Tuesday, 30 April 2019

SIGHTING, UK: Another big cat spotted in Britain as ‘Labrador sized’ feline is filmed prowling outside a Cotswolds pub Inn

A "Labrador-sized" cat has been filmed prowling a field near a Cotswolds pub.

The video was taken by pub landlord Ed Simpson after he spotted the beast out of a first floor window of The Fox Inn, in the village of Broadwell.

It follows police and the RSPCA confirming a hamlet in Cornwall where pets have vanished is being stalked by a large panther-like animal.

Ed said: "We were upstairs and saw something out of the window and said 'look at that!'

"There was this big cat. It paraded across the field quite happily then it jumped over a wall and vanished."

Read more... 

SIGHTING, UK: Big cat fears grow in South West as gym boss spots large feline in Devon

Britain's big cat outbreak could be wider than first feared - after a man claims he has spotted one twice in a second county.

Steve Swatton, 63, claims he has also seen a large fawn cat and a large black cat on the outskirts of his home city of Plympton, Devon.

He spoke out after reading about the recent sightings and incidents in Harrowbarrow and Callington in Cornwall

Read more... 

Sunday, 28 April 2019

CARL WRITES: 31/3/19 - Dunmow, Essex

Read the original story here.

"I think it is entirely possible that Tim Davis observed a genuine big cat behind his village home in Bardfield End Green in Dunmow. I presume the gym located above his garage provided a high observational vantage point allowing him to first spot the mystery animal from a window, and then he subsequently identified it when magnified through his binoculars. It’s just a shame he didn’t have time to also get a photograph.

Essex has a rich history of reports of both panther and puma-like animals; some of which are highly credible, and this area In the Uttlesford district would potentially provide a wild roaming big cat with many of the necessary ecological resources needed to survive.

I can completely understand the factory worker becoming wary of leaving his house after dark, especially if he feels convinced he has seen a large predator. However, if this truly was a leopard or a puma, the chances of it spending prolonged periods of time near human habitation is unlikely to say the least, It would be far more likely stalking nearby woodlands that border open farmland. Therefore, I doubt Mr Davies has much to worry about as both these species are highly secretive and shy animals; especially when they are surviving in low numbers. In most cases you wouldn’t even know if one was residing in the area.

From a distance, and during a brief observation, it might be difficult to differentiate between a melanistic leopard and a darkly pigmented puma; therefore it’s probably wise not to suggest a specific identity based on pigmentation until further corroborating evidence is acquired.

I would suggest Mr Davis purchase a reasonably priced motion activated night vision camera and secretly position it facing the trail where the beast was last seen, and to leave the camera untouched for at least a month for a better chance of results.

The animal, whatever it is, will have left trace evidence of its movements in the area, therefore a thorough and prolonged search for spoor, faecal remains, and snagged hairs could prove positive.

As for ghostly black dog traditions, I doubt the local legends of Black Shuck have much to do with modern reports of big cats in Essex.

Going by the shape and dimensions of the muddy footprint in the inserted photograph, and the presence of what appears to be claw marks, all indicate this is probably the track of a Canid most likely a large domestic dog.

Further evidence is required such as clear video footage or preferably some sort of biological sample for analysis would be ideal.

Anyone living in this area should remain vigilant. However, human attacks are unlikely to occur as both pumas and leopards have large ranges and would be very unlikely to stay in the same area for long. In Britain these animals appear to avoid human activity at all costs and would therefore be extremely unlikely to cause any problems. The large numbers of wild deer species, rabbits, and ground dwelling game birds, along with the occasional farmers lamb or sheep, would be ample for large predatory Felids to survive without bothering risking hunting human beings."

NEWSLINK: Tiger attack sends keeper to the hospital, US zoo pledges 'nothing will happen to the tiger'

A keeper at a zoo in Topeka, Kansas, has been attacked by one of the facility's tigers.

The city confirmed the attack on Saturday and noted that the keeper was alert when she was transported to the hospital.

