Wednesday 12 December 2012

Black leopard sighting at Southfleet

On 11th December 2012 a male witness named Alf, whilst delivering to a property at Dale Road, Southfleet, had a surprising encounter. At 3:45 pm he noticed some ducks in the field opposite, and wondering why they were there (as there was no water nearby) was suddenly drawn to a large black cat walking through the undergrowth in a nearby field. Alf was aware that the animal was rather large,and so he called to someone who works at the property and they both watched the animal until it moved out of sight. The area in general is rural with lots of fields and country lanes. There have been sightings in the area in the past, although these are not often, but Southfleet - for a large cat - is not far from Gravesend, where there have been an abundance of sightings over the years.

Monday 10 December 2012

Recent December sightings...

December so far has been a relatively quiet month for sightings, the most recent concerning a black leopard near Blue Bell Hill. Sussex appears to be the more busier county at the moment - there's been three sightings reported in the last few days, the most impressive near Lewes concerning a former zoo keeper who was travelling to see a friend on December 5th, at around 4:00 pm when a large cat crossed the road around twenty-feet ahead. The witness reported, "I'd heard about the sightings previously in the area but never believed such animals could exist, but this was clearly a melanistic leopard - it was a big animal, low to the ground, and had a long tail but having worked in the vicinity of leopards years ago, it was the shape of the head that stuck in my mind. When I told my friend about what he'd seen he wasn't convinced, until his wife mentioned that around five years ago she'd seen a similar cat near Horsham. Mind you, it doesn't matter who sees such an animal, some people are always sceptical, but I know what I've seen and no-one will convince me otherwise."

Friday 16 November 2012

Lions on the loose ? Of course not...but...

Neil Arnold has an article on 'Lions On The Loose' in the December 2012 (295) issue of Fortean Times magazine. The article looks at, and dismisses reports of so-called 'lions panic' in the UK, including the recent Essex lion farce, as well as alleged reports of the king of the jungle around London, Sussex and even a story pertaining to a lion trapped in a sewer in Birmingham! Buy your copy now, available from all good newsagents.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Sunday 4 November 2012

The boar are back in town...

Although the government and Department of Agriculture refuse to state how many wild boar are lurking in Kent, (far more than any authority would care to admit!) recent investigations have revealed a small population spreading to woods around Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge. A recent investigation into the local forest in search of evidence for black leopard and puma, revealed several deer carcasses that although now quite old - were originally killed by a large cat. Some great research is being conducted in the area by a James Mitson who also photographed several boar in his local woods. Initially most of the boar in Kent were thought to originate from farms in the '70s and '80s when such animals were being presented on posh restaurant menu's, and when a severe storm struck Kent in 1987, many of these animals, along with exotic cats and wallabies escaped into the Kent wilds. Most of the boar were thought to have spread throughout East Kent and down into parts of Sussex on the marshes. However, recent investigations have revealed that there are now boar spreading through parts of Sevenoaks, and as already mentioned, down into Tonbridge. The boar were surprisingly docile, and more than happy to approach especialy after hearing the rustling of a bag. It'll be interesting to see if any of the young turn up eaten by the local 'big cat'! Photo copyright of James Mitson

Saturday 20 October 2012

Westwell leopard ?

Report received: Saturday October 20th 2012 - dusk. "I live in Westwell near Ashford. I have just driven into the village via Watery Lane, as I passed under the rail link bridge, I saw a large black cat walk across the road about 100 yards in front. It was roughly the size of a labrador. It was definitely a cat I am really interested in cats in general and can honestly say that just by the way it was walking and its stance that is what it was. It wasnt in any hurry so I got a good look at it. I am totally amazed and thought I would let you know asap."

Friday 19 October 2012

Ulcombe feral cat

There have been two sightings recently of a large black cat in the Ulcombe area, where over the past few years there have been rumour of a black leopard prowling around. Even so, the recent sightings are not all they are cracked up to be. A lady named Mandy remember seeing a large black cat that crossed a road in the village on the night of October 13th. Her partner, who was in the car with her at the time, described the animal as an unusually large feral cat, and this was confirmed the following day when the same animal was photographed by a dog walker in fields at the back of the local school. The man, a keen naturalist had heard about the 'big cat' sightings and was in the fields hoping to get a glimpse of a white squirrel when he noticed a seemingly large animal prowling along a treeline. He took two photographs of the animal which were passed on to us, and confirmed as being a feral cat - albeit a large one. It's not that unusual for a feral cat to grow to a few feet in length, but whether this is the same animal others have seen in the area we may never know unless evidence comes forward, but until it does what is clear is that there are some big ferals roaming Kent.

