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Winter Warmer

Big Cats In Britain

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I would say most definatly yes, we go to devon/cornwall every year and we like to stay at places as remote as possible, bodmin last year and twice we have seen big black cats, was quite shocked when i read that there are over 3000 sightings a year !!!

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It’s possible that when the dangerous animals act (1976) was brought in which ruled that such animals could not be kept without a licence some big cats were released, and that they could have survived and bred. But sceptics have often pointed out that if they did exist, much like the myth of the Loch Ness Monster or the beast of Bodmin, conclusive photographic evidence would surely by now exist.

As there is a shortage of evidence such as real video / photography (at a recognisable location for others to agree on afterwards) of the actual beast(s), alive (not dead) I’m not totally convinced. Yes, there have been some finds of scat or strands of fur but then people do enjoy having the odd hoax (think crop circles). Given that some people in this country can’t tell the difference between a deer and a badger I’m surprised there are not more sightings !

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Yes. There have been sightings from my syndicate on my shoot near Langport. Shoot is within a very dense woodland. Cat is labrador size or maybe even a little bigger. There have been Deer carcasses found nearby. We believe it could be what the local press know as the Merriott cat, but of course there could be more than one.

I myself have seen a large dark cat leap over a stone wall in a field near the A38 at Bridgwater. Unfortunately it was so quick I never got a great look at it. It was large dark and moved more like a cat than a dog of that size. It was late evening, but still light and near some woods.

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Interesting topic.

There are plenty of UK big cat clips on YouTube, some a lot more convincing than others. This is one of the more impressive ones..........

Whilst this one is downright weird; looks more like a black lion to me?? Whatever it is, it's big & scary!

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A good number of reputable sightings of Panther type cats in this area over the years, also several of Lynx which were probably escapees from Riber zoo ( long since closed )

I've never seen a big cat but I did once hear one. I was walking along the edge of a disused quarry around sunset, about 25 years ago when there was a sudden loud noise of a large animal moving quickly through dead, dry vegetation at the bottom of the quarry about 40 feet below.

At first I thought it was a cow or sheep which had found its way down there and had been startled by my silhouette above it but as I peered over to take a look the noise of movement was accompanied by what can only be described as a gurgling growl. I'm not easily scared but the sound made the hairs on my neck stand up and I was relieved that the noise was moving away from, and not towards, me.

At the time I wasn't sure what it was that made the noise although I had an inherent feeling that it was dangerous.

Years later I was watching a wildlife programme presented by David Attenborough and the memory was instantly revived ( along with the hair on my neck )as the sound of an alarmed Panther came from the t.v.

Without doubt that was what I had heard.

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A guy I used to work with had family who owned what used to be called Sparkwell Zoo (south Dartmoor) he said they had seen large black cats on the CCTV outside the large cat cages. How true this is remains to be seen! That said, there are lots of reports from the area, especially from the older population who have had countless chickens taken in large quantities and allegedly found skulls in their grounds that have been shown to belong to large cats.

I'm yet to see one... although have seen the remains of some rather vicious attacks on sheep and chicken enclosures.

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Interesting topic.

There are plenty of UK big cat clips on YouTube, some a lot more convincing than others. This is one of the more impressive ones..........

Whilst this one is downright weird; looks more like a black lion to me?? Whatever it is, it's big & scary!

The footage from the top clip is where i used to live out in garelochhead, i remember the coverage locally as the line went passed my back garden and it was not unusual to hear all kinds of animals wandering through the woodland by the railway. That particular footage was taken by a MOD dog handler from faslane sub base so its highly credible.

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Yes. They do exist. There's a stuffed puma (I think it's a puma) in Inverness museum, that was caught in the '60s...That said, they're probably over-hyped??

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Oddly enough our local 'big cat' has just put in an appearance (near Copley). The witness got a good look and says it was a 'bobcat' like critter the size of a dog. The experts think it may have been a lynx (but darker in colour). Maybe some of our native species are returning even without our needing to 'reintroduce' them?

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Well here in Cambridgeshire there is the legend of the "Fen Tiger" (Rural Cambridgeshire) but this legend dates back to the 1950's. There has been numerous "sightings" of a Black Panther (The Fen Tiger) since then:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cambridgeshire/content/articles/2008/04/02/big_cat_history_feature.shtml

http://www.bigcatsinbritain.org/englishnews369.htm

http://www.bigcatsinbritain.org/fentiger.htm

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There was a thread about big cats in here but I can't search for it because the words 'cat' and 'big' don't have at least 4 letters (!?)

Anyway this was filmed at the weekend by someone I 'know' on another forum.

It's all at the start really, you need to view the high res and full screen too.

He's sent it off to someone who can crop in on the interesting bit.

He's a farmer so is familiar with the wildlife in that area.

In my opinion this is very convincing indeed.

