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    Posted: 18-May-2009 at 20:40

What a brilliant forum this is!

 

I am particularly interested in Alien Big Cats, having seen one when I was 8 years old and being extremely traumatised by the experience, (not by the cat itself, but by being slapped for telling lies when I dutifully reported the sighting!) Cry

 

Anyway ……  I’ve never been entirely convinced about the “abandoned pumas” theory due to the instigation of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, firstly because I cannot see how a viable breeding population could have come about unless loads (50 or more?) of these ex-pets were released into the wild, and that’s assuming they could all survive on their own.     (And were able to find each other in order to breed!)  Secondly, puma type cats have been seen in Britain from long before 1976, when the Act was introduced.   Thirdly, a large proportion of the big cats seen in GB are black – black pumas are incredibly rare – the only “regular” big black cat is the Black Leopard, but I’m sure that no sightings have ever described the typical leopard markings which are fairly clear, even if the leopard happens to be black.  (Plus, I suspect if we had a population of black leopards in the countryside, they would have worked out that humans are easy to catch and extremely edible by now!)

 

So, could these cats, in Britain and Oz at least, be countless-generation hybrids between Jungle Cats and feral moggies?    I believe Jungle Cats were widely used as ships’ cats in the 17th and 18th centuries and I’ll bet more than a few jumped ship once they were in port.    

 

I know nothing about Jungle Cat genetics, but could it be possible?  Already about double the size of the average domestic cat, could they have grown in size with constant hybridization?

 

Somewhere, can’t remember if it was in US or Australia, didn’t they had find a massive, puma-sized cat where DNA tests proved that it was just a monster feral moggy?

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-May-2009 at 21:54
Originally posted by Terri Ann Terri Ann wrote:

<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>What a brilliant forum this is!


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </o:p>


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>I am particularly interested in Alien Big Cats, having seen one when I was 8 years old and being extremely traumatised by the experience, (not by the cat itself, but by being slapped for telling lies when I dutifully reported the sighting!) Cry


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </o:p>


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>Anyway ……<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>I’ve never been entirely convinced about the “abandoned pumas” theory due to the instigation of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, firstly because I cannot see how a viable breeding population could have come about unless loads (50 or more?) of these ex-pets were released into the wild, and that’s assuming they could all survive on their own.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">     </SPAN>(And were able to find each other in order to breed!)<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Secondly, puma type cats have been seen in <?: prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Britain</st1:place></st1:country-region> from long before 1976, when the Act was introduced.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">   </SPAN>Thirdly, a large proportion of the big cats seen in GB are black – black pumas are incredibly rare – the only “regular” big black cat is the Black Leopard, but I’m sure that no sightings have ever described the typical leopard markings which are fairly clear, even if the leopard happens to be black.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>(Plus, I suspect if we had a population of black leopards in the countryside, they would have worked out that humans are easy to catch and extremely edible by now!)


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </o:p>


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><FONT face="Times New Roman">So, could these cats, in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Britain</st1:country-region></st1:place> and Oz at least, be countless-generation hybrids between Jungle Cats and feral moggies?<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">    </SPAN>I believe Jungle Cats were widely used as ships’ cats in the 17th and 18th centuries and I’ll bet more than a few jumped ship once they were in port.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">   </SPAN><SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes"> </SPAN>


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </o:p>


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>I know nothing about Jungle Cat genetics, but could it be possible?<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">  </SPAN>Already about double the size of the average domestic cat, could they have grown in size with constant hybridization?


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </o:p>


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3>Somewhere, can’t remember if it was in US or <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region>, didn’t they had find a massive, puma-sized cat where DNA tests proved that it was just a monster feral moggy?


<P =Msonormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><o:p><FONT face="Times New Roman" size=3> </o:p>



due to the instigation of the Dangerous Wild Animals

That seems funny to me because both in the Pacific Northwest where I lived and the desert southwest these dangerous wild animals are a given here. I realize their potential danger but I say this in jest. I think the wild javelina are far more dangerous than the puma in the high desert; which surrounds my place.

I have tracked and seen Mountain lions but I have never seen a black puma but I am aware of the sightings in some parts of America and Florida. We also have bob cat and a few jaguars by the Mexican border; they are bigger than Puma so I fear them more. Wild animals are so much part of my life in the wilds of America/Canada that they are just natural to me. I rarely pack a gun in the wild and usually carry a big sharp knife and pepper spray but the former is really for First Aid or survival purposes vs. fighting off a puma or bear. We also have loads of black bears and I have hiked in grizzly country many times but moose are far more dangerous. I have only seen puma from a distance but I have had direct conflict with our North American black bear. Maybe they keep the deer population down in the UK-???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2009 at 01:00
Originally posted by Terri Ann Terri Ann wrote:

What a brilliant forum this is!

