The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column-inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.
Thursday, 7 May 2015
NEWSLINK: Could mystery "big cat" on Ashdown forest be the greyhound hundreds have been looking for?
Hundreds of people have joined in the search for a missing greyhound which its owner believes may have been mistaken for a big cat on Ashdown Forest.
A number of walkers are reported to have seen an animal fitting the description of a lynx on the beauty spot over the past few weeks.
But the woman leading the widespread search and rescue mission believes the sightings could in fact be of retired racing dog Rennie.
The five-year-old female has been spotted on several occasions since she escaped from an address in Crowborough on February 12.
Sam Morris, who runs the West Sussex Greyhound Walking Group, said: "Due to the way this animal has been described in recent reports as having a slender body and long curved tail, and the shape and size of a labrador, I am thinking it could well be the missing greyhound rather than a big cat. We have also had several sightings of Rennie in and around the pony enclosure, which is close to the Crow and Gate pub – between Nutley and Crowborough – but when seen she runs off and does not allow anyone near her.
"Due to the fact she is nervous and won't allow anyone to approach, we are asking for people to report sightings of her only, and not try to catch her."
Rennie is recently retired and had been in a home in Crowborough for just seven days when she escaped through the front door.
She is black, she is micro-chipped, has tattoos in both ears and is spayed.
Sam added: "There are so many places she could be hiding, and that's why the sightings have been so few and far between. We've had a possible sighting of her up as far as the Cats Protection headquarters at Chelwood Gate, and on March 21 she was spotted at Jibb Jacks Hill in Hartfield.
"We have set up three feeding stations on the forest, which we're hoping she will find and revisit so we can get closer to her. So far, that hasn't worked.
"Greyhounds are hunting dogs, so I imagine she's living off pheasants and rabbits. There's certainly enough of them on the forest for her to survive."
Despite not being her owner, Sam has taken it upon herself to help find the curious canine, who she says has been on an eight-mile loop of the forest for the past few weeks.
"The greyhound community is one of togetherness and we have had dozens of people helping to search for Rennie," she said. "Some of them have travelled from as far as Brighton and walked for 15 to 20 miles to try and find her. We've even had one guy go up on his microlight in the hope he sees something.
"It's a shame to think she's out there on her own and it would be nice to have her back in a loving home."