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    UK Avalon Member daviddjg23's Avatar
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    Default Big cats in the uk

    I have always been interested in this subject since i was a child. I remember while at Dartmoor on a school trip there were stories at night time around the camp fire and one story relating to possible big cats running free in the United Kingdom which caught my imagination and intrigue.

    A little while later I got the book Alien Animals by Janet and Colin Bord which I still have today. But the main reason I am now so certain about these cats is that while in Dorset in Weymouth when me and my mum were walking our family Springer Spaniel in a meadow by the River Wey which Weymouth gets its name we saw a black cat.

    It was running fast at another dog walker's labrador across the field from us about 100m away. It was long and low to the ground, it had upright cat ears, a rounded nose and a long rounded tail.

    It moved so gracefully toward the dog like it was locked on, but as soon as the feline saw the humans with the dog it stopped and went back to the hedgerow it had come out from.

    The dog walkers never saw it, but me and my mum saw it plain as day. We turned and walked home, not really wanting this big black cat to target our dog.

    This was in the 1990s I think, 1995 or 6, as I was a young man at the time. But this memory is seared into my mind and will never fade. It was a amazing experience and one also at that time that you got ridicule for telling! So we didn't offer this information to anyone but the most trusted friends and family.

    I remember a few years later in the Echo that a big black cat had been seen on the Ridgeway which was not far from our sighting, but nothing more became of that. It's always annoyed me how the media inject a conditioned response of ridicule into those silly enough to believe the TV.

    Best thing I ever did was turn the TV off and not turn it back on... be very interested if anyone else had had any big cat sightings anywhere in the UK or anywhere. They are not native, obviously. ????

    Please share them. Cheers.
    Last edited by daviddjg23; 14th August 2017 at 18:19.

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    Great subject.

    No big cat sightings myself, but a very good friend of mine told me that when she was a little girl, then living in a remote area of Western Scotland, in Argyll, right by the sea (a tiny place called Ellary, see map), she went for a short walk on her own and came face to face with a golden-tawny colored cat just as big as she was.

    Remarkably, the cat was not aggressive (or hungry!), and after staring at each other for a few moments, they each turned round and ran off in opposite directions.

    This topic is far from nonsense. What happened was that back in 1976 there was a change in law, and people keeping big cats as pets were now required to register them. Many just released them into the countryside, instead — where there were so many rabbits and sheep and deer it was easy for them to survive and breed. And there were plenty of places for them to hide, too.

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    UK Avalon Member Cidersomerset's Avatar
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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    Growing up there were reports on the local news of a Beast on Exmoor , I could not
    find a news report but this vid sums it up.I thought Arthur C Clarke who grew up
    in Minehead on the foothills of Exmoor did a segment on it in his mysterious world
    series but I can not find that either.It was described as a big cat similar to a
    Panther or Puma.



    The Black Beast of Exmoor Park



    Published on 6 Jul 2015
    The Black Beast of Exmoor Park - YouTube May 29, 2014A black beast resembling a
    huge cat is said to terrorize farmers around Exmoor park. From the 1970s to the
    1990s, an alleged mysteriously huge black cat Black Beast of Exmoor - Paranormal
    Documentary - … Aug 13, 2013Black Beast of Exmoor - Paranormal Documentary
    The search for what witnesses say is a panther-like black beast that is killing
    livestock along an English Exmoor Beast Exmoor Beast. Is there an “Exmoor
    Beast”? Is it a black leopard or maybe even a puma or could even both be walking
    around us in the few wild places we have left Exmoor Beast Exmoor Beast: The
    Beast of Exmoor Exmoor is primarily an upland area made up mainly of small
    villages and UK Big Cats - Beast of Exmoor As reports of large cats in the wake of
    the 1976 Exotic Pets Act gathered speed with sightings of Horse Riding Holidays for
    Adults UK | Spirit Of Exmoor Established 1988. We believe the wonderful Exmoor
    National Park to be one of the best places to ride in England. Miles of beautiful wild
    heather moorland, hidden Exmoor Zoo - visitcombemartin Winner of the Gold
    award for best attraction in the South-west 2012, Exmoor Zoo has become an ideal
    family day out. The zoo has established a good rapport with the Exmoor Beast
    sightings, reports, news Exmoor Beast: Beast Sightings, Reports, News Spend
    Vouchers on Exmoor Zoo, Bratton Fleming - Tesco.com Spend time with the family
    for less at Exmoor Zoo and enjoy all its unusual and exotic animals. Simply
    exchange 2.50 in vouchers and you'll get 10 back in tokens The Barrister Blog: A
    challenge to a private parking Mar 08, 2012A challenge to a private parking charge
    notice issued at the car park of The Aggi in Braunton
    'The Exmoor Beast' - Zoysa the black leopard at Exmoor Zoo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0zkO8UPZaI
    Beast of Exmoor
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beast_of_Exmoor

