Migrating cats

One odd behaviour characteristic that several researchers have concluded is that many of the large black animals possibly being leopards seem to move around at certain times of year coinciding with movements of people; for example, in the summer months in areas where human activity is high, the cats seem to vanish and keep a low profile and their field signs cannot be found often for several months. I have found this on the isle of Purbeck where most of my study areas are. The cats seem to move away after the May bank holiday and go deeper into the forests, only to return in September time ! this seems to happen every year and I am not surprised as so many people visit beaches and heathland sites that the cats do not like the disturbance. This also means that territories are not exactly static and there must be some give and take between rivals. However, just as I predicted, the beginning of September would again yield scats and scrapes in the usual area. below is the first scat found for eight weeks in my most prolific study area.



This is a cat scat possibly the same female leopard that marks her area for the last seven years in this spot. I expect to find more as autumn approaches and the behaviour change in the Sika deer ( the main prey ) also triggers reaction from the leopards. These scats are no good for D.N.A analysis as they dry out so quickly in the hot sun and they are rarely found fresh.

August report

It has been a summer full of reports fro Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex,Essex, and places in Gloucester which has also had many sightings and I visited a few areas last week. Gloucester has a good network of like minded interested people that work together on reports and gathering evidence. Most of the active people of that area are coming to Dorset to meet the people of down here to have a conference. Also other large cat investigators from throughout Britain will also be coming to give evidence or to talk about their research, or technology used to capture recordings of these elusive animals. This is the first of its kind in this area and the conference is by special invite only. We hope to hold a more open , public awareness night at a later date.

for those people not in the know, an new website for Dorset is now live on the web !        Big cats in Dorset. It is still under construction but will soon have lots of data and information and hopefully an interactive part. (Thanks Marc Eldridge, for Getting that together).

I have received more reports also from North Dorset Somerset borders around the Caundel villages and near sherborne. Yeovil also has had several sightings this year and villages around Glastonbury and Street have also had reports of livestock possibly taken by large cat. Dorchester areas also have had lots of cat sightings and the sea cliff between Weymouth and Bridport also have had many sightings.

more people are reporting the sounds that large cats make, and typical leopard sawings are often to be heard along with yowls of possible pumas. A member of the Dorset group caught a leopard calling on trigger cam several months ago !and perhaps other leopard like noises.

It just goes to show that with perseverance people can achieve the seemingly impossible. very soon many people will have all the evidence that is needed, but for what ? as the real important question to ask is what next ? When we have all the proof needed to convince the sceptics, and the wildlife authorities, and government bodies,What will happen ? Well we will just wait and see. I know that many people would rather the truth not be let out as they fear an eradication programme commencing and the cats would be sought out, trapped shot and gone forever, but I do not see it like that. I want people to know the truth about the cats before jumping to silly conclusions. It is paramount that much research is done by the many amateur cat investigators and filtered out to all public bodies and authorities. We have to keep ahead and be in control or else a panic and fever could take hold if something happened that could cause a witch hunt in the future. Everybody must be educated beforehand,without mass hysteria . The media also have a moral obligation not to cause panic by over sensationalizing the subject.

So many reports

I have basically finished writing my book `The British large cat phenomenon , the Dorset enigma`.

I am now searching for Publishers.

I have had many reports of large cats within the last two months, averaging one a day. most of these reports are not from my areas but from other areas in Britain, usually southern England with most reports from renown hotspots.

Somerset,South Wales,Sussex,Kent and Essex seem to be hot regarding sightings.I am getting more and more reports from within built up cities and towns suggesting urban living rather than transient animals, although some of them will be cats searching for new territory or mates. the cats in my study areas are still busy doing their stuff and an amazing picture is emerging regarding their habits and movements.While I and my colleagues are certain that the main three candidates are free living(lynx,puma and leopard)we are convinced that many are hybrid animals which confuses the situation immensely. I will soon be posting more photos on this page. (watch this space)

Beware of debunkers

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!

2013… the year of evidence ?

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.


Autumn update

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.

Summer hide out

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.

Territorial antics

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.

More evidence and a thank you to all readers

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.



Hybrids or thoroughbreds

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.