Lair of the Beasts: Britains Big Cats Comments -


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wrrlykam 12/14/2012 9:18:45 AM

Around 1985 I saw somthing dark no higher than the pine road barrier chasing a deer on Cannock Chase while I was on the Ranger Service.. The head of the fallow buck was clearly seen but the pusuing creature's head did not show above the pine beam which was about 3  to 3.5 feet high. We had been quitely sat on a grass mound for around 20 minutes and we had done nothing to spook any deer to have run in such a wild and frantic manner.

The light was low and the pine bar blocked any way to idenity the pursuing creature other than it was very dark, darker than the mid brown of the fallow buck.

karas1 12/14/2012 5:41:22 PM

People are stupid.  They will buy pets, sometimes very exotic and expensive ones, with no idea how to care for them.  Frequently, after a short time they become bored and want to get rid of them.  I can easily see such people releasing large cats into a forest, especially if new laws were passed regarding owning such creatures.

I doubt lions or cheetahs could survive an English winter in the wild but there are plenty of species of big cat adapted for cold weather.  North American mountain lions (also known as pumas or panthers) come in black and if somebody released a breeding pair of them into the wild I can see a small population surviving.  After 50 years it would be a pretty inbred population by now but subsequent releases might have enlarged the gene pool.

And since people have been importing big cats into Britain for private zoos and such since the Romans were there, sightings of such cats from before the '70s can also be explained as cats which escaped or were released deliberately.



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