Unknown Variety of Thylacine
    Unknown Variety of Thylacoleo
    Unknown Variety of Sloth
    Unknown Variety of Dog
    Unknown Variety Of Fox
    Unknown Variety of Coyote
    Unknown Variety of Wolf
    Unknown Variety of sheep
    Unknown Variety of Goat
    Unknown Variety of Bear
    Unknown Variety of a Cryptid

    i say from all of these a Unknown Variety of Hyena

  11. Averagefoot responds:

    It’s a blobscotch. Could be anything really.

  12. DNS responds:

    Blobcat! Perfect. Thank you tampasteve.

  13. Allen Hopps responds:

    Without witness testimony, I would say its a sheep , I zoomed in and it looks like the head is on the right side and pointed down toward the grass. I would think that scots would know what a sheep looks like though so it may be a terrible camera image. Zooming in it does look sheep sized based on the shrubbery around it.
    What gets me is he observed it for seven minuets and has seen lions in the wild, it was worth turning the car around for, so maybe we are missing something.

  14. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:









  15. kentmcmanigal responds:

    My very first thought was “fox”, but then I began to wonder which end was which. Then I decided the small Velociraptor just to the left of the circle was more interesting.

  16. Scrabbydoo responds:

    I zoomed in on the animal using Photoshop with the onOne Filter – Genuine Fractal PrintPro 5.0. It uses Fractal Algorithms to scale images without loosing as much quality as just resizing an image. Of course it can’t add detail that isn’t there, but it does keep details that are there.

    The animal definitely appears to be grazing. From the shape of the head I venture goat or sheep. The way the head is held down is very much like a goat, sheep, or cow feeding. No tail is visible.

  17. kittenz responds:

    I enlarged the photo 400% and although the image is indistinct, I believe it is probably a feral cat. It looks like it is yellow or cream-color. My cat, Buster, who is a dark cream tabby, looks about the same when he is out hunting in the sedge on the hillside. I don’t see anything here to make me think this is anything other than an ordinary feral cat.

  18. vamelungeon responds:

    Looks like a cow to me.

  19. Ceroill responds:

    It’s the incredibly rare New Zealand Hill Otter!

  20. CalebKitson responds:

    Looks like a grazing sheep.

  21. nzcryptozoologist responds:

    The Lindis lion is not unknown and has been seen and reported previous ot this along with other Mountain Lion sightings in the Canterbury area. The first report was in in 1999 when an English couple, Mark and Deb Greening captured on film what they believe to have been a Mountain Lion – Felis concolor in Lindas Pass in the South Island of New Zealand.

    The creature was first spotted by Mr Greening in the undergrowth, as they sped past it in the campervan which they were using to tour the South Island, on the way to Queenstown.
    Out of curiosity they turned back and were astonished to see a large Cat about 20-30 metres from the van.

    This sighting was however, like so many before it, passed off by government authorities as being nothing more than an extremely large feral cat, which can we are informed grow to a massive 14 kg.

  22. CryptidHuntr responds:

    it looks like a tabby housecat and not some “Giant Domestic cat” or a lion. Its a normal tabby house cat

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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