BIG: A photograph of a footprint taken on mango farmer Katrina Tucker's Acacia Hills property in 1997
FIRST it was UFOs, now it's feared Yowies could be on the loose in Darwin's rural area.
A Territory Yowie researcher believes the Big-Foot-like beast could be responsible for the recent death of a dog south of Darwin.
The dog's owners believed their seven-month-old puppy, which had its head ripped from its body, was mauled to death by dingoes.
But Andrew McGinn, who has been researching Yowies in the Top End for more than a decade, said it was possible the hairy ape-type beast was responsible for the attack.
"The way the guy's dog was killed was typical of a Yowie," he said.
"I know it sounds fanciful but over the past 100 years, dogs get killed or decapitated and people report feeling watched, having goats stolen or seeing some tall hairy thing in the days beforehand."
In the late 1990s there were several reports of Yowie sightings around Acacia Hills.
In August 1997, mango farmer Katrina Tucker reported being just metres away from what she described as a hairy humanoid creature on her Acacia Hills property.
Photographs of the creature's footprint were taken the next day and examined by the Northern Territory Museum, which concluded that Ms Tucker had been hoaxed.
But Mr McGinn said after speaking with Ms Tucker he had no doubt her story was true.
"After I met this lady I found she was clearly terrified," he said.
Carpenter Darryl Campbell reported seeing a similar creature near Adelaide River in 1998.
Mr McGinn contacted the Northern Territory News after reading a report that Acacia Hills resident Alan Ferguson had spotted UFOs flying around his home.
He said the area seemed to be home to a lot of unusual activity.
"I have been here for 16 years and I hear time and time again reports of these strange things around Acacia Hills," he said.
But Mr Ferguson said he had never seen a Yowie.
"I only see things scootin' around the sky, I don't see hairy monsters," he said,
"But if that's really true, what's next, dinosaurs running around the streets?"