Sunday, 3 November 2013
UK SIGHTINGS: Eleven big cat sightings reported to police in just over three years
THE sun is shining and you’re walking through Sedgemoor’s countryside when you cross paths with a large black cat – who you gonna call? Big cat expert Danny Nineham, of course.
Danny, who describes himself as a big cat consultant, has been tracking large cats such as pumas, panthers and jaguars for more than 20 years.
He contacted the Weekly News with advice for walkers after it published Sheri Bodley’s account of coming face to face with a creature resembling a black leopard on Berrow beach.
Danny, 51, from Gloucestershire, said: “Sightings started being reported to me from Weston in April to May 2000. A panther was the culprit – it was heard growling at members of the public while they were out walking and on family picnics.”
In November 2002 Danny was alerted to the next wave of sightings. He said: “There were three in total. These were of a panther in the East Brent and Brent Knoll areas – sightings were mainly in the afternoon by dog walkers.
“They’re mostly spotted by walkers and I have recorded incidents for all hours of the day and night.”
A lynx was reported in April 2008 near Winscombe by a walker out in the morning. Then in June 2009 a puma was reported crossing the road near Highbridge, just off the motorway, in the early hours by a motorist.
According to results from a freedom of information request placed with Avon and Somerset Police, 11 sightings were reported to them in Somerset from January 2009 to April this year. Many were in fields but one incident was logged in Bridgwater TA7.Danny added: “I interview witnesses and log the incidents in my records. Most people are gobsmacked at what they’ve seen.READ MORE