Big Cats Revisited

#1
I’m hesitant to necro a dead topic but I though this might be useful to some. I noticed that some threads on this forum discuss the controversial topic of big cats in Brittan. I am on the fence on the truth of these matters myself, but I will defer to the opinions of you fellows who have been on the ground there in the UK. Anyway, I thought this pamphlet might come in handy for any who care to take a look. It is a PDF of a field guide put out by the Eastern Cougar Network. By the way, if you are at all interested in the subject of the resurgence of cougar in the Eastern US this is a great website.

http://www.easterncougarnet.org/idguide.html

The document gives pretty detailed information on identifying cougar sign, including tracks and kills. I thought this might be handy for those who might come across a potential kill, as some on this forum claim to have done. It is better to have an authoritative source to differ to rather than hearsay, after all. Cheers.
-Dan
 
K

Kent

Guest
#3
bobt,
Was it Andys place in Scotland, i say this as i think you might be a Yorkshire lad. Heard of tracks but not a sighting there.

I have seen what i thought was a big cat Kill the other year up near Hawes in north yorkshire. on telling my wife on retun she said it came on the radio a lady had reported one crossing the road nearby the same day. Nothing was resolved
 
#4
LOL, nice response bobt. As I meant to make clear before, I give high weight of authority to your experience. I posted this not to stir up talk about this issue for controversy’s sake, but to make everyone who is interested aware of this field guide that I think is interesting and potentially useful. Enjoy.
-Dan
 

bobt

Well-Known Member
#5
No I saw one in Yorkshire about 8 years ago, and another also big and black a couple of years ago, both in good light about 100yds away,
a few mates locally report seeing them close far too close.

the only common thing is that they are all near railway lines.
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
#6
I saw one at 20yrds it wasn't bothered....................... but I was :eek: on a old railway siding. ;) Somebody else reported seeing it and this made the local paper.

My Father in law and sister in law were standing side by side while they watched one walk over a field.

Best rgds

Thar
 

Thar

Well-Known Member
#8
bobt said:
A mate of mine saw one a few yards away in the local woods, it stopped and snarled at him his labrador hid behind him :lol:
I had a ESS with me she didn't seemed bothered about it, mind you she was useless. ;)

Best rgds

Thar
 
K

Kent

Guest
#10
Aint that just a typical Lab ? retrospectively i bet he was glad he didn't have a gamer dog with him, not a fight that would last long and i wouldn't want to be the one to break it up !
 

The Mole

Well-Known Member
#11
JAYB said:
I mean Bill Oddity never had them on his show
Suspect I'll believe in big cats before I believe in him ....

Truth is, I know far too many people whose judgement I trust who have seen them. All I need now is the proof of my own eyes. Preferably at a sensible distance.
 

blueboar

Well-Known Member
#12
I am a newbie to this site, and I was wondering, if anyone has found the remains of any deer carcasess.
the reason I ask is, we found this muntjac carcasess on site a week ago, it had been chased by something, got stuck in a sheepnet fence, where it was killed, then draged out and eaten.

any idea's....

 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#13
I was stalking reds near Wimbleball Reservoir with a mate a few years ago and he reported seeing a large fawn coloured animal walking through bracken with head held lower than the shoulders and he could clearly see the shoulder blades working over the top of the bracken but the bracken was too tall to clearly see the head.

He swears it was a cougar and when we mentioned it to the farmer he said "oh yes, we see it a couple of times a year".
 
K

Kent

Guest
#14
as regards the Munty, i think a big cat should have done more damage to that spine. I am not an experianced hunter of these beasts but it looks to me like much smaller Carrion eaters.
 

john.d.m

Well-Known Member
#15
What I saw twice, wasn`t a cougar,puma, or anything else was a European Lynx, which are dark coloured,not black, has a bobbed tail and pointed tufts on ears, saw it twice once in fading light and once in daylight (when I`d finished deer count early Wayne and was on my way to Petes cafe :lol: ) in Herefordshire.
I got a Siberian Lynx skin here and is same as what I saw except the colour.
You wont find tracks unless you`r very very lucky, as cats dont extend the claws unless they need them and they don`t need them to walk.
 

blueboar

Well-Known Member
#16
Thanks for that Kent, yes small carrion has been picking at the bones, but also the munty has had its ears removed, which is a bit unusual.