 

I am particularly interested in Alien Big Cats, having seen one when I was 8 years old and being extremely traumatised by the experience, (not by the cat itself, but by being slapped for telling lies when I dutifully reported the sighting!) Cry

 

Anyway ……  I’ve never been entirely convinced about the “abandoned pumas” theory due to the instigation of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, firstly because I cannot see how a viable breeding population could have come about unless loads (50 or more?) of these ex-pets were released into the wild, and that’s assuming they could all survive on their own.     (And were able to find each other in order to breed!)  Secondly, puma type cats have been seen in Britain from long before 1976, when the Act was introduced.   Thirdly, a large proportion of the big cats seen in GB are black – black pumas are incredibly rare – the only “regular” big black cat is the Black Leopard, but I’m sure that no sightings have ever described the typical leopard markings which are fairly clear, even if the leopard happens to be black.  (Plus, I suspect if we had a population of black leopards in the countryside, they would have worked out that humans are easy to catch and extremely edible by now!)

 

So, could these cats, in Britain and Oz at least, be countless-generation hybrids between Jungle Cats and feral moggies?    I believe Jungle Cats were widely used as ships’ cats in the 17th and 18th centuries and I’ll bet more than a few jumped ship once they were in port.    

 

I know nothing about Jungle Cat genetics, but could it be possible?  Already about double the size of the average domestic cat, could they have grown in size with constant hybridization?

 

Somewhere, can’t remember if it was in US or Australia, didn’t they had find a massive, puma-sized cat where DNA tests proved that it was just a monster feral moggy?

 



Firstly, welcome to All Empires, Terri Ann.

Thanks for posting this topic - it is quite an interest of mine, as well as a few others on the forum.

I'd just like to clarify what you mean by a 'Jungle Cat'?

In regards to the abandoned pumas idea, I think it is certainly plausible. American soldiers, during WWII, were posted and based in Australia, and are known to have brought a good deal of pumas over with them. This mix of pumas could well have included a few 'Panthers' (by panther I am broadly referring to a Black puma or a Black leopard). Cats are very adaptable and invasive species, but equally elusive and secretive - this may explain how they gained a foothold in the Australian environment.

It is definitely true that there have been many sightings of over-sized house cats, especially in South-East Australia. These are typically thought just to be feral cats, which are known to grow over 150% of the size of a domestic cat. This may fit in well with your idea about jungle-house cat hybrids. If it is possible to create the Bengal breed of domestic cat by hybridising the domestic cat and the Asian leopard cat, then it is highly likely that small cat species could interbreed with feral cats in Australia. Even if the species genetic disparity meant that the offspring were infertile, it still explains why we would see larger feral cats.

One particular piece of evidence of these big cats in Australia, was the sighting and subsequent shooting of one, in Victoria. This may or may not be the one which you have heard of. A farmer was out hunting deer (I think it was deer), and he noticed a crouching cat at a stream, drinking. He shot it (which blew the head to bits), but he brought the rest of the body back to his house. From the photos I have seen in the news reports, this cat was puma-sized beyond all doubt. Strange this was, it was black. I don't believe they did DNA analyses on it, which is preposterous! Other instances like these, but not as confirmatory, are mass wallaby carcasses in areas that dingoes are not known to inhabit. Some have been found up trees too.

On the more ambiguous side of things, people on the rural outskirts of Sydney have even filed reported sightings of a large cat with rosettes (leopard markings).

Sorry I have only referred to Australian cases in here, but I am not as familiar with Britain's big cats. Though my cousin, who has a property in the Southwest UK, has said she has seen a large cat several times running low, at the bottom of valleys.

Look forward to hearing what you think.

Regards,

- Knights -





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terri Ann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2009 at 08:08
Thank you.
 
Well Knights, the situation is a little different in the UK in that there are obviously far more people crammed into a much smaller space and therefore far less room for a big cat to maneovre.   
 
They are seen quite frequently, ( and not surprisingly), in the wilder and less densely inhabited parts of the country, but not uniquely.  They have also been seen in the London suburbs.
 
The authorities flatly refuse to accept their existence and virtually every attempt at gathering proof - be it sightings, spoors, fur, droppings - ends up labelled "inconclusive".   Maybe that isn't a bad thing after all,  I suspect that once a "British Big Cat" became an official resident of this little island, then I also suspect it would immediately become just another thing to hunt.
 
