Wednesday 22 June 2011

Margate black leopard


My husband saw one on the 17th June 2011. It was coming off the Northdown House Estate land in Cliftonville, Kent. It stopped when it saw the car and retreated back into the bushes.
Hope this is helpful."

Sunday 19 June 2011

Hartley leopard

A chap called Steve emailed to report a black leopard at Hartley on Saturday 19th June 2011. At around 9:00 pm Steve was driving towards home when he saw a very large black cat with a lengthy tail walking up a hillside in an area of fields. Curious about the animal Steve reversed the car and watched the cat as it sat on the hill. Steve was extremely frustrated that he never had a camera with him and aimed to go back to the area with a zoologist friend.

The Hartley black leopard sighting is the twenty-fourth received in the nineteen days of June.

Friday 17 June 2011

More sightings of black leopard across Kent

Several more black leopard sightings have been reported. On the night of Thursday 16th June 2011 a Rolvenden man claimed to have filmed a black leopard on his mobile phone. The following day, Friday 17th June, a couple driving towards Ashford, from the Hamstreet area, at 3:00 pm were shocked when a a four-foot long black cat sped across the road around fifty yards away. The male witness described the cat as being four-feet in length and having a long tail. The witness realised immediately that the animal was a black leopard as he'd seen one the previous year in the area of Susan's Hill.

Another report was received from Ulcombe of a black leopard seen by a female motorist and there have been several more Dover sightings.

Sunday 12 June 2011

Kent Messenger article on 'big cat' trigger camera photo

Over the last few months Kent Big Cat Research have been investigating reports of a large, black cat in the Ulcombe area of rural Maidstone. Eye witness Sharon Ramsden had caught a large cat on film after setting up a trigger camera in her back garden. Whilst most of the evidence for a large cat in the area remained inconclusive the photo (which isn't as clear in the newspaper report of 10th June 2011) shows a large, dark-coloured cat. The animal, if judging by the fence, is just over three-feet in length. The main issue with the photograph is that the animal appears to be sitting on its haunches but there is no ground or anything stable enough for it to be sitting on. Another theory is that the animal is stretching up the fence (the tulip fencing is three-feet in height) and peering towards an area where Sharon keeps a pet bird.

The animal in the photo, which is also distorted by shadow, could be a large feral cat, or according to one zoologist, a sub-adult black leopard.

Friday 10 June 2011

From The Files: The London Lynx

Every time a report of a large, exotic cat appears on a website or in a newspaper the sceptics crawl out from under their stones and ask the same questions. Why aren't these animals captured ? Where are the dead bodies ? Why no clear photographs ? Sadly, even if a body, clear photo, or animal is presented, certain sceptics still will not believe. This isn't a true sceptical attitude, this is plain ignorance. In 2001 a lynx was caught in a back garden in Cricklewood, London. More of this case will be covered in my upcoming book MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: LONDON. The story made the national newspapers after it was originally reported that a leopard was seen by a female witness. A call was made to the police who, aided by London Zoo, visited the area and were shocked to be confronted by a lynx. The animal was visibly shaken - it had suffered an injury to a rear leg. After a few hours chase the animal was tranquillised and sent off to London Zoo. Staff named the animal 'Lara'. It was eventually shipped on to a zoo in France.

No-one came forward to claim their lost lynx - it was extremely likely the animal had been kept illegally. It proved that a large cat could still be kept as an illegal pet and no-one knows for how long this animal had been on the loose, but it certainly proved that such animals can roam even the more built up areas of the country. At the time the sceptics went remarkably quiet, no surprise. In the past exotic cats have been found dead on roads or shot dead, and yet still sceptics argue they do not exist. Maybe they should question their own ignorance and blindness rather than the simple facts that exotic cats DO roam the UK.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Ashford sightings continue...

The flurry of black leopard sightings from the Ashford area continues. On Sunday 5th June at 5:30 am, in the vicinity of Stubbs Cross, Ashford, a man walking his dog was shocked to see a large, black cat run across a field just thirty-feet ahead, briefly cast a glance at the witness, and then bound, in one leap, over a hedge and out of sight. The witness described the animal as having a long tail and was the size of a small Labrador.

Warehorne black leopard and Sussex lynx

After a recent flurry of reports from East Kent comes another report, this time of a black leopard seen in the Warehorne vicinity. Warehorne sits on the edge of Romney Marsh, where in the past large, exotic cats have been reported, as well as the vicinity of Orelstone Forest. On June 4th at 7:30 pm a woman walked into her back garden to quieten her four dogs which had been barking at something the the adjacent field. Thinking a fox was mooching around the area she was surprised to see a large cat - which she described as, the size of a German Shepherd dog, ran across the field. The sheep in the field were not agitated by the presence of the animal as it headed off toward the nearby wood. The previous day a woman walking her dogs a few miles away also observed an enormous black cat. During early June a lynx was observed in the Chichester area of West Sussex. The animal was described by a witness as being larger than a fox and covered in black spots.

