unfortunately as with most controversial subjects, especially those subjects dealing with the existence of any odd phenomenon or subject that science has not proven to exist, or refuses to acknowledge the existence off , there will be people busy doing all they can to debunk the subject; people hell bent on trying to put down people who are trying to tell the truth. some of these people are actually believers in such subjects but often due to them trying to get the message over have been put down by other people , maybe told to shut up and debunk others on the same quest.It is believed that one person in particular has an axe to grind. His name is Paul Patterson and was a worker at Glasgow zoo some time ago.He uses a variety of names such as Arron man or big cat man to name a few.He goes out of his way to debunk all people who are trying to educate the public regarding the existence of large cats within Britain, yet he once did a feature in a tabloid newspaper regarding the existence of such, and even stated that he believed that they were breeding.something has now changed so that whenever myself or my colleagues regarding big cat study in Britain post anything within the media, he jumps on it and really criticizes us. I ask all people not to take any notice of him,or other people who try their hardest to cover up this issue. There are also several other notable names who claim to be wildlife experts who also have no idea about the truth regarding large cats in Britain and because of their respect by the public, may be believed regarding their sceptic views on the subject. There is much evidence, and we can either just laugh in the face of these armchair academics !, or fight our way through it!
Lets hope that this year, a new beginning will be for the large cat phenomenon, in regards to new team investigations, new websites, new ideas and more importantly liasings with conservation and biological departments that have the moral interests at hand .It has been so difficult for the last forty years to persuade and authorities that this is for real yet there is no escape npow. large cats have bred successfully in many areas of britain, causing a population explosion last decade.Large cats are common, in the way they can be.That does not mean that therte is a panther around every corner ! but there are far more cats out there than people have thought possible in the past.What is encouraging is the fact that more and more conservation bodies are actually beginning to open their eyes and ears to this issue. As more biologists, zoologists and other scientific professionals and amateurs see evidence for themselves, something will surely have to happen.What would be very wrong and undemocratic is if the government did their own investigations without including all the evidence and reports collected from the hundreds of folk who believed and did hard work over the many years. The data we have passed on may be used without out knowledge.A few universities have seen the potential and are helping out in a few good ways regarding analysis of field signs or other possible evidence. this is a start, lets hope it gets going and with good results.With more and more people purchasing ytrigger cameras and putting them out, it will not be long before we have the ideal smoking gun evidence, that will satisfy the skeptics and debunkers.With so many reports comming in from all across the nation, I cannot cope with them all, that is why there must be another organisation to collect reports from regional reps and store them on a database.The bcib did a good job with that to some degree. We now need something with far more body and structure and with proper agenda. Lets hope that gets going also.
My book is now almost completed; and I am searching for possible publishers.It has taken a ,lot longer than expected as there has been so much new data that I felt must be included, yet one has to draw a line somewhere .
After being involved in several media reports and publications, radio and other media, I have had so many reports from around Britain. this is brilliant , and as usuall, most reports are from people who know what they saw and were not mistaken in any way.There is a common type of report from people that is stereotypical in regards to content. Of all the reports I get, I class ninety percent of them genuine. I have had over thirty from dorset, Twenty from Hampshire, several from sussex, two from kent, five from north Wales, two from south Wales, Several from Bedford, four from Cams, which were of the genuine type.Many others may have been also genuine or misidentifications but because they were fleeting glimses, it is hard to tell. At the moment I am getting many reports of lynxes from all over the UK.Pumas are becoming more frequent within sightings, almost just as many reports of puma than of leopards or perhaps it would be more correct to say’ Large black ‘cats, many of which will be black leopards.
This year has been an exceptional one in regards to all things big cat related.It would seem that peoples acceptance to the idea that we do indeed have wild living large cats is growing, not just within the public domain but professional also. More academics are coming on board, realizing that the evidence is more and more compelling.