And that is a worry!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-May-2009 at 19:05
The authorities flatly refuse to accept their existence and virtually every attempt at gathering proof -

We have the same problem with big foot sightings but even in parts of America where cougars no longer exist or their populations have been greatly reduced people have seen large black cats. I am more likely to see a black jaguar in the SW than a cougar.

Puma, cougar, mountains lion- same thing.

I have never heard of feral cats growing that large in the wild here unless they are eaten by the coyote, bob cat, lynx or Mtn lions before they get that big.

My friends from Australia told me they feared the critters here more because we have a lot more that can eat you vs. snakes etc.

I believe they exist in England and US military personel releasing them might be a good theory. They are wild animals and really make dangerous pets and without special permits they are not illegal to have us pets. Even my brother's wolf has to be 2% dog to make it legal.

In England all of your predators have been killed off a long time ago so I understand having these potentially dangerous predators would make some feel uncomfortable. For us natives who love the wild areas of North America it is part of the wilderness experience.

If you can get enough information about this then send off an email to coasttocoastam.com because that show deals with those strange issues.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 13:08

I think one of the problems is that there obviously have been wild cats let loose in Britain. Some of those have been caught. So it is difficult to flat out deny that there may be some wild cats roaming.

 

But a viable breeding population? I seriously doubt that. The species most well adjusted to the conditions in Britain would probably be pumas and lynx, and some of those have been caught - but they have been escaped animals, not breeding animals, in all cases.

 

Some of the cats have been fairly exotic tropical species, such as clouded leopards, jungle cats and leopard cats - and none of those are anywhere near the size claimed in sightings, and they don't fit the descriptions either. Alien cats they may be, but not alien big cats. Jungle cats are almost the size of a normal domestic cat, not much larger. Heck, Maine Coon cats are just as big, or sometimes even bigger.

 

The oddest thing is that many people describe the cats as black, and often insist on it. I find that very unlikely. Not to mention that it is extremely difficult to judge a black animal's size at a distance. I've seen some of those videos recorded, and they all seem to show ordinary black domestic cats.

 

Now, at the same time there is this theory about a possible viable population of a kind of black domestic/wild cat hybrids. Maybe that is possible, but I've read some article where someone actually measured some of those alleged hybrid cats and they were anything but big.

 

Of course, there's a bunch of deliberate hoaxes too, making the issue difficult to resolve. What is hoax and what is not? Only a caught/killed animal has any value - and even then, it could still be an individual escapee. It's obvious that the animals that were released back when the act was made does not live any more. Cat's just don't get that old, so it can never be one of those.

  

Considering their gait, even real leopards don’t really look that big when they move around, yet the cats are often described as impossibly large. "The size of a really big dog" "much larger (or even taller!) than my Alsatian dog" etc.

 
One thing is certain, such a beast can never be a jungle cat. Even if a large population of jungle cats did live in Britain, they would never be "alien BIG cats" in any way.
 
(This only applies to Britain, I don't know about Australia)
 

Oh, by the way, does any of you remember the TV show about the trackers they invited over to try and determine if any evidence was present? I believe that was done in at least two cases. Those were trackers used to hunting lynx and puma, and yet they found no evidence at all, rather they were pretty certain that all the amassed evidence presented to them was evidence of feral dogs, including the tracks and the so called ABC attacks on domestic animals. They found nothing, and they do this for a living. It doesn't prove anything, of course, but it sure makes the whole thing seem unlikely. (at least in the areas they investigated, it only applies to that.)

 

Now, another thing, people seem very defensive about their own ability to tell what they may have seen. Some people just does not acknowledge that they could be wrong, that their senses may have played tricks on them. There really is no worse evidence than eye witnesses, especially when they are very certain about things. Things they have no experience with.
 

People with experience do actually know that they can be fooled, it's inexperienced people who seem so very certain about their observations. I suppose that it is exactly because they are inexperienced. "But he is a police officer" I sometimes hear, or something like that. How much experience does a police officer have in observing wild animals, and wild big cats in particular?

Not any related to his position, that's for sure.

 

Well, that's just my two cents.


Edited by Jams - 20-May-2009 at 13:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terri Ann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 14:47
I don't disagree with you Jams.
 
I think in many cases, the word "big" (as in cat) is a matter of opinion.   The number of times a "big" cat has been reported and is described as "labrador-sized" - biggish ......!? 
Or even "spaniel-sized" - not even biggish .....!  Ok, bigger than your average domestic cat, but not, as far as I am concerned a "big cat".   Pumas are obviously nowhere near as big as a tiger, or adult African lion, but I'm pretty sure they are bigger than a spaniel!
 