Monday 24 September 2012

Fox killed by large cat and other sightings

The image was sent by a man walking his dogs at the Isle of Grain. The dogs disturbed a large animal which speed off when disturbed leaving behind this kill. The predator had attempted to cover its kill by scraping dirt/grass over it - the hallmark of a puma. In the last four days there have been eleven sightings from across the south-east with three reports coming from Sussex - the most recent near Haywards Heath on 24th September involving a motorist travelling to work at 5am when a huge black cat ran across the road. Photo by J. Deane

Wednesday 19 September 2012

New Romney 'big cat' sighting

On Tuesday 18th September a black leopard was observed by a woman who was feeding her donkey at New Romney. The sighting took place at 4pm, and the animal observed was described as three-feet in length, slim in the body and slowly loping along a hedgerow. The marshy areas of New Romney have featured heavily over the years in regards to 'big cat' sightings with sightings coming from Lydd, Ivychurch, Burmarsh and toward Dymchurch. A few years ago one researcher claimed there were "thirteen black leopards" in Romney Marsh which must qualify as one of the most ridiculous statements of all time and the sort of comment that could quite easily create a witch hunt. The marshy area is perfect habitat for large cats (but not thirteen of one species!), particularly lynx, but as a territory for any cat it would be viable as from this area a cat could easily travel into East Sussex - there have been reports at Rye, Hastings etc - and east Kent where there have been many sightings over the years at Ashford, Folkestone, Dover and Tenterden.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Kent 'big cat' updates

Over the past few weeks there have been more reports, mostly of black leopard in the Kent wilds and including the recent discovery of a deer carcass, photographed by James Mitson. The throat area of the animal sported several puncture marks. A black leopard has been reported from the Allington area of Maidstone by a female witness who observed the animal in her back garden. She reported the sighting to the police. There have also been a number of sightings from an undisclosed area of rural Gravesend where two black leopards have been sighted together.

Worldwide 'big cat' sightings and news

If anyone is interested, the CENTRE FOR FORTEAN ZOOLOGY are now running a wordwide 'mystery cat' blog which can be found at: and has been put in the capable hands of Emma Osborne. The site will look at sightings of unusual cats across Britain as well as the rest of the world and also provide updates on conservation and discoveries.

Monday 3 September 2012

Several more 'big cat' sightings...

Over the last couple of weeks there have been several reports made of black leopard, particularly from the wooded areas surrounding Gravesend. On Friday 28th August a black leopard was seen by a female witness walking not far from the Thong Lane area. There has also been another sighting on the Isle of Sheppey. The animal was observed by a father and son on holiday at Leysdown-on-Sea. With so many reports coming in only a few will appear on this sight as updates due to other committments.

If you have any evidence such as photographs of kills etc please do email them to

Surrey 'big cat' on prowl

The Croydon Advertiser recently ran an interview with Neil Arnold regarding the Essex 'lion' farce as well as recent Surrey cat sightings. Sadly the reporter in question made some terrible errors in misquoting, stating that there are 'pumas and cougars' roaming around!!!!!! Anyway, if you're interested, read it HERE

Thursday 30 August 2012

Ludicrous article from a Daily Mail 'journalist'

So, there are no exotic cats roaming the UK! It's as simple as that according to one Daily mail journalist who clearly knows his stuff in that he compares reports of 'phantom cats' with monsters from folklore! In fact so intelligent is the blog post that he dismisses the Surrey puma with a salivating scoff, remarking that there's no evidence for 'big cats' in the UK just because the Essex lion scare turned out to be - as expected - a farce. If you'd like to read the drivel, then please do follow the link and maybe get a comment on there to.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

The only way isn't Essex...!

The recent Essex lion farce has made a slight mockery of 'big cat' research in the UK. We're used to the blurry images of domestic cats believed to be lions, and we can't do anything about the news reporters arriving on the scene hoping to interview the elusive beast, but whilst the police presence was in force as an act of health and safety, to some extent this in turn created a witch hunt. It was the usual stuff really, silly season all over again, bringing to mind the past 'horrors' and drama of the Winchmore Hill lioness (1994), the Shooters Hill cheetah (1960s), the Edgware tiger (1980s), the Sydenham leopard (2005) et al. As usual there was no marauding cat to be found - the initial rumours amid some terrible photographs and media frenzy were that a lion had escaped - but from where ? - after several witnesses, albeit seemingly from a distance claimed to have spotted Africa's monster cat. The phone began to ring, emails began popping in - newspapers were eager for an interview in hope that we could get to the bottom of a...well, non-existent mystery...

It was claimed that a lion had probably escaped from a circus that had been visiting Clacton. Or maybe someone had kept one as a pet and it had escaped, or possibly been released. And yet no maned wonder surfaced, but still the police and the press scoured the woods not once realising that if a lion was prowling around it would show itself. Some opinions were that the animal had in fact been a puma as there were some eye witness descriptions which spoke of a tan-coloured cat with a white chest and a long thick tail - characteristics most unlike a lion. Of course, the sceptics, naysayers and mickey-takers were already posting the predictable comments on the newspaper blogs, but still the newspapers and radio stations were caught up in the feline frenzy, somehow expecting a lion to turn up dead or drugged.