One or two well known universities are to be helping out with various types of analysis regarding remains of cat eaten carcasses,T.P.A,(tooth pit analysis) and also D.N.A analysis from hairs.Myself, Rick minter and Frank Tunbridge have helped out in regards to specimens passed over for research. We wait with baited breath for results in the near future.
Many members of the public have also became detectives and and have followed up their own research by finding many large cat field signs. People are collecting scats and remains of kills throughout Britain. Many infrared trigger cameras have been placed in secret places throughout, trying to capture photographs or footage of these animals.There has been little success in regards to the later but there are many clips that show obvious cats, size is an uncertainty often , and even species. More often people are hearing cats calling.Screaming and wailing is the most commonly heard sound, but lately several people have heard roaring and sawing of leopards including myself while I was at the weird weekend in north Devon during August. For the first time ever I heard the distinctive sawing sound repeated three times during the early morning near Woolsery/Hartland area;at east two other people also heard the sounds.I had along with other members of the C.F.Z found field signs of large cats within the area in the past.
Two small I phone clips of video footage were sent to me from within Dorset with the sounds of two leopards interacting.Distinctive roars and growls can be clearly heard over the songs of common birds. On investigating the area I found the remains of a badger that had been eaten by a large cat.
Several other people from different areas of England had also found badger carcasses that had all the hallmarks of being eaten by cats, some in areas where cats had been seen or filmed or photographed.
Many sheep farmers have had livestock taken and although this is not usually of great concern to the farmers as they often have livestock die for one reason or another, but some farmers are being targeted many times . One farmer had eight large lambs killed within a season, and another had six taken. Throughout Britain , hundreds of sheep farmers have had livestock killed and eaten out within one night and in an un- usual way or in a typical way in which they have seen before, stimulating them to look into the matter further.Many farmers have seen he cats responsible, but what is most encouraging is the fact that most of them do not want to kill the cats; they actually like them despite their small loss of earnings. Most farmers are aware of their abilities to eat foxes, badgers, deer, hares rabbits and rats and see that as an asset, and something to admire and to keep.
A skull of a large cat, possibly lynx was found by a person.I have looked at it and concluded that it is genuine.The location is kept secret at the moment.
Many pictures of interesting things are to be put into my book of which I have basically finished writing, but keep adding good stuff as it comes my way.I am looking for a publisher now.
The summer growth of vegetation is dying back, trees are losing their leaves which means more sightings by people.Please feel free to pass on your sightings to me or the relevant investigators to your areas.
The knowledge in regards to these animals within are ecosystem is to be passed into society as a trickle of information, slowly gaining in strength as to not stress people out .We do not want people to panic.There is no reason to panic anyhow, but people are silly and jump to conclusions.
Every summer time it would seem that the large cats take a low profile. Places where holiday makers flood the beaches and woodlands, become quiet with cay activity, but I was surprised to find leopard tracks along a busy beach track last week.there are less sightings during the day as tall vegetation hides many animals , but at dusk the animals are more active as the nights are shorter.
There have been a few reports lately of panther type cats between Salisbury and Wimborne, and swanage is having many sightings of similar animals.
I am giving a talk about my recent large cat evidence at the weird weekend , an annual conference on cryptozoology at Woolsery, north Devon, during the weekend of 17-19 August. Please visit www.C.F.Z.org.uk . It is a fantastic weekend of amazing talks by great people, mainly on cryptozoological subjects but also supernatural.I will be giving my talk around 5pm on the Saturday.
There is an area in one of my study areas where much activity is happening at the moment. A female leopard visits the site about twice a week! she marks her territory with ground signs such as scrapes and scats and sprays. I also have infrared cameras up ready.I am hoping that I get some convincing evidence this time round.I have used trigger cameras for years but with many problems.