But if ever Britain required a big cat all of its own, then the puma is absolutely perfect. Keeps itself to itself, non-aggressive in normal circumstances, extremely adaptable, and even comes in a nice, tasteful, Marks and Spencer shade of beige!   Except for the mysterious black ones, of course.
 
So what about the Kellas Cat - a hybrid domestic and Wild Cat - ferocious, long-legged, very good swimmers, supposedly the size of a small fox, and always come in black.
 
Cat genetics is quite complicated.  Crossing a domestic with any species of "wild" cat will produce a slightly larger cat, but F1 and F2 hybrids can be exceptionally larger.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 21:40
Originally posted by Terri Ann Terri Ann wrote:

I don't disagree with you Jams.
 

I think in many cases, the word "big" (as in cat) is a matter of opinion.   The number of times a "big" cat has been reported and is described as "labrador-sized" - biggish ......!? 

Or even "spaniel-sized" - not even biggish .....!  Ok, bigger than your average domestic cat, but not, as far as I am concerned a "big cat".   Pumas are obviously nowhere near as big as a tiger, or adult African lion, but I'm pretty sure they are bigger than a spaniel!

 

But if ever Britain required a big cat all of its own, then the puma is absolutely perfect. Keeps itself to itself, non-aggressive in normal circumstances, extremely adaptable, and even comes in a nice, tasteful, Marks and Spencer shade of beige!   Except for the mysterious black ones, of course.

 

So what about the Kellas Cat - a hybrid domestic and Wild Cat - ferocious, long-legged, very good swimmers, supposedly the size of a small fox, and always come in black.


 

Cat genetics is quite complicated.  Crossing a domestic with any species of "wild" cat will produce a slightly larger cat, but F1 and F2 hybrids can be exceptionally larger.

 


Has there been any deaths or injuries attributed to these mysterious black cats? If not then I do not see the big deal and maybe they fill a niche since all of Britain’s major predators, such as, wolves or bears are long extinct because of man.

If you are worried about these big kitties getting out of hand then here are some stats on Mtn lion attacks

http://www.gf.state.az.us/w_c/mtn_lion_attacks.shtml

Edited by eaglecap - 20-May-2009 at 22:53
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I thought you still had lynxes?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Windemere Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 22:19
The pictures on that site are interesting. I think that with DNA analysis, it will turn out that the large black 'rabbit-head' or 'Kellas' cats are either feral black domestic cats ( though possibly they may have been born in the wild, maybe for several generations), or else they could be hybrids between the Scottish Wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) and the domestic cat. Possibly they got their larger size from the wildcat, and their black coloring from the domestic cat..The domestic cat descends from the African Wildcat (Felis silvestris libyca), which is very closely related to the European/Scottish Wildcat, and they could certainly interbreed if given the opportunity.
 
It's possible that occasionally captive leopards, jaguars, or cougars are released into the wild in Britain or Australia, but I doubt that they could develop into a self-sustaining breeding population.
 
Coincidentally, there was  an interesting post on this forum (Allempires) a few months ago, in which scientists, through DNA analysis, recently discovered that the black color phase of North American wolves originally derived from domesticated dogs that early North American Indians brought with them when they crossed the Bering Strait and colonized North America. This is one of the few known instances where genes derived from a domestic species crossed over into a wild species. Of course, the domestic Indian dogs were originally domesticated from wolves. And the black color phase of North American wolves isn't a seperate species, it's just a color phase of the wild North American wolves.


Edited by Windemere - 20-May-2009 at 22:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 22:28
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

I thought you still had lynxes?


That would be nice but are there any left? When I hiked in Scotland/England and locals fold me about wild cats but that they were like feral cats. I was told the difference was they had always been wild and never domesticated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 22:47
Welcome, Terri Ann.

Yes indeed, the popular theory behind big cat sightings in Australia rests of the hypothesis that US military personnel released pet puma cat mascots into the wild once they had grown too big during the Second World War. American military presence on this continent in WWII was very substantial, I think up to 300,000 personnel at it's height.

There is no native cat species that could interbreed to produce a big cat here. The only cats here we can confirm with certainty are the ferals. Still, it only takes a little mutation out of the millions of ferals to create a large breed that preys aggressively on local animals and livestock....

And I agree with Knights that it is preposterous that DNA testing was not carried out on the cat that was shot and killed earlier.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2009 at 23:42
This whole thing seems to go in line with the large eagle-like bird sightings in the USA/Canada. Have there been any big raptor sightings in England? They were called Thunder birds by the Native Americans and it is a powerful religious symbol amongst some native cultures.

Next of course is big foot- any sightings in England? -
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 00:53
Here in Sweden a couple of seasons ago there where several sightings of a Kangoroo in the county of Värmland. And also there where several sightings of a lion in Finland, making people, in the area where the sightings occured, afraid of going outdoors.
 
