Saturday, 24 January 2015

NEWSLINK-Family in quest to capture Wells big cat on camera

IS a big cat prowling the outskirts of Wells? After spotting what looked like “an extremely large” black cat walking along the hedgerow on the far side of the field behind Wheeler Grove, the Thelwall family are on a mission to photograph the animal. “Our home overlooks the fields, and it’s not unusual for us to see deer there,” said Sarah Thelwall. “But on January 10, my son, my husband and I all saw a cat that was about as long as a deer in the fields. “We watched it for some time, and my son went to get a camera, but the only one we had was an old-fashioned SLR type, and by the time we had it all set up, the cat had moved on.” Sarah said the family had bought a digital camera and are hoping to snap a photograph of the animal if they see it again. “It was definitely a cat,” she said. “When I posted about it on Facebook, I had a friend say he’d heard people talking about there being sightings of a big cat in the area. “I’d love to hear from anyone else who might have seen it, or heard anything about it. “To be honest, if it hadn’t been the three of us there, if it had just been one of us who had seen it, we’d have doubted what we saw.” The sighting is thought to be the first reported in Wells for many years. But the mid-Somerset area has proven to be something of a hot spot for big cat sightings, with large cat-type animals reported in August 2001 in Butleigh, in Meare in 2002, in Banwell, Winscombe and Wedmore in 2007, Draycott in 2008 and Somerton in 2010. Police said they had not had any sightings of large cats reported to them. They are, however, urging people to report any sightings of the animal if they believe it could be a risk. Many big cat sightings are believed to be have been of Maine coon or Savannah cats, both particularly large breeds of domestic feline. Male Maine coons can weigh up to 11kg, and measure up to 41cm high and 36cm long, with a long, thick tail. Have you seen the cat? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Contact the Wells Journal on 01749 832335 or email Any photographs of the animal would be especially welcome. Read more: Follow us: @wellsjournal on Twitter | wellsjournal on FacebookFamily in quest to capture Wells big cat on camera

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