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Author Topic: British Mystery Big Cats
Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Waby:
I have seen a big cat. I dont care who beleives me. It is rare to see one but they are out there. And no, it wasnt a domestic cat, big dog or were wolf as it was about 10 foot away from me. I dont get why people would be suprised that they exist as we have always known and its not some big mystery.



Welcome to the board, Waby. The laws of probability would suggest that the likelihood of us discussing two things which actually happened to you are quite slim. Not calling you a liar or anything, but these are both fairly unusual things to happen to someone, and for them both to have happened to you is certainly a turn up for the books.

You'll find, however, that "this really happened to me, I can't prove it, but this really happened to me, honest" isn't really given that much credence in our sceptical, evidence-based community. Particularly when it happens so shortly into their time on the board. You see, one of the regrettable things about a message-board devoted, at least in theory, to the study of Urban Legends, is that people join specifically for the purpose of propounding Urban Legends, so we tend to give people making astonishing claims with nary a shred of evidence to back them up rather short shrift.

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Billy Biggles
Deck the Malls


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Originally posted by Waby:

quote:
They live quiet, shy lives away from people and they need to be left alone as they havent done anything wrong.
That's either badgers or poicemen you've got there son, and in either case they can transmit diseases to you, so go garshly.

quote:
Why anyone would want to report the incident to a journalist is beyond me. They would simply organise a witch hunt and have its dead carcass displayed through the village surrounded by burning torches, a film crew and an angry mob.
Nothing wrong with hauling journalists around the village. Round here we make our own entertainment.
The carcass would have to be dead, otherwise it wouldn't be a carcass, although in the case of the journalist we're prepared to settle for tortured and bleeding.

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Cogito ergo sum, non sum qualis eram. Putting Descartes before the Horace every time.

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Billy Biggles
Deck the Malls


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Corrigendum: Pro 'poicemen' supra, videatur 'policemen' passim. Cucullus non facit monachum, et ne illegitimis carborundum.

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Cogito ergo sum, non sum qualis eram. Putting Descartes before the Horace every time.

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Elwood
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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I will say that there is something about black cats that makes them appear bigger than they are. I honestly had trouble believing the numbers when the vet weighed and measured my black domestic cat. He looks so much bigger than his brother, but he's really of comparable size and weight.

OTOH, most cats being crepuscular and all, people aren't often awake and in a wooded area when such creatures would be up and about. I would think somebody would find some evidence eventually, but if it's just one escapee, it could hang around for quite a while before anyone found it.

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"If I didn't see it and didn't know it was a real news report, I wouldn't believe it. I mean, how nutty can you get?"-Pat Robertson Oct 26, 2006.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Pikey Queen:

quote:
Originally posted by Waby:
I have seen a big cat. I dont care who beleives me. It is rare to see one but they are out there.

I don't think anyone is denying there may be big cats out there. The question is whether it would be possible to sustain a breeding population.
PQ, I don't know exactly what you mean by this, but it may be confusing to some. The question is not strictly about wild big cats breeding in the UK, but rather about whether there are any living in the wild at all. There is no good evidence to support this.

A big cat is something like a leopard, jaguar, lion, tiger or puma. Few would say that these cats couldn't scrounge out a wild life in the British Isles. They certainly wouldn't have the same prey nor populations of prey that would be found in their native regions. But other than anecdote, eyewitness accounts, pawprints (that turn out to be not big cat) and dead or injured livestock (that turn out to be attributable to other attackers), we have no kind of evidence for their presence.

Never mind a breeding population, we don't really know if there are any individual big wild cats in the UK.

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:
quote:
Originally posted by Pikey Queen:

quote:
Originally posted by Waby:
I have seen a big cat. I dont care who beleives me. It is rare to see one but they are out there.

I don't think anyone is denying there may be big cats out there. The question is whether it would be possible to sustain a breeding population.
PQ, I don't know exactly what you mean by this, but it may be confusing to some. The question is not strictly about wild big cats breeding in the UK, but rather about whether there are any living in the wild at all. There is no good evidence to support this.
I fear I may have posted when I was delirious from the flu. Having reread it, it makes very little sense.

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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Don't tell me, you didn't have a camera right? And nobody else saw it, or at least they didn't have cameras either, and there was no way you could tell anybody, the RSCPA, the local media, passers by, because you didn't have a mobile phone either - you just saw a big cat and like 'everybody' else who's seen one you don't have a shred of evidence? Right?[/QB]
I had to laugh when I read this because it made me think of when I saw a fox a few weeks ago...luckily people believed me. [Big Grin]
I was standing outside my house at night waiting for a ride (alone) when a large fox walked down the sidewalk as if it belonged there. It must have heard or smelled me or something, because it stopped at the gangway to my house and turned to look at me before calmly continuing on! I've never seen a fox here in Chicago before so I was very surprised, especially so close (maybe 20 ft. away.) I guess I should not be surprised as we have a canal nearby which is like a wild animal highway, and there was a dog attacked by a coyote just about a mile away. I wish I had a camera, it was pretty neat!
Of course it's much less likely to see a "big cat" than a fox but there have been cases where they have been found in non-native areas, presumably pets or zoo animals which escaped/were set free.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Of course it's much less likely to see a "big cat" than a fox but there have been cases where they have been found in non-native areas, presumably pets or zoo animals which escaped/were set free.
The crux of the biscuit is that nobody 'ever' has a camera etc etc. There are so many 'sightings' claimed yet never 'ever' a shred of evidence, which surprises few wildlife enthusiasts in this country.