    ================================================== ==
    ================================================== ==

    THE TELEGRAPH

    Beast of Dartmoor mystery solved after famous circus owner Mary Chipperfield 'set
    three Pumas free in 1970s'

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016...ased-pumas-in/

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...hes-beach.html

    MonsterQuest Season 2: Episode 7 - Black Beast of Exmoor

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvectpBIYHY
    Last edited by Cidersomerset; 13th August 2017 at 15:03.

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    UK Avalon Member daviddjg23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    just found this video which is cool
    god was over 20 years since my sighting that makes me how old!!!
    beautiful dorset my home county also totally unrelated but there are alot of orb/ufo sightings on the ridgeway hill between weymouth and dorchester.
    this vid is good as he tells of some of the big cats found in the UK
    maybe i should point out growing up in dorset my dad did manage pheasant rearing for the local season and from a young age i could identify lots of animals and spent a lot of time in the country side with my dad and knew my animals very well.

    But that said if you see a massive black cat it is very easy to identify funnily enough
    Last edited by daviddjg23; 13th August 2017 at 16:30.

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    Coming from North Yorkshire, near moors , there was a wood called Wiley Cat Wood ,which seems to show tbat wild cats were prevalent there in past. I never saw one however..The old names of places always fascinated me though as they seemed to have real meaning!

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    I used to walk the Dartmoor and Bodmin and Exmoor moors a lot. Going back about fifteen plus years now. Many times, three or four at least, I would find dead sheep, partially eaten. The interesting thing to me was that they had their throats bitten out. Ferrell dogs will bite the back legs of the sheep to kill them. I have seen this type of attack in Africa, these were killed by a large cat in my experience. Never seen anything though, they stay well hidden, heard only tales. Bill's explanation about the change in the law was mentioned a lot back then.... N
    Last edited by Nasu; 13th August 2017 at 18:38.

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    I remember seeing this on the news when it happened the lad was lucky he was not seen as a meal
    And brave to come forward and tell his story.

    well if the video will not link it was the young lad that had his face scratched in south wales.
    Last edited by daviddjg23; 14th August 2017 at 18:43.

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    Last link is broke. Any other sources for the story?..x... N

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    Quote Posted by Nasu (here)
    Last link is broke. Any other sources for the story?..x... N
    Here:
    Police 'big cat' warning
    25 August, 2000



    Gwent Police are warning the public to be on their guard after a black, "leopard-like" animal attacked an 11-year-old boy in Monmouthshire. Josh Hopkins was with his brother searching for their pet cat near his home in Trellech when he said the animal attacked him in long grass.

    "At the start I thought it was playing, but when it struck its paw at me and I saw the blood fly past, I thought I was going to die," said Josh.

    The boy suffered five long claw marks to his left cheek which needed medical treatment.

    A helicoptor with heat-seeking equipment on board was due to survey the area later on Friday.

    Police have also called in a big cat expert, Danny Nineham, to investigate the incident. He believes the animal may be a young, "leopard-like" cat.

    Offspring

    The boy described the animal as "large black and slinky-looking" - much bigger than a domestic cat.

    Gwent Police say there have been other sightings of a big cat in the Chepstow area and residents have said pet cats have gone missing.

    But there have been no reports of any big cats having escaped from zoos.

    Chief Inspector Nigel Russell of Gwent police said they were treating the incident very seriously.
    "This is the first incident that I am aware of where anyone has been injured or attacked by a cat," he said.

    Big cat experts believe there may be as many as 100 leopards and pumas roaming the British countryside.

    They believe the animals are the offspring of beasts released by owners in the 1970s after the introduction of stringent new laws governing wild and dangerous animals.

    But the RSPCA has urged people not to panic.

    In January, a former lion-tamer admitted releasing a panther and a cougar into the English countryside in the 1970s. Leslie Maiden, who once owned more than a dozen big cats, said he released the animals off the A57 Snake Pass in Derbyshire.

    "I released a panther 26 years ago on to the moors on the Pennines at Snake Pass," said Mr Maiden, of Dudley in the West Midlands.

    "It was miles from anywhere. It was a couple of days after releasing a cougar," he said.