This camera is my cheap one, but OK . My best cameras are out somewhere special and are much more hidden and higher off the ground. This camera is situated in an area of wet heathland where no body goes, but lots of wild animals. The large cats seem not too bothered about getting their feet wet !They are bothered about lights on infrared cameras though and avoid them like the plague.These cats seem to be very sensitive and suspicious. Unfortunately, the heat seeking cameras cost thousands of pounds are outside my budget.I would ,love to have sponsorship for a project involving this type of camera.
this is one of the scrapes made by a small female leopard.
and this is another made by the same animal .she does then about a hundred yards apart in prime areas.Here she has left scat also.
this scrape was made by the larger female leopard in the busy area.she scrapes every fifty yards in some places. one of them will have urine in it, and another will usually have scat.Note how the pile of debris is formed by her hind feet carefully scraping up the earth and forming the mound. Her scats were deposited three meters away.
These field signs are evidence that leopards are well established in many parts of the UK and behave in a natural manner.The scat contains hair of sika deer as do most of them, although one of her scats contained hair and whiskers and bones of a domestic cat,such as the one below.
These are some of the scats I found and collected in just one day in one of my study areas.I have a feeling that the larger female is pregnant. If so , then she will move away to a more secure area with inaccessible cliffs to have her cubs in a cave. The pieces of bone are from a domestic dog.Many dogs go missing in Dorset and on the isle of Purbeck, half a dozen went within a week. I do not know if any were returned or not, but my suspicions are that at least two were taken by leopards.Dog walkers must remain vigilant and control their dogs especially if they are let off the lead.Dogs that go off chasing deer are more at risk of bumping into large cats.So be warned.
I am pleased to say that over the last few months I have been inundated with lots good feedback from this blog. So many people have congratulated me for my interesting posts and I have been overwhelmed with the sheer volume of comments. Obviously replying to each comment would take up a lot of my time , so I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who have sent in comments. They are all very much appreciated. I will be publishing the lots in the near future. I receive about fifty a day and have only had four remarks that could be considered nasty. That is good going considering that still so many people are very skeptical about large cats living in the UK.It is a shame that most of them are just spam ! Spammers please stop it and show some consideration. If there are genuine people who would like to hold genuine conversations in regards to any of my work, then please contact me at the details given in the` contact me ‘ section. Thank you.
I plan to enlarge the site with more updated information and a link to a new group that is to be set up in my local area. In my area of Purbeck and the New forest there are more serious investigators all willing to participate. Watch this space !
I receive so many sightings of large cats that I could not possibly put them on my website or even follow them all up. To me, sightings are of not much real interest any more, as many are old and are meaningless for my research although they all could have a place in regards to archive data. At the moment I am concentrating on very recent sightings in certain areas where I have my study areas in a bid to try and suss out territories of the dozen or more leopards in this area and possibly equal number of pumas. I receive more sightings of animals that fit these two species, or hybrids of the two, and not many reports of lynx. I have only had three good reports of lynx in Dorset during 2011. I had my first report of a jungle cat In Poole Harbour this year which is interesting as the area is perfect for them and I only once found footprints of possible jungle cat near reed beds five years ago.This species has been recorded many times from the Weymouth areas especially around the large lakes, and Portland.The jungle cat (felis chaus) is now used in the hybridization of domestic cats and the `chausi’ , is now quite a common designer breed, along with two other hybrid cats, the bengali , a cross between the leopard cat (f, bengalensis), and domestic cat. Also the savanna cat, a cross between domestic cat and the Serval (f.serval). These smaller cat species confuse matters as many people miss identify them as lynx or even leopard. Although they are larger than domestic cats they are much smaller than lynx or leopard. I found a small footprint just last week of a smaller cat that could be jungle cat.
The print is in the center of the photo to the left of the typical dog print, there is fore foot and hind foot.the fore foot is very similar to a badger and of similar size but has four toe pads.the prints were in the grey heathland soil near one of the many streams that flow into Poole Harbour and nearby are vast reed beds, the perfect habitat.I have found small scats containing remains of curlew, teal and mallard and have suspected them to be of one of the smaller felids if not fox.
Last week whilst helping out with a documentary for Bournemouth Media School I came across a scrape, footprints and scats of the female leopard that regularly hunts in a certain area.