The facts were clearly non-existent. For instance, if a lion had escaped from somewhere it would've stuck out like a sore thumb. If a lion was roaming around Essex it would have sought a pride, and taken very large, and possibly human prey. Police scoured the hedgerows and thickets, but they were too many minutes late on the scene because if this cat had been a puma it wouldn't have stayed around and would have vanished like a ghost. Of course, there was never the possibility that the beast had been a domestic cat...even though it was. In every case we've ever known of a lion, tiger, or cheetah rumoured to be on the loose, the animal in nearly every instant has turned out to be a domestic cat and in those unique cases of real big cats being seen, they are nearly always recaptured by use of tranquiliser dart, or shot dead...that's why reports of lions, tigers, cheetahs and even jaguars in the UK have to be taken with a pinch of salt. We're just confused as to how so many people could claim to see a lion ?

The photographs that appeared in The Sun etc most certainly did not show anything resembling a lion - yet the witnesses claimed they'd sat and watched the animal for quite a while as it groomed itself and basked in the afternoon sun. Some people said they heard the beast roar, but the fact the police called off the hunt proved that there was no lion around. Even so, Essex is not without its mystery. Just a week previous we received a report of a puma-like cat from the county, the report never made the newspapers and we're pretty sure that even if the police had heard about it they wouldn't have sent helicopters out, and the reason for this is simply because the police probably do get frequent reports of black leopard, puma and lynx, and are probably so used to these reports but a sighting of a lion or tiger is a different kettle of cat so it was their duty to investigate.

Some would argue that the Essex lion scare showed the police wasting time and resources, as they've done several times previous, especially regarding the white tiger scare in Hampshire a short while ago, but Essex has a long history of 'big cat' sightings, from Brentwood to the Ongar Marshes, and from Witham to Epping Forest. Of course, the lion story has done some damage to the research being conducted because until the story simmers down, any genuine sighting will be tarred with the brush that so badly tainted the lastest farce.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Black leopard seen near Channel Tunnel

This isn't the first time this type of headline has appeared in Kent. Large cats have been seen on several occasions within the vicinity of the Channel Tunnel and also rail link - an animal such as a leopard would use a railway line to navigate its route. A few days ago a large black cat was seen at Folkestone by a motorist who described the animal as clearly a "panther" that crossed the road a few metres away. Over the past year there have been numerous sightings at Dover also, particularly in the Western Heights area. August has been an exceptionally busy month for sightings, the most recent coming from the Thong area of Gravesend when a woman walking her dog across a field observed a big, black cat that did not fit the size or description of any known UK animal.

An animal roaming this particular area would have a vast territory taking in the country parks of say, Shorne and Vigo and dense woods of Cobham through to Meopham. Whether this is the same animal seen down towards Snodland and Haling over the years we are unsure as there are clearly more than one melanistic leopard and puma roaming the town and its outskirts. Lynx have also been observed on numerous occasions recently.

Friday 10 August 2012

Lynx shot dead in 1926 and more

The end of July and beginning of August have produced several sightings of large cats within the south-east, the most recent being at Gravesend, where on the Wrotham Road a motorist had a daylight encounter with an animal he never believed existed. It's always of interest when sceptical folk observe 'big cats', and on this occasion at 9:00 am - as the man came from his Istead Rise home - a black leopard casually padded across the road from one field to the next. Only a day later a man driving at Meopham observed an animal of silvery-grey colouration that emerged from a hedgerow. The animal may well have been a puma.

There was also a black leopard sighting recently at Rye in East Sussex. This may well have been the same animal that was seen near Battle a couple of weeks ago.

Photo's will be uploaded soon regarding a pig that was eaten in Sussex. The animal had been rasped clean, ribs sheared off and huge puncture marks in the bone, particularly around the lower jaw.

We also received an email from a chap who found an interesting snippet of information regarding a lynx that had been shot dead by a farmer on the Chatham outskirts in 1926! This is currently under investigation as it seems the farmer took the body to a zoo, but sadly, which zoo we are unable to find, nor the exact location of the incident. This does bring to mind however the lynx which was shot dead in Bristol in the 1800s. The stuffed specimen was discovered in a zoo and was investigated by the Centre For Fortean Zoology.

Friday 20 July 2012

Latest July reports - back to black!

July has been a very busy month for sightings. There have been several reports from Higham, Battle (East Sussex), Chartham, Headcorn and Shadoxhurst at Ashford. All sightings involved black leopard. The Shadoxhurst report involved a witness who, whilst looking out of her window at 6:00 am saw an enormous black cat rummaging through the sacks she'd placed at the end of her drive. The woman woke her husband, and so intrigued was she by the animal she went outside but the animal slinked away. She believed the cat was after a shoulder of lamb that had been deposited in the sack. The Chartham report concerned a male motorist who saw a fox-sized black cat (not a domestic/feral cat) that crossed the road in front of him and another motorist saw a black leopard whilst recently travelling on the Ulcombe Road into Headcorn during daylight.

