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Air search after 'big cat' report

 
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Do We Believe Big Cats Roam GB Freely?
Yes
50%
 50%  [ 6 ]
No
8%
 8%  [ 1 ]
I've seen some evidence, but not convinced
16%
 16%  [ 2 ]
I've personally seen evidence and I'm convinced
25%
 25%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 12

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Mick F
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Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 1650
Location: S X

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:27 am    Post subject: Air search after 'big cat' report Reply with quote

Quote:
Police are carrying out aerial searches of a park following a number of sightings of a big black cat.
Essex Police said people had reported seeing the animal in Weald Country Park, in Brentwood, and described it as being the size of a puma.

A police spokeswoman urged people to report any sightings and not to approach the animal. Pet owners were asked to keep their animals inside.

Wildlife parks in the area are being contacted to check their animals.

The spokeswoman said there was also an isolated report that a deer had been killed by the cat, which officers were investigating on Tuesday.


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NeilMac



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 981
Location: UK Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen good photographic evidence.(See links (lynx?) below.

The physical evidence I've seen is not conclusive to my mind but a MAFF officer who I spoke to who was on badger cull work near here said upon hearing my description of a sheep kill "that'll be moggie" and described the difference in wound characteristics between cat and dog kills. He seemed to know what he was talking about. He recounted a colleague in the New Forest showing him half a New Forest pony 30 ft up a tree. He said only a leopard would do that.

I think there are a lot of mistaken sightings though.

There's some interesting information here:
http://www.bigcats.org/abc/photoalbum/index.html
It seems fairly objective to me, the photographs of captured or killed cats are fairly conclusive. I don't think the country is exactly awash with them mind. If you consider that the UK deer population is at a high and ask youreself how often you happen across a deer it's not surprising that a small population of non domestic cats would rarely be seen.

Certainly there are people to whom the presence of alien big cats instills a type of religious fervour. If they have links to alien abduction websites and the Loch Ness Monster I wouldn't take them seriously.

Best wishes,

Neil Mac'
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NeilMac



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 981
Location: UK Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good picture of a leopard cat (not a leopard!) here:
http://www.britishbigcats.org/evidence.php

Neil
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JonathanL
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Joined: 02 Jul 2006
Posts: 1013
Location: North East

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know a guy who claims to have seen a leopard whilst out shooting one day. The guy concerned was invloved in a private zoo or something (might have been a circus or something because he was involved in traveling fairs and the like) back in the 60's before the days of the dangerous Wild Animal Act and had owned them, and other big cats, so knew what he was looking at.

Actually, to digress a bit (and I just know this is going to be several pages, sorry chaps Laughing ) but what would the situation be, legally speaking, if you actually shot one? I'm not talking specifically about any firearms offences for breaching the conditions of your cert but rather ones related to killing endangred species, etc. Would it be an offence or do the offences only relate to killing them in the Countries in which they are indigenous?

J.
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Mick F
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Joined: 29 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JonathanL wrote:
Would it be an offence or do the offences only relate to killing them in the Countries in which they are indigenous?
J.

I don't think they're on the list for the '81 Act but wild cats are (Felis silvestris Wildcat ). Zoo's obviously have firearms to deal with escaped, sick or injured animals as well.
Cheers
Mick Fidgeon:-)
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NeilMac



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 981
Location: UK Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buckshot in a S2 Shotgun would be reasonably suitable and doesn't require a condition on your SGC. I undertand that follow up shots on wounded leopards are often carried out with a shotgun. (Not that you were asking that...)

When I had the shooting on the land where I saw the sheep kill I was asked by the farmer to shoot "the beast". I didn't have a suitable rifle at the time and hadn't thought of using buckshot. Unfortunately I got gazumped on the land shortly after so wasn't able to follow it up. I suspect that as big cats have a range of about 50 miles I would have spent a lot of blank evenings up there whether there was a cat or not.

A photo sensor camera would be the thing to find out whether there was anything about.

http://www.whipperleys.co.uk/acatalog/info%5f1465%2ehtml


Best wishes,

Neil Mac'
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Mick F
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Joined: 29 Jun 2006
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Location: S X

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeilMac wrote:
Buckshot in a S2 Shotgun would be reasonably suitable and doesn't require a condition on your SGC. I undertand that follow up shots on wounded leopards are often carried out with a shotgun. (Not that you were asking that...)

When I had the shooting on the land where I saw the sheep kill I was asked by the farmer to shoot "the beast". I didn't have a suitable rifle at the time and hadn't thought of using buckshot. Unfortunately I got gazumped on the land shortly after so wasn't able to follow it up. I suspect that as big cats have a range of about 50 miles I would have spent a lot of blank evenings up there whether there was a cat or not.

Best wishes,

Neil Mac'

I can only advise caution on any individual, even if he is steeped in the lore (and lie) of the land, not to appraoch any of 'the beasts of bodmin' and it's ilk. Unless you have great experience in the taking of dangerous wild animals in their natural habitat, I would stay well away, no matter how fearless you may feel with a rifle or a shot gun in your hand.

Having spoken with people who have seen this cat and know their habitat, it moves from Brentwood (South West Essex), through Saffron Walden (North West Essex) and across to Sudbury (South Suffolk). They are very wide ranging, that is unless there's more than one of them. In the wild 25 to 50 miles of wilderness is the norm. Essex is definitely not wilderness.
Cheers
Mick Fidgeon:-)
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Mick F
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Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 1650
Location: S X

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.essexfm.co.uk/localinfo/localnews/gallery/4b47be28-17c8-464f-bbed-ae9e573e33b5
Quote:
See the 'Big Cat'
An animal looking a lot like the big cat police are trying to find in Brentwood has been spotted and photographed today!

The picture, taken at Weald Country Park, shows a cat-like head and pretty long tail.

The creature was caught on film this morning by freelance photographer Stephen Huntley. Stephen took the snap from about a mile away, and believes the animal may be about 2 feet tall.

Link to a picture taken of the cat today apparently. Not allowed to reproduce because of copyright, but those who remain 'hidden' may wish to post it.

Looks a bit like a 'normal' moggie walking through somebodies big train set to me Very Happy

Edited to add: Apparently the Force helicopter has picked up an 'unidentified heat source' on it's thermal imager Shocked
Cheers
Mick Fidgeon:-)
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