The cat was moving fast and the space in between prints were about a meter.On some prints, only the toes showed and no planter pads which may suggest that she was stalking, or making a hasty retreat from danger.
This is the scrape she made about fifteen meters from the several footprints.Leopards scrape with their rear feet in a very similar way to dogs after they have deposited droppings. Leopards rarely leave dung by the scrape but often deposit urine in them. Most of the ones I find are empty but a spray may be nearby, and in this case about ten meters away on the trunk of an old holly tree. Three lots of scats were deposited at intervals of about sixty yards, some were fresh from the night before, as were the other signs, the other scats were possibly several days in between. I have worked out that this animal patrols this area every four to six days and she has a very small territory of what seems like seven square kilometers.
In another area about three miles away, another footprint and scrape was found in an area again that is a very good hunting area, full of deer, cover and water. I believe that this is a different animal.Below is the left fore foot print.
Here is the scrape.
There was urine by this one and I could smell it long before reaching it as I was down wind.
In my study areas the remains of deer are all too present, and almost everywhere I go I find bones of deer, some were road victims and scavenged by both cats and foxes, but approximately two thirds of them are the direct result from cats hunting and killing, and then consuming the bodies.
These remains of a young sika stag were found by another person, keen on large cat research.
The picture below shows the spine and how the ribs are cleanly sheered off near the base by large carnassial teeth.
One of the most challenging aspects of the large cat subject has been whether or not the animals in question are true types, hybrids or unknown species. some people think that they may be evolved types particular to the UK. Well, evolution is always at work, and all animals and plants are adapting themselves to survive, and that includes any mammals that are in the wrong place at any given time. But, what is the wrong place? that is surely a human concept as we think that something is either right or wrong and we tend to judge others albeit human or animal.There can be no wrong in the large scheme of things in relation to wildlife at least, as everything sorts itself out in the long run. We humans only look into the short term aspects of out fleeting lives in a planet that has lived for billions of years, had many mass extinctions, continent misplacement, disruption of all kinds resulting in animal and plant species movements across the entire world. There is one easy way of looking at this; all animals and plants are native to earth regardless of what country they come from, just like people. I am not suggesting that we should allow all kinds of living organisms to flourish wherever they like or where humans want them to be, but where the damage has already been done I do believe that things should be left as they are and perhaps better prevention in future of none native animals or plants invading other lands if damage may well persist. Ecologists have been too keen to point to none natives and falsely claim that damage is being done. Many none natives play vital roles in the equilibrium of the food chain and if some species were to be taken out, then all hell would break lose and we would lose certain species that are native, but depend on none natives for food and recolonization of former habitats were they were once exterminated. Rabbits ,rats and grey squirrels are prime examples.There are many species that have caused much damage to environments of course. Pumas and leopards are not native and people would no doubt be quick to point fingers and accuse. Leopards were once native to the UK, when we were joined to Europe and there is actually no natural reason as to why they went.Pumas in their modern form have not lived in Europe. Cats are cats, and most of them are not specialists and are very adaptable and change to suit their environment.A leopard or puma would not be out of place in the UK as they would not target a certain species for food or to over hunt a species to extinction.It is worth remembering that the natural range of the common leopard is the whole of the old world except Australasia. The natural range of the puma is the whole of the American continent. We could of had it on the other side of the Atlantic but that did not happen after the break up .The jaguar evolved into its type later on and survives today in the south America and some southerly North American states.The cats either adapt or die out.so far, both cats have survived and adapted and do what they do best and that is to eat a variety of prey especially deer, with some smaller carnivores alongside.Such a development is healthy within the natural cycles of life and vital .The UK has been without apex predators for such a long time that the balance had got out of hand hence the huge numbers of deer, foxes, badgers, rabbits etc.Now things can change for the better as the apex predator takes control,that is if the animals are allowed to do so by humans.Intervention could cause chaos if authorities were to work on the notion that these animals are detrimental to the environment. Having both puma and leopard is one thing but what if these animals have managed to interbreed and create a hybrid ? firstly, I know that many zoologists would naturally scorn at such ideas and given their general knowledge of such then that is understandable, but things can change especially if humans have interacted in an unnatural way. We have never been confronted with a situation of two similar species of large cats that have not lived on the same continent co existing in a smallish area before, so have never reaped