It's worth noting just how many reports are received of black leopards and not what people would term 'normal' leopards with then rosette pelage. Some researchers would claim that 'spotted' leopard reports are as frequent as those of the melanistic variety but this simply isn't the case. Kent Big Cat Research has NEVER received a report of a normal leopard, in more than 25 years of research every sighting has been of the melanistic variety. This is clearly a dominant gene - a majority of leopards kept as pets in the '60s were of the darker coat - black parents only produce black offspring due to the recessive gene, hence the fact that black squirrels and foxes are scant. The occasional reports received of smaller spotted cats would suggest the Leopard Cat.

Reports of so-called 'big cats' must be analysed on their consistency levels. If people start to report lions, cheetahs, jaguars and tigers, then it seems clear that in most cases these are hoaxes, misidentification or an escapee from the zoo. The consistent reports across the UK strongly suggest black leopard, puma and lynx, as well as smaller cats such as the Jungle Cat and Leopard Cat. Reports of normal leopards, tigers, lions etc, must be taken with a pinch of salt until there are further reports. This is the problem with a lot of 'big cat' research in the UK - too many sightings that are taken as fact of clearly impossible or unlikely species. If only 1 report of a normal leopard is received among 1000 black leopard reports, then the normal leopard sighting must be ruled until others come forward to report it, the same can also be said for reports of bizarre mutants, albino cats and other alleged melanistic species.

Friday 6 July 2012

Another deer kill in Tonbridge

Thanks to the investigations of James Mitson, another deer kill has been found in dense woods between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. The leg of a roe deer has been discovered near to where in the past there have been numerous piles of scat and other deer kills. This is clearly an area where a large predatory cat feels comfortable frequenting. Watch this space for more updates.

Monday 25 June 2012

Domestic cat deaths in Biddenden

Recently there have been several reports from the village of Biddenden concerning domestic cat deaths. The carcasses have been found often bereft of head and stripped clean, suggesting a large predatory animal is on the loose rather than the victims being taken by a dog or fox. These deaths echo similar cases from a few years ago when many domestic cats were found (or in some cases not found at all) decapitated and rasped off flesh. These sinister cases mainly took place around Orpington, Sidcup, Bexley, Bromley and towards Petts Wood and even as far as Sydenham where sightings of an enormous large black cat seemed to coincide with the discovery of eaten domestic cats.

Domestic cats, small dogs and foxes - as well as deer, sheep, ducks, geese, rabbits, pheasants, pigeons, squirrels, are all on the menu of large, roaming exotic cats - only recently a farmer in Sussex found a completely eaten calf which sported two extraordinary puncture marks in its skull. The way the animal had been killed an eaten suggested the work of a large cat such as a leopard.

May/June 2012 sightings

Sincere apologies for delays in updating the blog - writing and lecturing commitments have taken over, however, in the last two months 18 sightings have been received, including black leopard sightings from Sheppey, Tenterden, Gravesend, Deal, Blue Bell Hill, and puma sightings at Ashford, Sevenoaks and Dover. There has also been two lynx sightings from Sittingbourne and Folkestone respectively. Several sightings of black leopard have been received from Sussex - including the death of a calf which was found completely eaten and two puncture marks left in the skull.

If you see a large exotic cat in the south-east don't forget to report it to Neil Arnold at

Wednesday 18 April 2012

An abundance of sightings

Over the last week or so there has been a rash of sightings across Kent, including a daylight sighting of a black leopard at Upchurch, and a sighting of a lynx near Longfield. There have been several other reports - some currently under investigation - including two sightings of black leopard at Dartford, one at Bexley, one at Hempstead, near Gillingham, and one at Darenth.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

More sightings...

This Easter period has certainly been one of busiest on record regarding sightings of exotic cats throughout Kent. Several investigations are under way, after a lynx was observed in woodland in the Sittingbourne area. The sighting, which took place today (10th April) in broad daylight concerned a group of young children who were walking home when they observed a large 'orange-coloured' cat which was sitting on a log. The children were naturally unsettled by the appearance of the animal and they ran home and told parents. The animal they described matched the description of a lynx, orange-yellowy coat, mottled markings and a white underside to the body. Sightings around the area, although infrequent, date back more than 100 years. Some researchers believe that the lynx - once native to Britain - never fully died out a few thousands of years ago, and that this elusive animal could well have hung on until the modern day, especially after releases into the wilds during the 1960s and '70s.

