Big Cat Sightings

Big cat sightings in England are often dismissed as a hoax or fantasy story, yet the head of a government agency that investigates such incidents has declared the rumours and sightings may be based in fact. This reason for stating such follow the release of Natural England’s dossier which list over 100 sightings of exotic or unidentified animals since 2005 of which 38 sightings were described as “big cats”.

Such sightings have spawned legends such as “The Beast of Bodmin” in Cornwall. A theory by locals is that several large species, such as panthers and lynx were released into the wild by their owners in the 70’s following the introduction of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act which put restrictions on owning them.

However, Charlie Wilson, co-ordinator for reports for Natural England, claims “The evidence is there that there are the odd escaped, released or dumped animals in the wild, but I don’t think there are any breeding populations. The numbers are so small that any risk of people countering them is pretty small.”

Reports from the public generally consist of mere sightings and wont give much of a lead or information, it is farmers who give the most accurate reports of big cats when spotted and have occasionally had evidence on their farm in the form of attacked animals with claw marks. So there could be truth behind the rumours of wild exotic cats in your local area you may think are otherwise false.

Source: Daily Telegraph – Jasper Copping – March 2010

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