We have had cat sightings in the area for the last couple of years, but no pictures yet.

bb
 
#17
I have not had much experience with cat killed deer. However, I have seen a number of coyote and wolf kills. I have found that coyote especially like to go for the ears right away, before many other seemingly more nutritious parts. I have never heard of this trait with regard to cat kills. Perhaps if the coyote has had its fill it would like to chew on the ears similar to a dog chewing on rawhide? Of course, even if it were a dog that had fed on that carcass it would be hard to tell if it were the predator or just scavenging.
 
K

Kent

Guest
#18
yes i cannot see the relivence of ears, by carrion eaters i mean things that feed on dead other things - Crows / foxes etc.

I am not experianced in big cats however i doubt any capable creature should nibble neatly along the spine, the kills i saw the spine was demolished and these were fresh sheep ! Dragged to cover - Now Foxes cannot do that.
Bone marrow is important to a carnivor capable of extracting it i should have thought

I have a friend in Lapland who descibes hunting Lynx as incredibly difficult and requiring a good dose of luck, the thing is if you got a shot would you take it and risk making the problem worse if it were anything but a clean shot, and if it were clean would you admit to it and risk your FAC?

Personally there would have to be a life at real risk and i should be a lot happier if i had one of my bigger calibres with me
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#19
A lynx doesn't represent too much of a threat to humans and there is a good article in the most recent edition of Deer magazine about lynx predation on roe in Sweden and Norway. I was lucky enough to see one whilst fishing in Lapland a few years ago.

For those who are interested the general concensus of opinion about cats in the UK is that there are many credible reports of puma, leopard and lynx. The hotspots seem to be Scotland, the Blackdown Hills/Devon and Wales as well as quite a few in the northern Home Counties/ South Midlands.

The major weakness in the reports is the high incidence of what are described as "black pumas" (or cougars - same thing) which are actually very rare to the extent of being almost unknown in wild populations whereas of course black leopards (panthers) are not that unusual and even form the majority in parts of SE Asia. It might just be a case of mistaken identity as leopards and pumas are quite similar in size.

Personally I think that there is a clear case for pumas and lynx, I'm not so sure about leopards although I wouldn't dismiss it. For our overseas readers information the source of all these cats is believed to be the release of pet or captive big cats after the introduction of the Dangerous Animals Act (I think in the late 1970s) when those who had previously legally kept them in private zoos or as pets were forced to dispose of them being unable or unwilling to meet the new requirements for keeping them. The theory is that they were just driven out to a rural area and let go.

These islands have so many prey animals, both domestic and wild, that the big cat species mentioned would have no trouble in surviving. The biggest question is how they will have managed to procreate given how few and widely dispersed they are even allowing for their normal large territories. One theory for the "black pumas" is that the lack of a same species mate may have resulted in inter species breeding with a black leopard mating with a puma.

I also believe that if one were to be shot there is a good chance that it would be kept quiet for a number of reasons.
 

stone

Well-Known Member
#20
i hav been reading this thread with the upmost of interest as to were and when the sightings hav occured
As many years ago as a child i went with my father on one of these big cat hunts up in the welsh moutains, a hill farmer was losing sheep mainly throats ripped out or bodies devoured just leaving the skeleton neatly licked clean as was the skin
we never saw anything but three days later black fox the size the size of a lab shot by the farmer
then in 89 i was out with the afonwy fox hounds (gun pack) in the same area i saw this dark shape coming at me in the undergrowth at fisrt i thought it was a belgium sheperd (dog) but to my surprise was a large and completely black fox by the time i had recovered from my surprise sighting it was gone
How many of these foxes are there and how many hav been confused for sightings for the secretive big cat by the general public i wonder
 

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