There has also been more activity of what the press like to call the 'beast of Blue Bell Hill', and this is currently under investigation.
The big concern for parents is that a large cat would attack their children. In the United States the puma, also known as cougar and mountain lion, has been known to attack children, especially those flitting through trees as they run or cycle. In parts of Africa and Asia the leopard has also been known to attack children, particularly in areas that harbour small, forest-based villages. In the UK there's no evidence, as yet, to suggest that large, elusive, predatory cats will attack humans, but as always, it is advised that children, or adults, do not corner, provoke or attempt to injure/capture such an animal. The instinct of a wild animal, when cornered, is to retaliate, in order to free itself from the situation it is in. Whilst a number of researchers may enjoy the seemingly modern mystery of the so-called 'big cat' situation, one must also bear in mind the serious nature of this predicament, in that in the case of black leopard and puma, the UK now harbours animals which should not be there.

It seems highly unlikely that the Department Of Agriculture, and similar groups, will invest money or full-time study into the phenomenon, hence leaving the research up members of the public to collate sightings and evidence. Even so, an attack on a child would no doubt wrench the 'big cat' mystery from the hands of the local researcher and become a matter for the police etc, to handle. An injured or cornered 'big cat' would be a formidable opponent for anyone, and whilst such a reaction would not be the fault of the animal, such an encounter may well evoke a witch hunt, with all manner of terrified parents, hunters, etc, taking to the woodlands attempting to flush out the animal. The huge issue, as always, is the seemingly lack or awareness, and abundant ignorance of the authorities in these situations. It is fair to say, that the authorities do not have the time or money to follow up every alleged 'big cat' sighting, but in numerous cases they have, and we are sure that from a distance such a situation is being monitored, but as in most cases, funding is lacking to conduct projects to prove once and for all that large cats do roam the UK. With this lack of investigation it seems there is always the remote possibility of an attack on a human, and nothing actually being done about it.

Maidstone and Sussex sightings

A black leopard was sighted by a young girl near Harrietsham over the Easter period. The daylight sighting took place as she was walking thriugh the countryside on her way home, when she observed the animal pacing back and forth in the vicinity of a dead tree. The girl was so startled she ran the rest of the way home. Meanwhile, on 9th April there was a sighting in Sussex, reported as follows:
Monday 9 April,

'Your account of seeing a 'black leopard' is almost an exact description of what my girlfreind and i saw yesterday. We were on the outskirts of Cowden on Smithers Lane (turns into Furnace Lane Cowden end). Clear day, late afternoon and we saw what we could only describe as a big black cat. It was skirting the field along the hedgerow before crossing the field at a distance of roughly 500m all done at walking pace. Too far away to say 100% that it was a 'big cat' but we live just a few fields away and neither of us could put the sighting down to any other livestock/wild animal/cat or dog..(it moved just as you like).'

Monday 9 April 2012

The wallaby of Sheppey

In March of this year a wallaby was hit by a car on the Isle of Sheppey. The interesting story was mentioned on the Kent Online site and can be read by clicking HERE

No-one knows where the animal came from, and there's no evidence that there's a breeding population, but it makes for an intriguing story.

Saturday 7 April 2012

Possible black leopard sighting on Aylesford outskirts

On Friday 6th April at approximately 1pm a large, black cat was seen near Aylesford. This, if the story is true - which we have reason to believe is - would concern the same black leopard seen at Blue Bell Hill over the last few weeks. The area in question has been a hot-bed of activity over the last twenty years, although reports of large cats have been made in the area for over 500 years. Aylesford, and the surrounding areas provide enough cover and prey for a handful of elusive animals, and the numerous lakes dotted around the place would mean a large cat such as a melanistic leopard could travel around without being seen. Quarries are also perfect areas for a large cat to hide - quarries are rarely frequented by humans, especially at night, and with an abundant source of rabbits, birds, a cat would not have to move far in order to hunt. A few months a go a black leopard was blamed after several geese were found killed at The Friars at Aylesford. Scat has also been found at Blue Bell Hill.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Black leopard seen at Ashford

At 12:00pm on Thursday 5th April an elderly couple travelling on the Brenzett Road, from a visit to Rye, observed a black leopard which crossed a field not far from the Bridgefields estate. The animal, like in most cases, was described as labrador-size with a long tail, a muscular shoulder and having patchy markings which could be seen on the hind quarters. The animal emerged from a hedgerow around 100 yards away and headed off towards the direction of Hamstreet.

Saturday 31 March 2012

That leopard whisker

Isn't it amazing how many newspapers, news programmes etc are all too keen to run a story on a piece of blurry, inconclusive film said to show a 'big cat', when there's far stronger evidence being found in the countryside on a weekly basis. Recently we posted on the 'big cat' whisker discovered on a doorstep of an Ashford back garden, and here's the photo to prove it. We attach an image also of a leopard to show how the whisker compares in size and colour. Leopard whiskers taper about half way along and can measure about 7 inches - the whisker found in Ashford in six inches. It also has a two-ton eeffect to the colour, with a whitish side backed by light brown. It is strong in structure, almost feeling like a light bone. Naturalist Jon McGowan, who researchers 'big cats' down in Dorset - who also owns a whisker or two - confirmed our suspicions it was a whisker of possibly a leopard.