None of these animals were ever captured.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 00:58
Haha, I don't think you have anything to fear from kangaroos, they are largely harmless
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Originally posted by eaglecap eaglecap wrote:


That would be nice but are there any left? When I hiked in Scotland/England and locals fold me about wild cats but that they were like feral cats. I was told the difference was they had always been wild and never domesticated.
 
Yes the European Wild Cat (Felis silvestris) exists among other places in Scotland. It is rather rare and is regarded as an endangered species.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 01:44
Terri Ann
The thing is, when cats that were claimed as Kellas cats were measured, they were just the size of normal cats. Afaik, they did have some specific colouring, but all sources seem a bit vague. In many of the other cases the bodies 'disapear'. Pretty weird. If someone really shot or found a true big cat, I'm sure they would make the remains available for the authorities.
 
That size thingy - spaniel size may be small, but labrador size? None of the small cat species are anywhere near the size of a labrador dog at all, far from it. The only cats that can be of a similar size are the big cats (and that is a well understood term, it means the roaring cats - leopard, jaguar, tiger, lion and possibly the snow leopard) + puma, unusually big lynx and cheetah. None of the others are remotely near that size. Especially not Scottish wild cats.
 
If someone sees a large cat, but a cat that is just a tad larger than a domestic (about spaniel size, for example), well then the most reasonable conclusion must be that is just IS a large domestic cat (feral or otherwise). Actually, if people can't tell what species of big cat it is, (except for the leopard/jaguar), then I wouldn't trust them to be able to determine that it is a cat at all.
 
We did have a cat here once, that people claimed was a puma, but when it was caught it turned out that it was an escaped serval - a drastically different looking animal. It is pretty mysterious how people could think they saw a puma when they looked at a serval, but they did. Never underestimate the power of the human imagination, not even your own.
 
Ps. another thing to consider is the very large size of big cat territories, easily in the 100 square kilometre range - or more!
 
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Here in Sweden a couple of seasons ago there where several sightings of a Kangoroo in the county of Värmland. And also there where several sightings of a lion in Finland, making people, in the area where the sightings occured, afraid of going outdoors.
 
None of these animals were ever captured.
 
At least in Sweden there really are "biggish" cats, the lynx.
 
Pps. Forgot about the "small fox" yeah, a small fox is the size of a domestic cat pretty much, so that means nothing. British foxes are among the smaller foxes, they vary in size depending on where they live. Scandinavian foxes are noticably larger, for example.
 
And don't forget this phenomenon,


Edited by Jams - 21-May-2009 at 02:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Terri Ann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 10:52

I still don’t get how a handful(?) of pumas released over (whatever the square mileage of the UK is) could come to form a viable breeding population.  Isn’t the Florida puma in dire straits because of an unnaturally small gene pool? 

 

And how come it’s only pumas?  Surely, there would have been equal numbers of released lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs – especially cheetahs – being almost totally non-aggressive, they were very popular pets among the rich and famous. 

 

There have been very very few mild attacks on humans (as far as anyone can tell – of course, humans do disappear ……….!), it’s mostly sheep that are preyed upon.   I think most Brits like the idea of having something a bit scary and exotic lurking in the countryside – adds a certain spark of excitement to the Sunday picnic.  It’s only the farmers who aren’t so keen.

 

A few Lynx have been spotted, mostly around London, so are certainly escapees from private collections.  But wild lynx are long gone, along with wolves.  Wild boar are making a come back though ……….     and there’s a decent population of wallabies living wild in the Midlands.

 

Windermere – so black is a kind of wild/feral hybrid default colour?  That is interesting!  Of course a dominant mutation in the right place could explain much about our big cats.

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 12:43
Some domestic cats can really become oversized:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 12:57
Originally posted by Terri Ann Terri Ann wrote:

 But wild lynx are long gone, along with wolves.  Wild boar are making a come back though ……….     and there’s a decent population of wallabies living wild in the Midlands. 
 
In Sweden we are lucky enough to have populations of the the big four carnivores, the lynx, the wolf, the bear and the wolverine. And the wild boar have made a strong come back in the southern half of our country and is now so common that it can even be seen in the streets of some of our towns.
 
We have also some populations of imported or runaway foreign animals as the read eared slider turtle (originally from Nort America), some garter snakes (also from NA), the mink (NA), the muskrat (NA) and the rainbow trout (NA).
 
And then we of course have the strange sightings of kangaroos, lions and other exotic creatures.
 
Do you know the story behind the population of wallabies in the midlands? How did they get there?
 
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