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Dover sighting involving six witnesses

"Just a quick one to report a sighting of what looked like a black leopard. It was on the 30th of May at about 6 in the morning up on top of the napoleonic fort set in the western heights above Dover.

There was a group of 6 of us and we all got a good look and quickly came to the conclusion that it was a very large black cat. About the size of a German Shepherd but with distinctly feline looking ears and face and stalked off like a cat with the shoulder blades going up and down like cats do whilst creeping along and an incredibly long tail.

It was a magnificent sight and there's wasn't a shadow of doubt what we all saw."
Interestingly, a few years back faeces were found in the area of Dover Castle and sent off for analysis. These come back as belonging to a leopard.

Monday 6 June 2011

June starts with a bang...

Although the vegetation of the countryside grows more dense this time of year, it doesn't affect the abundance of sightings of large, exotic cats. In the last five days Kent Big Cat Research has received eight sightings from across Kent alone of what the press like to term 'big cats'. Three sightings have concerned melanistic leopards, two puma, and one lynx, stretching from Dover in East Kent, to the North Kent marshes. The most impressive has come from Sevenoaks where a deer was found half-eaten - the carcass bearing the marks of a cat kill, with puncture marks to the throat and the fur rasped, leaving a clean rib cage bereft of blood. A day after the carcass was found a puma was sighted by a farmer who was clearing rubbish on his land when he disturbed a large animal which he described as, "sitting on its suddenly sprang into the undergrowth, darted back out then ran off along the tree-line." He described the animal as four-feet in length with a long, curving tail. The animal was tan-coloured.

Strangely, there are still people who believe that a multitude of different cats roam the UK. The 'white tiger' fiasco elsewhere in the country recently which involved the police who surely must have known that a white tiger wouldn't be on the loose in the UK. Many websites talk about bizarre species of animals from mutant cats, to prehistoric survivors, weird hybrids, but again, the inconsistency of such reports suggests those who see such animals or log such reports are not helping the situation. Whilst lions, tigers, clouded leopard, have escaped from zoo parks over the years they do not roam the UK. A lion is a social animal, and both the lion and tiger are extremely large cats who, in the wilds of the UK would be sighted far more often if they existed...which they do not. Reports of jaguar, and the golden cats, are also unfounded. Again, we must look at consistency with reports. Black leopard, puma, lynx and jungle cat, most certainly roam the south-east of England, and none of these are paranormal or prehistoric. Why create a mystery when there isn't one? If a witness sees an unusual looking animal, it can only be taken with a pinch of salt until reports persist, and as in the case of so many lion, lioness, tiger, etc, reports, they do not persist. Not all witnesses understand what they are seeing, and this is natural, not everyone knows about certain species, not everyone has the greatest eye sight, but the reason reports of exotic cats in the UK aren't taken seriously, is simply down to the fact that too many strange reports are taken seriously! There are those who claim to have had hundreds of sightings of these shy, elusive animals, and there are those who believe there are hundreds of differing species of felidae in the wilds. For every good photo there's a dozen bad ones, and even when the evidence is very good, there's always a sceptical viewpoint. This, of course, is the way of the world, and the 'white tiger' fiasco, just like the toy leopard story a few years back from Wales, is proof that even if clear footage or sufficient evidence (hair samples, sheep kills, faeces, a body - and yes, bodies have been found of exotic cats), it will never be good enough proof, especially in the eyes of those who are so sceptical that they cannot see in front of their nose. And there is also the fact that some researchers would rather not have this 'mystery' solved, otherwise they'd have to find something else to do in between episodes of 'The X-Factor' and 'Eastenders'.

From The Files: The Cooling Photo

Strangely, this photo has appeared on various websites and yet clearly the website owners have no idea as to its origins. The photo was taken in 1998 by Harry Matthews who submitted it to Meridian News, and the photo eventually appeared on the front page of the Kent Today. Due to lack of knowledge the newspaper asked if the creature was the so-called 'beast of Blue Bell Hill', even though a) the animal was sighted on the other side of the river, b) the Blue Bell Hill animal is a black leopard, and the animal in the photo clearly isn't.

Mr Matthews, when interviewed on Meridian News did not state the animal was a 'big cat', but claimed he'd seen a similar one on the internet which he believed was an Italian wildcat. Immediately, the press had a field day but little did they realise how severely the image was distorted by undergrowth. Whilst the photo clearly shows a felid, the seemingly muscular shoulders are in fact undergrowth from the marsh behind it. A second photo also emerged showing the cat running away, and some believe the animal is simply a breed of domestic cat, whilst others claim the animal is a Jungle Cat/domestic hybrid. Whatever the cat is, it is not a black leopard, puma, etc, but it does remain an impressive photograph. Cooling Marshes would provide perfect cover and prey for an animal such as a Jungle Cat, or any cat which feed on rodents, small birds etc.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Another Kingsnorth sighting...

On 28th May, a day before the couple had seen a large black cat near Cheeseman's Wood, Kingsnorth, an eight-year old boy observed a large cat stalking a domestic cat in a built up area in Kingsnorth. The animal, which was sitting in long grass, measured approximately a metre in height when sitting on its haunches and had yellow eyes.