More evidence has also come to light recently, as well as a sighting from the 29th March of a black leopard at Ashford ( a male witness was driving on the A2070 at 12:20 pm when he saw a large, slender black cat running across a field in the vicinity of the military canal), leopard scat and a fox and deer kill have been found near Tonbridge and also Edenbridge where a large cat may well have been filmed ona  trigger camera.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Black leopard seen at Ulcombe, again

"I sighted a black cat this morning at about 11:15 this morning (24/3/2012). I was walking down Windmill hill towards Pie Corner with my dog and I saw a black object which at first glance looked like a black rubbish bag on the side of the road.  I was about 200 yards away as I got closer it turned out to be a large black cat and it was going to the toilet, at this point it was about 100 yards away from me. It looked up at me and the dog, it finished what it was doing, got up and ambled across the road showing no fear. It went through a hedge and disappeared. I went to where I thought it went through the hedge to see if I could see it in the field but it was not to be seen. I went back to where it had gone to the toilet to look for scat but could not find anything so I guess it was having a wee."

"It was strange there were two pheasants wandering near by one only a few feet away from it, they seemed not nervous of it and it did not have any interest in them so I guess it had eaten. The cats tail was long, I would think as long as its body and had the head of a leopard and I am guessing I would think it was a very young adult ( not quite a kitten and not quite an adult) adolescent is the word I was trying to think of. I hope this is of help."

Thursday 22 March 2012

The cats' whisker...

It's fair to say that evidence to support the existence of large, exotic cats in Britain is abundant, especially if we look at the amount of scat, sheep/deer predation and paw print casts. Some would argue that such evidence isn't strong enough which is rather odd when one considers that in many a natural history documentary kills, scat, etc, are perfect when tracking an animal such as a leopard. Sadly, even in this world of so-called advanced technology we're constantly exposed to horrible blurred images of alleged 'big cats' which do nothing more than make a mockery of the research. There are many other pieces of evidence one can look for when scouring the countryside, but such traces are often considered as rather obscure in relation to the paw prints etc. Shed claws, hair samples, whiskers, are not easy to find - these are small samples which are vital to research but are rarely found - not because they aren't there, but simply because a majority of people/researchers are never thorough enough when looking. This is not a swipe, but simply a fact and the same goes for a majority of wildlife which can leave many signs, some more obscure than others - things are easily missed. A few hairs on a barbed wire fence, a claw at the base of a scratched tree, and a whisker on the doorstep.

On February 11th 2012, during the snow, an East Kent woman took several photographs of large paw prints which had appeared in her garden. However, the most startling piece of evidence came to light when the correspondent looked on her doorstep and found a very large whisker, which appears to have come from a cat such as a leopard. We have this hair in our possession, thanks to the witness, and its makes for intriguing evidence as these sort of things are not common when it comes to finds pertaining to so-called 'big cats.' At some point photo's will hopefully appear on this site showing the whisker.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Black leopard seen from train

A female witness named Sian has had her third encounter with a black leopard in the wilds of Kent. On Tuesday 20th March at approximately 6:15 pm she was travelling on a train between Marden and Paddock Wood when a large black animal, resembling a 'big cat' ran across a field some fifty metres away. The animal was running toward Marden and in the words of the witness, "The size, movement and curled up tail made me think it was a black leopard but I had no camera!"

Last year Sian saw a black leopard near Rolvenden.

Saturday 10 March 2012

'Beast of Blue Bell Hill' turns up again

On Thursday 8th March 2012 at 7:30 pm approx, an experienced mountaineer, rambler, et al, was strolling on the North Downs area of Kent, not far from Blue Bell Hill when he heard a strange coughing noise coming from the pathway about 25 yards ahead. Thinking that someone was ill or there may have been a dog or sheep nearby the man pressed on. After walking a few more seconds, just 5 yards away in the undergrowth, he spotted an large black shape. There were no sheep in the area and the noise was unlike anything he had heard before in some thirty years of hiking. The man reached for a small torch but the animal was gone. The witness believed he'd seen a black leopard which had slinked off. The man, in the past, had been rather sceptical to such sightings, but used to the sounds of nature was convinced that the coughing came from a large cat. The black leopard is known for its deep sawing cough and bubbly, guttural growl. Sightings around Blue Bell Hill have been sporadic over the last few years although recently a jogger saw a big, black cat not far from the ancient stones known as Kits Coty House.

If anyone is interested in hearing the different sounds a leopard makes please follow this link:  

Also this week there been sightings of black leopard at Chartham Hatch, Wye and Sevenoaks and a lynx report also from the outskirts of Canterbury.

