Friday, 8 August 2008

Sevenoaks puma sighting

From the Sevenoaks Chronicle:

Posted-: 12:00 - 07 August 2008
A big cat could be at large in Otford, according to a motorist who claims he saw a large creature similar to a puma lurking in the village. Peter Nertney posted a comment on BBC Kent's Big Cat Country web page describing what he saw: "I saw a large cat similar in size and colour to a puma running across the lawns of St Michael's School in Otford on Friday July 25 at about 5.30pm."When I honked my horn, it stopped and turned around before running into the bushes."

Neil Arnold, of Kent Big Cat Research, has spent years collating sightings and evidence of large felines. He said: "I don't get many puma reports but I don't get as many because they don't stand out as much."Pumas have been around since Roman times when they were imported so they could fight in amphitheatres."But Mr Arnold believes there are other big cat species roaming the Sevenoaks countryside aside from pumas."There has been a big black leopard in the area, which hasn't been seen for a short while," he said."There are possibly two because of the different sizes people have reported."One is a bigger, stockier male and the other a smaller female."Mr Arnold said the cats' main prey are rabbits and pheasants, but he has had reports of deer that have been found eaten.

The Sevenoaks newspaper misquoted Neil Arnold. The Romans never had puma's, they would not have heard of them as they were cats of the New World.

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