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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
mandotim BS: Big cats in Britain (55* d) RE: BS: Big cats in Britain 27 Oct 10


There is at least one large cat living in the Staffordshire Moorlands, with lots of sightings, evidence of tracks and a number of confirmed kills of sheep and assorted wild animals. After the legislation (in the 1980s I think) banning the keeping of such animals without an expensive license and much regulation, a lot of large cats were quietly released into the wild. Nature suggests that cats with an enormous territorial range will eventually meet and breed, and it is believed that there are several breeding populations in the UK. In North Staffordshire there are large tracts of remote open land, with cover proved by managed forestry. There are a lot of sheep, deer, rabbits and (honestly!) wallabies.
I'm normally sceptical about such things, but an odd event one early morning a couple of years ago made me delve more deeply. I was driving across the moors from home to Sheffield where I work. A large, light tan coloured animal climbed over a wall in front of me, ran across the road and climbed swiftly up the wall on the other side. It was the size of a large dog, with a long tail and a small, blunt head. I have pet dogs and cats, and this didn't move anything like a dog. I believe it was a big cat, and I was no more than thirty yards away when it disappeared from view behind the wall. I watched it head across a field and out of sight behind another wall.
There have been regular sightings for at least 20 years in the area, which suggests this may well be at least a second generation animal (it certainly didn't move like an old cat!).
Tim (not as sceptical as I was).


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