I agree, I think there would be more evidence of the presence of a big cat. They will stick to a known prey area, so it would be more noticeable when livestock went missing. If they are supposed to have survived wild for the last 30 odd years, then it's logical they must be breeding, either that or the original "escapees" would be pretty much on deaths doorstep by now. So with breeding comes increased numbers and increased chances of sightings and increased livestock going missing or being found dead.
Well apparently theres one in Bexley in Kent... sheep go missing and peoples cats etc... i think they are out there... think how well a Panther would blend into the darkness... you'd only see its eyes...
Not that anyone beleives us but me and my grandad saw a cougar in Thetford Forest in the summer of '98.
We were on a camp site, went for a bike ride only a road on the edge of the forest. As we got closer to it, it ran off. Then that night we heard what cud only be described as a giant meow - like you wud imagine from a bigger cat.
there are several known cats out and about in the uk, when you start to talk to people IN the countryside.. who live and work there.. whose time is spent there in hobbies and so on..
Dorset: my ex has seen something whilst out fishing round ringwood, on the edge of the new forest, as have several of his fishing mates
Surrey: a farming friend, out riding, had a "large tawny cat, with tufted ears" cross in front of her horse
Devon: a farming friend again, has clawed trees on her land, has neighbours with a carcass found half way up a tree, and has had calls from the farmhouse across the way to say "are your chickens in, and the dogs shut up, as we can see something large and black outside your chicken shed at the moment"
Lincolnshire: a friend with an exotics refuge down the road from here, has, amongst other things, female puma. when they are in season, you can stand on her land and hear the wild male who lives locally, calling from the woods that border the fields nearby.
Lincolnshire again: down our lane infact.. the dogs went after something last year, which was the same size as dora, the 6ft wolfhound. one dog froze in fear and wet itself... dora, the other took off after it.. once the dog had been recaught, whatever it was followed rory back up the lane, keeping pace with him through the fields opposite.. being a pitch black night in the countryside with no illumination.. details were not visable tho.. so we can't say for sure that it was X or Y.. but we have ruled out things like fox, badger, deer and so on.. and you begin to run out of candidates.. and knowing there is definitely big cat living within 12 miles of here.. you do wonder lol..
but then there are other things loose in the uk landscape.. from the better know wild boars to racoons to harris hawks to porcupines to corn snakes.. there are quite a few non native species who adapt just nicely to our shores..
haha, yeah the first way although a cat under a sheet would be pretty cool as well, I havnt ever seen one personally, but I believe they are there big cats that is, but like ghosts some people find it hard to believe if they havnt ever seen one themselves.
oh trust me, i don't think it is.. lol.. i've not seen one no, but i know people who have done.
oddly (or not) enough i get to hear of some of the more colourful finds in the uk countryside these days..
for instance.. and as far as i am aware i am not not supposed to say, but an porcupine was captured this weekend in the uk countryside, i won't go into where, and i don't know all that much more about it than that, only that we were asked for general advice and contacts during the course of it..
i'm glad to say, a home had already been arranged for it beforehand, just in case the hunt was sucessful... lol, but imagine what the guy who bumped into that initially must of thought..
is it a bird.. is it a plane.. no.. its a sodding porcupine.. *eh* ???!!!
lets see, as said there are racoons, in north lincs i think.. and what else.. oh yes, an arctic fox in middlesex.. there was a cat shot dead by a farmer too somewhere.. mind you i am told there are corn snakes living and breeding wild in parts of essex too these days.. which makes you wonder when you see the thread from the guy who found a hatchling in his garage..
I think you should all get to the DWA forum and give this info to our very own big cat wrangler Mika lol.
Seriously though I reckon theres a good chance of these animals being around. I can't help be sceptical though. I feel maybe some of this is genuine, the rest is what I call Nessy syndrome. Sounds good if you've seen this stuff etc. No offence to anyone, maybe you have seen it, but I doubt all of you have
this is faaaar removed from any of the nessy esque situations.
I think a little background explaining is in order.
In 1976 the DWA was intorduced because things like big cats were becoming 'popular' (as far as any expnsive 'niche' animals can be) as pets. The DWA was introduced to comabat this amongst other things.
Whe the act was intorudced owners had three choices.
1 - apply for a licence which for most would ahve meant needing to make significant improvements in the way they keep their animals.
2 - have it put to sleep
3 -donate it to a zoo or other instituation.
Unfortunately (bearing in mind this is 1976) it was not illegal to release animals like that into the wild in the UK until 1980-81, obviously a fair few people went this route.
Now I would accept the Nessie comparison if pior to 1976 there were thousands of hosuehold with a pet nessie
Now to cover the usual points:
There have been actual large cats CAPTURED (as in captured, not just blurry photos etc) that were roaming the UK and no zoo or instituation could be found who was "missing one" of that species.
Next people normally turn to "don't be silly it's far too cold" or "don't be silly we'd notice if big cats were eating all our livestock.
1 - climate. They managed perfectly well in cages on peoples gardens, or in enclosures outside in zoos etc. Whats changed?
2 - food. they don't eat as muhc as people think, and this is only a small population, it's not liek there are thousands of the things. Britain has plenty of suitable prey items for large cats, they wouldn't go hungry! I'll also point out that not many native UK predators can rip out a sheeps throat and use trees as scratching posts (as in large deep scratch marks in the bark and wood 4-5 feet off the ground! Can't think of muhc that could do that....
another common argument is how come you never see dead ones? Well how often do you see a dead badger? Deer?
In 1989 the body of a jungle cat was found by the side of the road in shropshire, in 1991 a lynx was shot in suffolk (after killing around 15 sheep over a period) and in 1993 a leapard cat was shot on thwe isle of whight
It's also worth considering that most "big cats" kept as pets were not the largest species,species like lynx and jungle cats were very popular. these cats are of a size (and of course the genetics are compatible) that would mean breeding with feral cats is a very high probability.
I myself have seen large cats twice. one in the Melton area and once in the nottinghamshire area. One black and one yellow based.