Tuesday, 31 July 2018

CARL WRITES: 11/7/18 - Lye Green, Warwickshire

Read the original story here, and read Carl's response below:

"This is 100% a large tomcat.

We can be positive of this if we take a closer look at the general morphology of the animal in the video..

To begin with, the tail is far too short in proportion to body-length, the tail being approximately 60 - 100 cm long in leopards (25 - 40 in). There is no way the animal filmed by spa-goer Kate Sanderson while strolling with a friend at Ardencote Manor Hotel, Warwickshire, had a tail length of nearly 2 ft! Some leopards do have relatively shorter tails, and there can indeed be variations in the sizes of leopards, due to their distribution and available resources; for example, leopards that live in mountainous regions have typically evolved to become smaller than those that live on savannahs, mainly due to their prey being smaller. Also, female leopards are approximately 20 - 40% smaller than the males.

So, could it be argued this was a small female, variant, or a young cub? Unfortunately no! This animal's gait is completely wrong for any of the big cats, like leopards (Panthera pardus) or pumas (Puma concolor) - the two main large species suspected by researchers and journalists to stalk the UK; however, melanistic (black) pumas are not formally recognised anywhere. Usually leopards are larger in habitats where they are top of the food chain, with no competitive restriction from larger predators such as lions and tigers; though it is difficult to say how much limited genetic diversity has to play in the UK situation. 

I once interviewed an eyewitness, whom I still believe to be a very credible observer (a professional biologist), who was certain the animal he witnessed driving late one night through the Cotswold's, was approximately 15 - 25% smaller than typical African savannah leopards (P. p. pardus), he did admit however, this individual might have been a sub-adult.

Secondly, the legs of the Ardencote animal appear quite short, and too delicate for a genuine adult black leopard. Also, the fur on the tail seems too long at certain times in the (admittedly, highly distorted) video footage.

Thirdly, there are a few times in the video where the animal in question walks reasonably close to some easily identifiable flora, such as the young silver birch trees at the beginning of the video (Betula pendula), and the long unkempt bushes at the very end, which I believe reveal the proportions of the animal skulking by - which I would estimate to be approximately 25 cm tall (9.8 in) to the shoulder, body-length about 45 cm (17.7 in), and a reasonably long tail length of roughly 30 cm (12 in).

 Everything about the Ardencote video cries out large domestic tomcat! There is absolutely nothing to suggest this is anything other than the Groundsman's 'very well fed...feral friend'."

Sunday, 22 July 2018

SIGHTING, UK: Woman Claims To Have Filmed Panther-Like Creature On Golf Course

Kate Sanderson, a 51-year-old HR manager from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, was on a spa weekend when she saw a 'three foot tall' black cat striding across the golf course of the Ardencote Manor Hotel in Lye Green.

Kate said: "You don't expect that kind of shock on an evening stroll.

"It was a lot bigger than a Labrador and certainly longer. It was approximately two to three feet high to the shoulders. I have two domestic cats at home and it was so much bigger.


NEWSLINK: Leopard returns to house where it mauled a girl, trapped

The forest officials in Uttarakhand on Thursday trapped a female leopard, suspected to have attacked children in three separate incidents, after the animal returned to an area where it had mauled an 11-year-old girl on Tuesday.

The five year old leopard was trapped in Ramgarh block of Nainital, officials said.
TR Bijulal, divisional forest officer (DFO), Nainital said the leopard had on Tuesday night attacked 11-year-old Kanchan Lodhiyal in Sadbunga Dutknadar area and started dragging her into the nearby forest. “The girl’s family members and neighbours made noise following which the leopard left the girl and escaped into the forest. The girl is being treated for puncture wounds,” he said.


Thursday, 19 July 2018

NEWSLINK: Does the US have a pet tiger problem?

There may be more captive tigers in the US than wild ones in the rest of the world. But in states like Texas that bristle at government interference, no-one really knows how many are being kept as pets.

Taj was a four-month-old tiger cub when purchased at a Texas truck stop by the driver of an 18-wheeler lorry. But after Taj began tearing up the truck's cab, the driver contacted Austin Zoo to get the animal off his hands. The zoo now looks after the fully grown 17-year-old Bengal tiger male.