City spokeswoman Molly Hadfield told The Washington Post that the incident happened at 9:15 Saturday morning while the zookeeper was in the same space as Sanjiv, the zoo's male Sumatran tiger.

The zookeeper is currently in stable condition and the tigers are being kept in holding, she said.

Read more... 

ARTICLE: Big cats on the prowl

Last week another ‘big cat’ sighting was reported in Cornwall. A Labrador was attacked by a ‘panther like’ creature, with suspicious footprints also found in the mud.

We will be examining the possibility of big cats roaming the British countryside. Whilst this is often laughed out of contention, there is a body of evidence that’s fascinating if nothing else.

Over the last decade Police Forces across the UK logged over five hundred Big Cat sightings.

The South West has been a hotspot for sightings since the nineties but since then there has been an increase in sightings in Norfolk, Suffolk and the Forest of Dean.

Read more... 

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

VIDEO: Rare White Lion Cubs Born at Crimean Safari Park

Two rare white lion cubs have been born in a Crimean safari park. The male and female cubs arrived in the Taygan lion park near Belogorsk several days ago but haven’t been named yet. Their mother, Milady, became a mother for the second time, after giving birth last year as well. There are about 300 white lions in the world – many of them in captivity. The Taygan park, the first lion park in Europe, was established by enthusiast Oleg Zubkov in 2006 and now houses 60 big cats.

Read more... 

CARL WRITES: 10/4/19 - Broadwell, Cotswolds

Read the original story here.

"A so-called “Labrador-sized” cat filmed prowling a field near a Cotswold pub by Landlord Ed Simpson from the first floor window of his village pub in Broadwell, has been causing quite a stir on social media.

Admittedly, it is very difficult to see what species has been recorded in the grainy video, as the animal situated in the background is somewhat distorted by foliage in the foreground, blocking a good clear view of the beast.  

However, when comparing the dimensions of the mystery cat with the tree in the video, one must admit the creature does look larger than one might expect from a domestic moggie. It is often said that the morphology and movements of domestic cats observed or filmed at great distances can easily be mistaken for those of genuine big cats such as leopards, but it must also be said the same applies vice versa. If specific features are unclear, it must also be possible (however unlikely) that black leopards observed or filmed from such distances, might well be mistaken for large moggies, especially when there are no comparable objects in the video.

Unfortunately, the animal in this video is just too blurry to specifically identify and is probably nothing more than a reasonably large domestic cat. It’s gracile movements also imply this to be likely true, however, it is indeed impossible to be certain from the video alone. It would be a good idea for someone to measure the approximate dimensions of the tree in the video and measure the distance between the tree, the animal and the observation point.

Ed Simpson said:

“We were upstairs and saw something out of the window and said ‘look at that’!”  

Bar manager Kerry Hogg, 56, first spotted the animal out of the first floor window while she was in the room talking with Ed and his wife. Kerry agreed that the animal was approximately the size of a Labrador, but clearly moved in the manner of a cat.

Indeed it does.

There have been other, equally unreliable reports coming in over the last few weeks. Steve Swatton, 63, claims to have observed a large black and white cat (sounds like a domestic) on the outskirts of PlymouthDevon and Becky Abrey filmed a black felid in Praa Sands near Penzance, which, based on the details of the image, was undoubtedly that of a black domestic cat.

Are there big cats still stalking these areas of the country? Possibly!

Are these examples indicative of their existence?

Probably not!"

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

ARTICLE: Tracking big cats on safari through India's 'Tiger State' of Madhya Pradesh

I’m swaddled in a mess of blankets to fight the pre-dawn chill as I bump down the dusty dirt roads of India’s Kanha National Park in an open-air safari jeep. My guide, Prabhat Verma of PureQuest Adventures, is brimming with optimism. But it’s my third trip past the park’s green gates, and I’ve yet to lock eyes with the creature I flew halfway around the world to meet. You can go to Africa for cheetahs or lions, but for Bengal tigers, your best bet is the wildlife reserves at the heart of the Indian subcontinent in the so-called “Tiger State” of Madhya Pradesh. Somewhere up ahead are nearly 100 of these regal cats, who prowl 932 square kilometres of pristine Indian wilderness. Even so, there are no guarantees I’ll see one.