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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dlloyd
I Saw Three Shipments


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Well, last night I may just have seen the creature mentioned in the two articles I quoted above, around midnight on a country road within five miles of both sightings. I got within ten meters of it and got a good look at it.

It wasn't a panther, I'm slightly sad to say. [Wink]

Its movement was not dog-like and it was too big to be a domestic cat. If it were further away, I can see it being mistaken for a big cat. It was black and had the bushy tail mentioned in a lot of reports from this area.

I reckon I saw a black fox.

No, not with mange.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by dlloyd:

I reckon I saw a black fox.

Are you confidant that it was a fox and that it was black? If so, you had an unusual sighting. Your only native wild fox is the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and it is usually red. There is a rare wild color variant that is nearly black, but those are almost exclusively local populations (where black is the dominant color) outside of the UK. The fur trade has selectively bred the red fox to be pure black. Though unlikely, that might explain a black fox in the UK.

The red fox can be very dark in color while still being reddish. It could be possible that under some circumstances they might look black.

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dlloyd
I Saw Three Shipments


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The foxes around here are usually red. I see them fairly regularly.

This thing was black, was running away from my car on the left hand side of the road, and couldn't get away due to a fence. It ran across the road less than 10 m in front of me, and darted through a hedge. It was fully illuminated by my headlights.

I can't be 100% sure that it was a fox... it may have been an unusually fox-like (but black) dog with a very fox-like gait. Being Halloween, it might have been a duck in a fox costume...

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catzeye
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Hi,i grew up in country N.S.W.[Australia] and my brother and i plus a friend were moving cattle on horseback when my brother and i both saw what we thought was some kind of strange white dog race off through the bush from a small dam where it must have been drinking or hunting,ducks etc.
Anyway we chased it through the bush and got close enough to the animal to see that it was an albino fox, we actually saw another one in a small country pub near swan hill in a glass cabinet [it was stuffed] yeah so why not a black fox??

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I'm not saying it wasn't a black red fox. I'm just saying that that would be a rare animal in the UK wild.

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dlloyd
I Saw Three Shipments


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...but more likely than a panther?
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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I don't really know how to answer that.

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Llewtrah
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Melanism sometimes happens in foxes through chance mutation. Foxes can also go odd-coloured through rolling in stuff (just like domestic dogs roll in stuff) so could it have been a fox that had rolled in bonfire ashes?

Other species of fox are kept as exotic pets in the UK and don't need a licence. Most originated from fur farms and occasionally some escape from their owners. One of the animal rescue TV shows showed an RSPCA call-out to recapture a silver fox that had escaped from a back garden enclosure. The ones I've seen are more compact than our native red foxes (less leggy). Is it possible you've seen an escapee?

I'd have loved photos of an albino or melanistic red fox! I'm one of those people who goes trawling round musuems and zoos getting photos of genetic aberrations in animals - albinism, melanism, mutants and hybrids! I have several webpages of pics - I've photographed an albino Blandford's Fox (taxidermy), but not an albino or melanistic red foxes.

A few weeks ago I saw what appeared to be a roe deer fawn beside the road - totally the wrong season. It was tiny - smaller than a fox (we have loads of foxes here). Then I saw a muntjac fawn on TV - same spotted pattern and much closer in size to the fawn. There are definitely oddities to be seen in the British countryside in the darker hours and camera phones rarely have decent flash for getting pics.

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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There are a few pictures on this site.

melanistic red fox

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Allur heimurinn skr
Nema stendur

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
dlloyd said:
Its movement was not dog-like

Apologies if I posted this earlier in the same thread... but I fairly recently saw an animal that made me start precisely because I thought its movement was "un-doglike": a large, black animal with a loping gait.

I waited around for a while. FInally the dog's owner followed it through a gap in the fence. I was interested that my first gut reaction on seeing a large, unfamiliar-looking black animal was "ooh! I wonder if it's a big cat?!" (despite the nil likelihood of seeing anything like that in the Guildford area - I don't even think we have any local big cat stories).

ETA: Wouldn't you know it? Surrey does have its own big-cat lore after all (that'll teach me to make cosy smug assumptions about the stockbroker belt...):

The Surrey Puma

Surrey Puma captured on tape!

