Saturday, 17 January 2015
NEWSLINK -UNITED KINGDOM-SHROPSHIRE-Big cats in Shropshire: A tall tale or serious threat?
There are those who believe pumas and panthers roam the countryside and others who say that without evidence the rumours amount to nothing more than a tall tale. But there have been 14 reported sightings to Dyfed-Powys Police in the past five years. And numerous claims of seeing big cats in Shropshire, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that residents across the region have been calling police officers over what they believe is a big cat on the prowl.From large paw prints in the snow to a lamb mauled by a “panther” and a “puma” in a field, alleged sightings have taken place in Telford, Oswestry, Meifod and Llanidloes. Big cats have roamed Britain for hundreds of years, according to believers. Stories of big cats go back to the 1960s and 1970s when it was legal and fashionable to keep exotic animals as pets. Before the Dangerous Wild Animals Act in 1976, the wealthy could take their lion, tiger or cheetah for a walk without even a licence. But the law was changed to protect the public. Savaged lambs and prints in the snow as animals sighted This picture of a suspected big cat lying in a field was taken near Llandrindod Wells in 1994 This picture of a suspected big cat lying in a field was taken near Llandrindod Wells in 1994 2009/10 July, Builth Wells, lamb badly injured, lower jaw bitten off. Panther in area. September, Llanidloes, large black cat sighted in field, size of a golden retriever. 2010/11 June, Builth Wells, large wild cat chased caller. Not a dog, making growling noises. August, Brecon, foal eaten by suspected big cat. September, Oswestry, big cat sighting, running, size of sheep dog. December, Knighton, sighted large animal, definitely cat, passed vehicle in the dark. Tracks in the snow found two days ago. December, Knighton, panther sighting in garden. Large cat, jet black in colour. Large paw prints in snow in the garden, larger than a dog. Possibly large cat. 2011/12 January, Brecon, six years ago reported big cat footprints. Lots of footprints, quite big, see claw marks. January, A4067, sighting of large cat type creature. Crouched as if to spring. In headlights looked brown. February, Brecon, big cat sighted size of large dog. Moved like a cat. 2012/13 January, Brecon, big cat sighted. Size of a cougar, too big to be any local dog. 2013/14 March, Brecon, animal footprints found on Black Mountains, may be big cat sighting. June, Meifod, puma spotted in a field, bigger than a dog. While many owners gave their pets to zoos or put them down, rumours started that some had released their animals into the wild. Enthusiasts also think that they were brought to Britain by the Romans and escaped from travelling zoos and menageries for decades. Over the years each sighting has added a new twist to the mystery of the big cat.READ MORE AND SEE VIDEO LINK-http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2015/01/12/big-cats-in-shropshire-a-tall-tale-or-serious-threat/