A big cat expert says a black panther could be prowling the Worcestershire wilderness after the grisly discovery of yet another mangled deer carcass.
A big cat expert? Which one? Boone Smith
? Billy Arjan Singh
Researcher Rick Minter, author of 'Big Cats: Facing Britain's Wild Predators'...
Oh. Damn. Him again
? Well, he's not the only nutter
...said photographs of the dead deer showed several of the hallmarks of a big cat having been eating the carcass.
The 54-year-old, who has been studying the presence of big cats in Britain for the last decade...
That can't have taken very long...
He argued that big cat sightings were widespread in Worcestershire and were often reported to him at country shows where he performed outreach work.
Is that what he calls it on his tax returns?
However, even the experts do not agree. Bob Lawrence, head of public relations and development at West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, does not believe a leopard was responsible and has visited the site of the kills.
He said: "I visited the Roe deer burial site today. The original Roe buck is largely eaten away but there is also a Roe doe dead close by, probably his companion as they tend to live in pairs/trios.
"There is no evidence to suggest neck injuries consistent with strangulation (the leopards preferred choice of killing) or a broken neck.
"Both carcasses to me clearly seem to originate from the roadside and have been dumped over the hedge probably out of sensitivity and one at least had been there a while as the grass underneath was turning yellow.
"There are clear tramlines to show how both have been dragged into the field (by badgers I suspect as there are badger runs nearby) where they have been eaten - a fox has joined in by the smell of it."
Back to the drawing board, Minter.
I'm still awaiting one of the supposed big cats that exist in the UK to turn up embedded on the front of a 4x4 and as far as I am aware nothing like that has happened whereas wild boar do turn up fairly frequently as raodkill. BTW a big cat could easily survive around where I live given the infestation of Muntjac deer in the area but the locals in cars are the ones inflicting damage.
Which just goes to show, not every roadside Deer kill is down to big cats. But that's not to say that the odd one isn't still out there in the wild, living off rabbits.
I know a big cat expert - he’s well over 6 feet in his socks.
...and supposedly we have got pumas in Shropshire if you believe some folk! When we start to see a few big cat carcasses and skeletons turning up then I might reconsider my view that these stories are nothing but complete nonsense.
The only known "big cats" to have been killed in Britain are Kellas Cats, which are a very unusual domestic cat/wildcat hybrid. They are very few in number, known only from northern Scotland and are noted for ferocity and stupidity. The skull and skin of one shot by a gamekeeper after having gotten caught in a fox snare are still extant.
Apart from this, there are no credible sightings at all. Jonathan Downes of the Centre for Fortean Zoology has tried his best to spot a supposed leopard in the vicinity of Woolsery in Devon, to no avail. Game cameras left out in place for months catch not a glimpse of the beast.
Hairs from a sub-Saharan African leopard were found in Devon some years ago; indeed I was present when the samples were found. However, this was during the Weird Weekend event, and present also at the time was a Danish TV crew. Several big cat "experts" were present at the weekend too, and a few big cat skins were on show.
Privately many biologists such as myself feel the finding of these hairs was extremely dubious, given the circumstances and the near-complete lack of any other evidence.
There is also a great dearth of thermal imager footage of big cats.
"I'm still awaiting one of the supposed big cats that exist in the UK to turn up embedded on the front of a 4x4 .."
Whenever one of these fortean threads starts up, you always get the 'I know a friend of a friend..' tale where this did happen, and the authorities covered it up. Because they are good at this.
Yeah. Me neither.
"Apart from this, there are no credible sightings at all."
I have seen one video a few years back that said 'black leopard!' so clearly the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. But I haven't ruled out 'hoax using a trained animal' yet.
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