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Embra:

Surrey Puma captured on tape!

quote:
Now Do You Believe There Are Big Cats Living In The Surrey Countryside?
No. They have a video of this felid and all we are shown is this still? It's a moggie. Every photo or video I have seen of UK "big cats" are of housecats. Some are spectacularly obvious. But that doesn't prevent the believers from posting them on their cultish websites.

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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"Felid"?! Excellent. Note to self: Buy cat and name it "felid"....

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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Llewtrah
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quote:
Originally posted by Pikey Queen:
There are a few pictures on this site.

melanistic red fox

The second of those links isn't a melanistic red fox. In North America, red foxes come in 2 phases - red and black - plus an intermediate form known as the cross fox (red with darker markings). A melanistic fox would be a glossy black colour, possibly with white markings, but not with the red around the head. In Britain (and probably mainland Europe), we only have the red phase of red fox. No black phase and no intermediate cross fox.

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Embra:
"Felid"?! Excellent. Note to self: Buy cat and name it "felid"....

Personally I prefer "Kitler" and "Pussolini"

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
"Kitler"
wow. When I think how lucky I was to have avoided that nickname at school...

I suppose Chairman Miaow's waaaay to obvious now.

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Llewtrah:
quote:
Originally posted by Pikey Queen:
There are a few pictures on this site.

melanistic red fox

The second of those links isn't a melanistic red fox. In North America, red foxes come in 2 phases - red and black - plus an intermediate form known as the cross fox (red with darker markings). A melanistic fox would be a glossy black colour, possibly with white markings, but not with the red around the head. In Britain (and probably mainland Europe), we only have the red phase of red fox. No black phase and no intermediate cross fox.
Ah [fish] to me then!

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Allur heimurinn skr
Nema stendur

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dlloyd
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by dlloyd:
Its movement was not dog-like and it was too big to be a domestic cat. If it were further away, I can see it being mistaken for a big cat. It was black and had the bushy tail mentioned in a lot of reports from this area.

I reckon I saw a black fox.

I've since spoken to a friend who was with me in the car... he reckons it was a dog.
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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Wales: Police warn of 'big cat' in hills

(The photo shows a dog paw print in mud)

South West England claws to top of big cats list

(The video shows numerous black housecats)

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Llewtrah
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A big part of the problem is that people, especially non-experts, see what they want to see rather than what is really there.

I had a recent email from a driver who believes he saw a "big cat" dead on the roadside, but sadly didn't stop to check the body. It would have made big news and possibly a lot of money from the tabloid papers.

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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They see what they want to see, even when there are photos and videos.

New Zealand big cat screwup shows a housecat

Hoosier big cat screwup.

Update - Pro trapper hired to get housecat.

Hoosier cat video. Notice when the black housecat leaps, you can see the bright white chin and chest.

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Llewtrah
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In that case, I got jumped on by what felt like a cougar last night. While in bed. Logic tells me it was my very own black moggy, but at that time in the morning it sure felt a lot bigger [lol]

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Barns & No Bull:
They see what they want to see, even when there are photos and videos.

New Zealand big cat screwup shows a housecat

I like the TV clip that goes with that one - they interview a lorry driver who apparently saw a "big cat", and in the establishing shot of him driving up in his lorry, a black housecat that looks just like the one in the pictures runs across the road behind him without comment...! The news crew had a sighting and didn't even notice!

Some of those pictures are so obviously just a housecat that you wonder how anybody could have thought differently. Especially the photo in the NZ news clip of a cat crouching in the grass. Most of the photos you can see that the scale isn't obvious and so might be confusing, but in that one you can clearly see blades of grass in front and behind it, and it's the size of a normal cat! It doesn't even look plain black, more tabbyish...

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The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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quote:
It has been suggested that the large cat-like creature looks just like a North American cougar or mountain lion.
Well in that case, I spotted a "mountain lion" just a few hours ago:

 -

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Allur heimurinn skr
Nema stendur

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Llewtrah
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Well I'm just off to buy some food for the black panther spotted in my kitchen this morning. Must fix the magnetic catch of the panther-flap too ....

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Barns & No Bull
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Be careful with those pumas and panthers around the house. Generally, these animals will not attack unless provoked or approached.

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Mine attacks when the sight of an empty foodbowl provokes her. I have to throw kibble and run away quick to avoid being mauled by her rough tongue. You try doing crochet with a "black puma" on your lap trying to "kill" the crochet hook.

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Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
Llewtrah's Soapbox

Posts: 2040 | From: Chelmsford, Essex, England | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
The Pikey Snow Queen
The First USA Noel


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Through careful research and observation of said creature, I have determined her natural prey consists of terrified dogs, the wires at the back of my keyboard and the lesser spotted laundry basket. Have also discovered her lair.

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Brosandi. Hendumst hringi
Hldumst hendur
Allur heimurinn skr
Nema stendur

Posts: 694 | From: York, UK | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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