I downloaded it and ran it frame by frame fullscreen.

You can see a very feline tail in a couple of frames, almost as long as the body.

It's bigger than the one I saw a few years back too.

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There was a thread about big cats in here but I can't search for it because the words 'cat' and 'big' don't have at least 4 letters (!?)

Anyway this was filmed at the weekend by someone I 'know' on another forum.

It's all at the start really, you need to view the high res and full screen too.

He's sent it off to someone who can crop in on the interesting bit.

He's a farmer so is familiar with the wildlife in that area.

In my opinion this is very convincing indeed.

I downloaded it and ran it frame by frame fullscreen.

You can see a very feline tail in a couple of frames, almost as long as the body.

It's bigger than the one I saw a few years back too.

hi i have just put the video on the big cats in britain facebook page and quoted your post hope you dont mind

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About 18years ago myself and family was walking through Esher woods, Surrey , a massive black animal came leaping towards us from the bushes, it had a big square head and was as big like a great dane! to this day i believe in big cats roaming around, they are out there and what we saw was likely one of them! my memory of it is still with me and it might have been a black panther! all we did that day was run! we got out of the woods fast we were so sure it was not a dog..post-11361-0-46617500-1300379940_thumb.j

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To me the real question shouldn't be about big cats living in the wild since it is more than likely that there are abandoned/escapee exotics on the loose. The real question is whether there is a native specie of big cat living in the UK that has so far remained undiscovered. This would be a really exciting and newsworthy occurance.

We do of course have the well documented wild cat, down to 400 or so creatures now sadly facing extinction in the UK.

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Good point, it could be their is a new species that has evolved due to different cats getting together! Another thing we should realise is how good ALL cats are at hiding. if you lose your domestic in the woods i doubt you would find it easy tracking it down, with panthers being big but just as good at hiding, walk through the jungle and you won't spot a panther..but they are watching us!

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hi ess i have also added your sighting to the big cats in britain facebook page

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I'm fairly convinced, that some reports are genuine sightings of non native big cats, certainly some of the evidence is pretty compelling. However I imagine that some of the sightings are probably a result of misjudgement of size due to perspective issues.

I remember once driving fairly slowly down a country lane, out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of what I thought was a huge cat. It jumped out of the ditch and through the hedge as we passed. I quickly stopped the car a reversed to see if I could get a better look.

As I came back in line with the gap in the hedge I saw it walking across the field. It was a huge black domestic moggy! Now when I saw it jump through that hedge I swore it was twice the size as it appeared in the field. Sometimes I think we see what we want to see.

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Necro post I know but seeing this thread reminded me of a story I read a couple of months back.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3829894/Big-cat-mauled-my-dog.html

Damage to livestock from wild panthers is common but I've never head of one attacking a large wolf like that before, so if I panther didn't do that to the poor dog then what the hell did?

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I winessed a black panther like creature at Llansamlet near Swansea in the spring of 2003. I estimated it would have been the size of a fully grown labrador, and most defiently feline in structure and movement. Specifically, the rip of the body and the shine of the coat stood out.

I was making my way to work along a track in a revegated area. Llansamlet is a light industrial/residential area but my daily walking track was thru quite an expanse of reserved land - taking in long grass, plantations and shrubbery, either side of a disused railway line.

Sighting was very brief. Perhaps a second or two. It may have been about 70 metres ahead of me as I turned a corner, and it was drinking at a puddle, It then 'sleeked' off into the undergrowth behind it. Sleeked is an apt word to describe that movement.

I made an online report to a research team working at the Swansea Uni, but didn't hear back from them.

Due to the relative high human population density in the UK it does go to show how brilliantly pervasive these creatures are ( whatever they may be ).

Can hope under a similar scenario that Tasmania's very own thylacine is just as cunning.

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I haven't seen one over here, but i would love to. It is a shame that people are afraid of these animals, they are only trying to survive like any other living creature, including us. Human attacks are extremely rare in the Uk.

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Interesting encounter Styx. I always think of the black panther as a cat that cant be seen but it can see you, imagine letting a pet cat loose in the woods then we proberly would not find it(if its the wild type) i have seen something like what you describe many years ago, most of my family saw it, but no one else believe the story, never have time to get the camera out when something that big is heading your way leaping fast from the bushes(we ran.. passing people on the way)!, later in the years ahead some large cats have been spotted and filmed around the Surrey area, i was only a kid when i saw what i did so it could have been a large dog to me, but parents said it was bigger than a black labrador, it had a big square head, its later when i was a teen that i was looking at world wildlife books when i spotted the panther in a book, and i then knew thats what it was, i believe they are out there, why not? there is no reason to think there cannot be any big cats in our countryside or elsewhere, the big cats would be hard to see and find, and thats why they are rare to be seen or heard off. but there are films to show they exist.

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