results.One can assume, but in reality, nature knows best and works in ways in which we humans are often surprised. Cats can interbreed and in captivity many hybrids have been created.In the wild they do not usually as they started off together then went their own different paths creating new species when and where applicable, that is how evolution works. When a certain situation arises such as too few of a certain species or two separate species co existing, then the species may try to merge back , almost like a devolution. Desperate animals can create change and maybe that has happened in the near past when there had not been too many of each species in question. I do believe that there are genuine puma and leopard in the UK as well as lynx.The animals I have seen mostly fit the typical cat types to look at, but recently, over the last ten years or so there seems to be so much anecdotal evidence to suggest that cat species are hybridizing.I do believe that leopards and puma have been doing so.The behavior of animals seen by people seem to fit both species.The black, brown, spotted or striped cats seem to act more like pumas in respect to sounds,and movement, but like leopards in respect to hiding prey.I look at much hair collected mainly by myself but also other people from different parts of the UK and I am finding interesting results from my analysis. I look at the hair in a very basic way under the microscope and look at the medulla within the hair and the outer scaling.Leopards are different to puma or lynx generally but I am finding more hair that does not look like any particular species but as if a combination of two species, such as leopard and puma.Black hair that one would assume to be melanistic leopard has the medulla of a puma ! Also their seems to be giant domestic cats out there also! I do not know if there are puma and domestic cat hybrids but I think that it is very possible. So we have a dilemma on our hands:that not only do we definitely have leopard, puma and lynx living wild and breeding but we have all kinds of hybrid cats !This must cause a real head ache to all that are serious about biologically assessing what species we have.Then people will need to decide whether or not we want hybrid animals if indeed we want large cats of any kind in the UK. Again, left to nature things will settle down in time, I casually say. If we were to disappear and return a few thousand years from now, we may find an unknown species of large cat in UK unlike any we previously knew before. That species would have evolved from a mix of hybrids and recreated its own, or two species. That is how things happen. Humans on the other hand would want to intervene as usual and take control. I do not believe that authorities would want to leave things to settle down and let nature take its own route. I think that intervention of a lethal kind will prevail. Sooner or later a government department will meet and decide what to do,how to spend money on eradicating, how to tell the public, how to incorporate large cats into the teaching of environmental science, schools, farming, veterinary science, etc.One thing is for sure, given the current financial situation we are in , I cannot see any forthcoming proper eradication programme being successful, even if it were in place and had been for years.The animals are many and if we humans survive this century then many people are going to have to pick up the pieces.I personally do not see the cats as being a big problem at the moment, and I will reserve judgement on possible future problems or challenges.
The issue at the present time is complex with many formed groups, websites, people in on it from all angles.There are researchers all across the UK doing their bits with varying amounts of both knowledge and commitment. There is also a lot of jealousy among groups and especially individuals in regards to knowledge and evidence.This has led many folk to shy away from groups and do it alone.there are so many so called experts on the case who are actually far from expert in this field.There are armchair experts that have no knowledge of natural history who think that they are the best !There is so much disagreement within the subject that it could cause a war, with so many idiots jumping on board and writing rubbish on blogs etc.Even among good groups there is so much that many people just do not understand.What is more debatable at the moment is not how to prove that large cats exist in the UK, but how to deliver the message to the general public who have not been given the truth by the authorities.The authorities know all about these animals. They chose to hide the truth and for some good reasons although I personally am not one of these nanny state people who do not like upsetting the apple cart. Truth should be told at all costs as the repercussions of hidden truths backfire tenfold.The government has a moral obligation to reveal the truth in the right way, without causing panic, or accusations or claims for lost livestock.It can be done in such a way as not to cause too much of a problem. Causing disrespect to people who have researched this subject for years is no good, and damaging to their reputations and life in general. It is no real big deal, we are only talking large cats here, not planet invading aliens !and yes there is a very small potential for large cats to eat people sometimes, but domestic dogs kill people every year and nothing is done about the escalating problem of dog keeping.We must put things into perspective here and make sure that the uneducated portion of the public do not panic and accuse.What heightens the problem is the media with the sensational headlines of `Deer ripped apart’ or` cow had its throat torn out by big cat ‘etc etc.These kind of stories only fuel the public ignorance and must be stopped.People are gullible and we know all too well how witch hunts start !