    Illegal

    Fellow big cat-owner Lewis Foley, who kept the animals at a menagerie with Mr Maiden, disclosed that a friend of his in Coventry had also set a panther loose in the Nottinghamshire area in 1974.

    An RSPCA spokeswoman said releasing wild animals into the countryside did not become illegal until the early 1980s.

    She said: "The 1981 Countryside and Wildlife Act made it illegal to release into the wild in the United Kingdom any non-indigenous animal.

    "It is definitely illegal now. Clearly, these species prey on animals lower down the chain and they may also be at risk themselves."


    A detailed and very interesting short video about the same incident:

    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 15th August 2017 at 20:14.

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    Yes, i saw a big cat in the 70's just when the law was changed regarding keeping exotic animals, but it was in Australia. I pushed open the fly wire door, which was ply wood on the bottom half so i could not see what was on the other side. I had let my rabbit wander in the yard, but felt I should check on him. I pushed open the door, took the two steps down, and as the door swung shut, there was my rabbit behind it, with a panther standing over it. I was about two feet from it's face. We just stared into each others eyes for about 5 or 10 seconds, it spun around and leapt the 6 foot fence.

    My sister (who was looking after me), did not believe me when I ran inside, holding the rabbit, most likely breathing excitedly and said, "There was a panther in the back yard".

    Decades later, there was a tiny, and I mean tiny article in the local newspaper that said lots of wild animals were let go in the burbs at that time. We backed onto a creek and a 100 foot wide bush covered corridor.

    That was when I was 8. When I was 23, and I was belaying another climber at mt Arapiles in Australia, I was part way up a cliff. It was hot and dry, and the earth was cracked. I heard a thumping noise coming down quite a steep gully. I had a great vantage point to see what was about, so I peered in the direction of the noise, thinking it was a kangaroo, thump, thump, thumping down that gully. When it emerged from the native scrub, it was a HUGE bright orange, long furred Cheshire cat. I mean it was massive, the size of a big dog. I think maybe it was a bit bigger than a German Shepherd. The looong fur would have made it look extra big. It was a feral cat. Yes, they grow massive.

    I have seen a huge ridgeback boar in the remote high country in Australia too, but through binoculars. We had to walk way around it as they get pretty stroppy. Tusks and all if my memory serves me. I don't know how many generations it takes, but I recall our Lecturer who was there, telling us that it would have come from domesticated escaped pigs that would have regressed back to the wild hairy version, and increased it's size.

    Nothing crypto about these. Just big pussy cats of sorts (and a piggy).
    Last edited by findingneo; 18th August 2017 at 16:58.

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    I had a an encounter with a big cat here in Australia in December 1980, I was on holiday in the coastal town of Hallidays Point, which is about 325km north of Sydney.

    Anyway I and a friend decided to follow this bush track which lead to a mining facility, we were walking for maybe 30 minutes or so when we came across what looked like a big tabby cat ginger and white in colour.

    It crossed the track and stopped in the middle of the track and sat, we were surprised at the size but continued walking and it just sat there we got to within about 50metres of it and it still did not budge. Coming to the conclusion it was wild and it may become aggressive we decided to turn back and avoid a confrontation.

    Gauging the size of the cat by comparison to the width of the track we were walking, we guess this cat had a body length of at least 3-4 feet long less the tail.
    Last edited by BMJ; 23rd August 2017 at 04:08.

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    It seems that there are definitely big cats in the wild most probably released
    or escaped pet owners ,culminating in the dangerous animals act of 1976
    possibly causing a spike in the wild population. How many managed to
    survive and possibly breed if any is the question ? Given the life span of
    large cats in the wild there would have to be continuous releases over
    the years or there is some breeding going on.


    PUMA facts.....
    The life span of a puma in the wild is between 8 – 13 years and 18 – 19 years in captivity.
    https://animalcorner.co.uk/animals/puma/
    =================================================

    Big cat Britain: Truth or Tail?



    Published on 16 Aug 2011
    In this short documentary Kirsty Bourne searches for answers to the mystery
    of Wild Big Cats in the UK. Meeting the witnesses, following the enthusiasts
    and talking to the experts. Will the truth be uncovered or is it one large tale?
    Last edited by Cidersomerset; 22nd August 2017 at 15:50.

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    Default Re: Big cats in the UK!

    St Albans, Hertfordshire.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/cougar-spot...s-year-1638770

    Quote A freedom of Information request to Hertfordshire Police revealed that between 2010 and 2015, there had been 26 such sightings of big cats in the area.

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