Read more... 

Sunday, 7 April 2019

NEWSLINK: How the lion has been weakened: More than 100 years of hunting has seen big cats lose their strength and put their survival at risk

Still hailed as the king of the jungle, the lion species has seen an alarming rapid decline in their genetic fitness from their ancestors who lived more than 100 years ago. Following a study conducted by researchers at the Zoological Society of London, the impact of hunting the big cats has seen a worrying decline in their genetic status. According to the research, the decline in their physical strength over the course of a century is likely to have been impacted by hunting of the wild animals in Africa.

Read more... 

SIGHTING, UK: Dunmow man won’t go out after dark after he spotted ‘a panther’ strolling near home

An Essex resident has claimed to have spotted a 'massive panther' just yards from his home. 50-year-old Tim Davies, from Bardfield End Green in Dunmow, was looking out of his garage window when he saw a "big black thing" strolling across the open field behind his house. You might think it's quite rare to see a panther roaming the fields of Essex, but there have been big cat sightings across the county for decades. The so-called 'Beast of Essex' is thought to look like a black panther or puma.

Read more... 

Thursday, 4 April 2019

NEWSLINK: Male tiger to be relocated from Ranthambore to Sariska

After a gap of six years, the Rajasthan forest department is preparing to shift a big cat from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) to Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) soon. This time a male tiger will be relocated. Skewed sex ratio has been hampering the repopulation of big cats in Sariska. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had approved the relocation of a tiger in June 2017, with an aim to increase the population.

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PHOTOS: Hikers stunned by rare sighting of a caracal on Table Mountain

Now this is why you strap your hiking shoes on and make the journey up Table Mountain: Hikers were treated to an amazing sight this week when they came across an extremely rare caracal which had made it to the top.

The wild cats are dotted around the area between the mountain and Lion’s Head. They are anti-social creatures and they do not interact with humans. So catching one on camera is a pretty rare event. The magic of Table Mountain Petra van der Berg and Lars Hurenkamp were the lucky people behind the lens this time. They crossed paths with this majestic animal as it slinked between rocks at the summit of the mountain. In the background, the stunning city backdrop and Cape Town Stadium can be spotted – maybe he was trying to catch the Ed Sheeran concert?


Wednesday, 3 April 2019

NEWSLINK: Man is not leopard’s normal prey

With several instances of leopards in human settlements and attacks on humans in recent times, deputy conservator of forests (DCF) West, Shivaji Phule talked with Sumita Sarkar to clear myths about this big cat. Incidents of leopards attacking people are being reported more frequently. What causes that? The natural habitat of leopards is forest. Forest cover has reduced. Whatever encroachment was there has been regularised. There are patches of human settlement, like honeycombs, with little scope for isolated animal habitats.

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NEWSLINK: Southern California’s Mountain Lions May Soon Go Extinct

Southern California’s mountain lions have faced serious threats for some time, but a new study highlights the urgent need to act before we lose these incredible big cats forever. According to wildlife scientists, who just published their findings in the journal “Ecological Applications,” two populations of mountain lions in the Santa Monica and Santa Anita Mountains could go extinct — possibly within the next 50 years.

Read more... 

VIDEO: The ex-poachers saving big cats in Russia

In Sailugemsky National Park, the snow leopard population has found an unlikely ally - ex-poachers. Their knowledge of the animal's movements and trap-setting was once used for hunting, but has now been reclaimed to monitor snow leopard populations thanks to a World Wildlife Fund project which began in 2015. Camera traps are used to monitor the snow leopard, which have seen a rise in population.