Those who claim to have seen a big cat prowling around the county have at times been ridiculed – but there is one wildlife expert who believes them.Oh, really? David Attenborough? Simon King?
PC Simon Towers, wildlife crime officer for Thames Valley Police, yesterday said he was convinced some of the big cat sightings were true.Oh.
In fact he believes he’s spotted one.Well, that must make him popular with the local defence lawyers:
"So, you claim to have seen my client in the act of stealing a motor vehicles, is that right, officer?"
"Yes, it is."
"Hmmm, and yet, you also claim to have seen the Loch Ness Monster...*consults notes*..ah, pardon my error, a 'British Big Cat'. No such animal exists. So, your powers of observation are a little suspect, are they not?"
Pc Towers said: “I know a lot of people are sceptical but there are too many reports for it not to be true.”Ah, that's the evidence-based policing we've come to know and love, isn't it? I bet someone, somewhere is thinking about how to get a warrant to search a UFO, should one ever land...
“It’s thought to be a big puma that comes here every winter.”Where does it go in summer? Majorca?
But there may be a little bit of cunning behind this chap's bizarre attempt to get his name in the papers:
Mr Towers has been the chief wildlife officer for the area for 12 years and deals with all kinds of animal crime – from rogue taxidermists to exotic species.And what better way to get publicity for this than claiming something the local press will pretty much HAVE to print?
A major problem facing police at the moment is hare coursing, which Mr Towers said was common in Oxfordshire.
Mr Towers said: “This is a big problem in Oxfordshire, with people coming from as far afield as South Wales.
“But it is cruel and we rely on the public to let us know so we can catch these people.”
PC Towers, you're either a credulous fool, or a bit of a genius. I hope it's the latter...