Thursday 8 March 2012

Stripped carcass

This grisly image was sent from a lady named Trina who reported, and thankfully photographed her find, whilst with her son near Darenth during early March 2012. In the past there have been numerous sightings around Darenth of black leopard. The fox carcass had been completely rasped. Interestingly, a month or so ago a goat was killed in peculiar circumstances at a farm at Dartford, which, as the crow flies, is not far from Darenth. The goat had been found eaten.

Monday 5 March 2012

Sheppey cat seen

On Thursday 1st March a large, black cat was seen at Sheerness on the isle of Sheppey. Sightings on the island are usually sporadic, and sceptics often scoff at the possibility of a large cat roaming the island. My latest post at Kent Online delves deeper into the mystery and can be read by clicking HERE

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Black leopard sighting at Dover Castle

A black leopard has been seen within yards of Dover's historic castle. On 27th February 2012 at 9:10 am a Mr Donnelly - who lives in Dover - had visited the Duke of Yorks School and was turning right towards Castle Hill past Boadless farm, when he decided that at a nearby lay-by he would stop his car and admire the view across the fields and channel. Upon doing so he noticed an animal on ground in the vicinity of the Napoleonic Fort (Edingburgh Hill). Realising the animal was more than 300 yards away Mr Donnelly reported, "I watched it for a full minute, it was much too big to be a domestic cat, the body was 3ft in length and stocky and the tail long and thick. It was creeping through long grass down a bank towards the field. I got my binoculars but lost sight of it." The area the cat had been seen is disused, and this isn't the first time such an animal has been seen in the area. Last year a group of six people watched a big black cat slinking near the fort, and there have also been several sightings over the last few months at Western Heights too. Meanwhile a few years ago an architect claimed he'd found some unusual excrement in a tunnel at the fort and sent them off for analysis. The samples returned as leopard scat.

Monday 27 February 2012

Sighting of a black leopard cub

On Saturday 25th Feb' at 10:30 pm a couple were travelling on the New Romney to Ivychurch road when they were stunned to see a black cat - about 2ft 6" long, with a long tail, very stocky in appearance, playfully hunting a rabbit by the roadside. According to the witness, "The animal took a swipe at the rabbit with its paw but missed it and then the animal chased its prey but couldn't catch it and then we lost sight of the animal.We drove back but couldn't see it. It was definitely a leopard cub as we went home and looked on the internet - it was chunky and not a domestic cat"

The interesting thing about the incident is the fact that the witnesses had seen a similar animal before - in November 2011, but much, much larger. The witness commented, "In November I was driving on the A2070 between Hamstreet and Brenzett when the car headlights picked up the bright green eyes of an animal standing in the road. As I neared the animal seemed to freeze and it was huge. It had a very long, curving tail and was jet black and it leapt into the undergrowth."
Over the last fifteen years or so there have been numerous sightings of large, black cats around Romney Marsh and Ashford, these are hot areas of activity. In the last few months there have been several reports near Hamstreet and also towards Kingsnorth where six months ago two leopard cubs were seen crossing a road. Just before Christmas a female witness observed a black leopard in broad daylight whilst walking her dog and then found several sheep carcasses stashed in a reed bed.

Friday 24 February 2012

From the files: The Folkestone 'cat'

A few years ago now professional photographer Dan Desborough got in touch after he took a blurry snapshot of an animal entering undergrowth at an undisclosed location in Folkestone, Kent. Dan used red arrow markers to pin-point the areas he thought suggested a head and tail. Sadly, like most images this is extremely inconclusive, but as Dan said at the time, the last thing he expected to creep behind him was a cat. Original thoughts were that this animal was nothing more than a domestic cat  and we stand by that. Image courtesy of Dan Desborough

Thursday 23 February 2012

Interesting scat

This interesting scat was found by contact James Mitson, in Kent woodland. James has been a great contact finding numerous deer kills and scat over the last year or so. The scat is full of deer fur.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Black leopard and puma sighting at Surrey.

For more info visit the Surrey puma website HERE

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Seaford 'big cat' update

This email received on 8th Feb': 'The cat was spotted the next day by a woman I know in her front garden, it left prints across her back garden. I've been here 15 years now & live next to the open downs where it roams in from, Seaford has enough twitterns etc for it to mooch about unseen & it always surfaces with snow, the sheep stick together more or are barned so less easy pickings & when the sheep are sent off for market too so the fields being empty brings it in.The foxes are very unsettled this week past & it isn't merely a delay on mating season.I'm keeping my cats in now though they're none to eager to go mooching & one of them loves snow but he's been glued to the windowsill.Tomorrow I'm going to stick meat out after dusk see what that rustles.'

If there is a large cat around the area, and it's leaving paw prints or any other evidence we'd like to hear from you please.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Did big cat walk into front room in Seaford ?

