Thursday 28 July 2011

Sheep kills, what to look for

Evidence for the existence of large, exotic cats in the wilds of the UK is, according to sceptics, absent. Strangely, several naturalists on website forums, and 'experts' in zoo parks, and within the agricultural community, clearly have not a clue as what to look for regarding such evidence. One website continues to mock sightings of 'big cats', stating quite categorically that there is no evidence, and yet on the same website there are prints and deer kills and in every case the possibility that a large cat is responsible has been dismissed. In the wild, foxes and deer to not attack deer with a throat bite and then strip them clean, foxes are a messy predator and do not chew through thick bone...neither the badger of the fox takes a kill high into a tree either. When tree bark is marked, it is easy to pinpoint which type of animal is responsible, but claw marks an inch apart, eight-feet up a tree cannot be made by any other animal except a large cat which has been sharpening its claws and leaving a scent. In the UK countryside sheep kills are frequent, despite 'experts' once again saying that there are no livestock kills. When a carcass is stripped by a cat there are tell tale signs even if the carcass has been left for a while. Puncture marks around the throat area, through bone, and ribs chewed down. Yet these are signs which people do not look for, especially if they do not believe that large cats roam the countryside. How many tell-tale signs are being ignored ?

When a fox tears at a sheep or deer, we must remember that the teeth and jaws are relatively small compared to a large cat, and certainly a lot weaker (a cat rasps the fleece from a sheep with an extremely rough tongue) and a fox will rip and tear, often leaving a mess of fur/fleece/feathers. When a large cat kills there are rarely signs of any struggle at the location. When a kill is made, a cat will often leave the head, and when scavengers step in and finish the rest off.

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