ARTICLE: Map of Javan leopard distribution provides guidance for conservation efforts

The first robust estimate of the distribution of the Javan leopard offers reliable information on where conservation efforts must be prioritized to safeguard the Indonesian island's last remaining large carnivore. The findings were reported in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on June 27, 2018 by Hariyo Tabah Wibisono of the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, USA, and colleagues.


Tuesday, 17 July 2018

NEWSLINK: Someone Just Killed One of the Last Remaining Jaguar in the US

One of just three jaguars known to be living in the U.S. was recently killed by poachers. Experts identified the jaguar's pelt in a recent photo and say it is Yo'oko, a male jaguar (Panthera onca) that was known to roam the Huachuca Mountains in southern Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

The rosette patterns on a jaguar's pelt are unique to each individual, a trait that allowed officials with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to identify Yo'oko's pelt in a photo sent to them from the Tucson-based Northern Jaguar Project. The endangered carnivore had been photographed near the Mexican border in Arizona several times in 2016 and 2017, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting endangered species.


NEWSLINK: Tourism preventing Kenya's cheetahs from raising young, study finds

High levels of tourism can lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of cheetahs able to raise their young to independence, new research has found.

A study in Kenya’s Maasai Mara savannah found that in areas with a high density of tourist vehicles, the average number of cubs a mother cheetah raised to independence was just 0.2 cubs per litter – less than a tenth of the 2.3 cubs per litter expected in areas with low tourism.


Wednesday, 4 July 2018

VIDEO: Big black cat 'five times the size of a feral' spotted west of Sydney

Deep in the heart of bushland west of Sydney, the infamous black panther has once again been spotted prowling the countryside.

Just weeks after the latest sighting of Sydney's greatest urban legend, Blackheath man Steven Muiser filmed the large cat stalking the Coxs River in the Megalong Valley.

"We were on the western side of the river, looking at some development, because we live on the eastern side," he told the TODAY Show.


PHOTO: Mountain Lion Spotted In Santa Clarita Backyard

Mountain lion cougar animal in urban area puma concolor.jpgStacy Berrol, a resident of Valencia, shared a picture on Facebook Sunday morning of a mountain lion in her backyard.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Berrol said. “This beautiful animal was just pacing, he was pawing at the slider. This cat knew something was on the other side of the glass.”


SIGHTING, UK: Mystery ‘big cat’ spotted in Llandaff Fields

A mystery animal has been spotted on Llandaff Fields by a walker who claims it was a big cat “over seven feet long”.

A picture, posted online by the spotter, shows a black figure running across a field in Llandaff.

The man, who did not want to give his name, from Grangetown, was out for a weekend walk when movement in the next field caught his attention.

“I’m sure it was a big cat. I saw it run across a field last week. It was over seven feet long and jet black like a panther,’ he said.

Read more... 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

NEWSLINK: Six new tigers for Satkosia reserve

Panthera tigris amoyensis.jpgSatkosia Tiger Reserve will welcome three pairs of tigers from Madhya Pradesh.

"A strike by forest field staff in Madhya Pradesh is going on. Once it is over, the process of translocation of the six tigers will begin. Initially, we will bring one pair of tigers before bringing the other two pairs in later phases. All the necessary preparations and official formalities have been completed and sanctions from all authorities concerned have been obtained to bring the big cats to Satkosia" said additional chief conservator of forests (Angul circle) Sudarshan Panda.

Read more... 

SIGHTING, UK: 'Puma' spotted prowling on building site in Shinfield

A man is convinced he saw a big cat prowling around a building site in Shinfield, and is asking people in the area to back him up.

Nathan Laidlaw, of Gloucester Avenue in Shinfield, is convinced he saw an animal that was "long and like a female lion" lurking in the site opposite his home.

He told getreading he was unable to take a picture or video of the beast as he was "completely fixated" by the animal.

He is now adamant he saw a big cat in the area and is asking if anyone else may have seen it at around 11am on the morning of Sunday, May 27.