I visited a new area of Purbeck, an area where I rarely go and indeed have not investigated then area fully. On doing so I came across a good area for leopard to hunt and lie up in dense woodland and heath well away from the beaten track. Many large old Scots pines grow here and as usual are great for searching for marks of leopards that shin up them.Here are some of the claw marks that can be found, from the deeper gouge cut,
to the scrape claw mark
such as this.There are several other animals that regularly scratch the bark of tree trunks ,deer mark the lower areas, squirrels and woodpeckers mark anywhere but have similar sized claws and do not make many long scratches but more plucking, like nicks.When a cats claws are blunt, they cut a squared of furrow just like this.Also at the top of the pic, one can see where an old scratch occurred mirror imaging the fresher one. leopard likes to use the same route up the tree and often places its feet , thus its claws in the same place.Underneath the trees were the remains of roe and sika deer, such as this young roe, with a third tine on its right antler, they had been eaten down by rodents.
Near by was a nice spoor of a big cat.
I visited an area of the Longleat estate in Wiltshire where there had been reports of lynx, as well mas many reports of big black cats.As it had snowed with several centimeters on the ground,I could not resist a look. On investigating some hedgerows that border the thick vast forest, I came across the footprints of what look more like lynx, they were the right size and they weaved in and out of the hedge as if stalking another animal.There were trails of badger, fox and roe alongside them.
I must add something in regards to my friends Rick Minter and Frank Tunbridge in Gloucester and the DNA results of the two deer carcass remains.It is a shame that no positive results were found from big cats(so we are told) but that should not put people off or discredit the two in any way.If indeed no match was found then simply, the deer were not killed and eaten by cats as the DNA would have been there unless swabs were not taken correctly. It may be that the deer on this occasion had nothing to do with big cats but may have been killed by dogs and then scavenged by foxes, but certainly most of the deer remains found eaten in this region are certainly the work of big cats and it is a shame that this time, at such a good time with such media cover and commitment that no good result has come out of it.I myself ,do believe that the deer were killed and eaten by cats , but maybe the truth of the results cannot be revealed, a common practice regarding this type of testing.If the people doing the tests could only carry out the good work on other remains, then sooner or later the desired result will be obtained.There are many conspiracies to cover up the big cat truth and that is why many people are suspicious in regards to this kind of evidence finding.foxes do not hunt deer and cannot bring down adult roe deer, at the most they can only manage new born roe that are left by parents but it is rare as the kids do not smell, so to not attract predators, and they freeze when they see movement.such hype about foxes will only fuel peoples hatred for them and we know what happened in regards to the lies told about the London foxes that bit the baby !after climbing entering a house and climbing stairs. Rubbish! ! we now know that either designer cats or terrier dogs were involved.badgers are also not as predatory as people like to think and cannot bring down deer: they eat mainly earth worms.
the newspapers must learn to be more responsible when publishing articles, especially sensationalizing headlines regarding the hunting and feeding techniques of large cats. cats do not rip the throats out of deer or sheep and they do not tear apart deer but they quietly stalk, ambush, and deliver a swift bite and kill their prey quickly before cleanly eating them in typical cat fashion.If we want the general public to acknowledge the fact that large cats have been sharing our countryside with us for generations then we must tell the truth, and from all angles.no cover ups, no sensations,proper education and responsible news articles please.