Extremely close encounters with so-called 'big cats' seem highly unlikely, but on 6th Feb' Meridian News reported that a woman from Seaford, in Sussex, had in fact got the shock of her life when a black cat, "the size of a labrador dog with green eyes" had walked into her front room. Read more HERE

Is this a 'big cat' caught on film in Gloucestershire ?

The Sun online have today featured 'exclusive' and 'conclusive' video footage of an alleged 'big cat' caught on film in Gloucestershire. As usual it's in the distance, and whilst the animal appears to have a long tail, sceptics would once again have the right to argue that it is far from being the conclusive proof it is made out to be. Numerous and very similar examples have been floating around the internet for years - strangely, witnesses always feel the urge to plaster their footage on You Tube or rush to major tabloids, however inconclusive their evidence is.

Saturday 4 February 2012

Leopard and lynx sighting...

A female witness has reported that whilst travelling through Grain, a remote 'isle' in Kent, she swerved and crashed her car to avoid a massive black cat which loped across the road. The woman stated categorically that the animal was only a few feet from the car, but when the witness - once she had removed herself from the damaged vehicle - told a friend he stated it must have been a cow!! A lynx has been seen in the Gravesend area after it was observed peering through the patio doors of a couple's home. The woman reported that she had walked into her front room and was startled when, "I looked out the back garden and the animal was just sitting there, casually looking back at me. It had tufted ears and a mottled coat. I called my husband and we both stared at the animal for a few minutes without even thinking about getting the camera. The animal then leapt down from the wall and headed off toward the marsh."

Lynx have been observed in several areas of Gravesend. A few years ago a man named Mick Cole claimed that he'd had his hand scratched after cornering an animal which at first he thought was a large fox. The animal which inflicted the wounds was a large cat. A male witness came forward to report that in 2009 he'd seen a puma in the Ide Hill area of Sevenoaks. Recently there have been several sightings of a black leopard in the area as well as a wild boar which damaged land.
A large cat has also been blamed for the death of a goat in Dartford, and in today's edition of The Sun newspaper it was mentioned that police had investigated a report over Christmas in the Sandwich area of East Kent, regarding the death of a trio of piglets. Why this story appeared over a month after the incident took place we'll never know.

Thursday 2 February 2012

Gloucester deer kill just the work of a scavenging fox! Shock horror!

 So, the deer found dead at Woodchester in Gloucestershire turned out to be the work of a hungry fox then - what a surprise. The Guardian newspaper article (read it HERE) stated the obvious, in that dog and fox had been at the deer, as the photo of the carcass suggests and DNA tests proved. Original suggestions made stated that a cat had suffocated the deer - cats sometimes suffocate their prey by placing their mouth over the muzzle of prey - but dogs also bite the face. The image here shows several sheep attacked by dogs, all with the same wounds around the face, even so, when a cat kills there can also be found puncture marks in the throat and the kill is extremely clean and then scavengers such as foxes and birds will do the rest. Sadly, with all the media exposure this story has created, there'll probably be a few sceptical folk come forward and say, "We told you there are no big cats....", even though hair samples in the past have proven otherwise and kills are relatively easy to find, as is scat. Mind you, if the DNA tests had been proven to belong to a cat, then what ? Another dramatic headline ? A feather in the cap of the believers ?

Wednesday 1 February 2012

What exotic cats roam the British wilds ?

Find out in Neil Arnold's latest blog post at KENT ONLINE

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Neil's new 'big cat' blog at Kent Online

Neil Arnold will be writing a regular blog for Kent Online regarding his research into 'big cats' in the south-east of England. The aim of the blog is to answer questions posed - often by sceptics, and those generally interested in the British 'big cat' phenomenon which has swept Britain ever since the Surrey puma flap of the 1960s. The blog, in a similar fashion to this one, will present evidence and list sightings. The blog can be found by following the link HERE

Friday 27 January 2012

Sussex sighting

For details of the latest Sussex black leopard sighting go to Sussex Big Cats

Friday 13 January 2012

January updates...

After a handful of lynx reports in Sussex and Gravesend, 2012 has begun as expected with plenty of activity, sightings and evidence. More recent scat finds at Tunbridge Wells and a sighting at 7:30 am on Friday January 13th of a black leopard, from close quarters, at Tonbridge, involving a  female witness who watched the cat - which was spraying - as it roamed the edge of school grounds. The Sun newspaper also picked up a recent local story involving piglets which over the festive period had gone missing from a farm in the Sandwich area of East Kent. We are unsure as to how a 'big cat' was connected to the missing piglets - surely it would have been easier to put two and two together and come up with the idea that maybe, as it was December, it was more likely that someone had stolen the piglets for their roast dinner - although during early January a black leopard was seen on the lane close to the farm. This wasn't the first time a big, black cat had been seen crossing the road in the area. With the year only 13 days old the south-east had provided a sighting for each day so far, 7 of these from Kent and 6 from Sussex, including puma from Battle and melanstic leopard from Uckfield.