I never get involved in these big cat threads or pay much attention to them until tonight because this has come from a very good friend of mine.
I got a text message an hour ago asking what eats nose, ears and pluck from a kill. I am no expert but suggest that the pluck eaten is a sign of cats in the wild but if the carcass is 24hrs old any number of animals could have had a nibble. He then tells me they have lost two lambs on the estate in the last week and both found displaying same signs and he tells me that last Monday he saw the animal and it was way bigger than a domestic cat with a tail longer than the body. I ask him how close he was to it and he was within 15m, just after 9pm! So, very close for a good look and not too dark. It came out the ditch in front of him and crossed a forest road before heading off into cover. He says at that distance he guessed the size of a big dog.
Now I have known him for many years and he is a very experienced stalker and has a good knowledge of animals and dogs and is adamant this is nothing he has seen before. He is out tonight with the 270 looking for it!!!
It's funny because I have never given the possibility that there are any cats out there a second though until it comes from someone you trust and his experience was so close up.
Maybe he will settle this argument once and for all this evening!!!
I am not mentioning his name or location except he is up North, just in case he is successful