Monday 25 November 2013

Updates and thoughts...

There have been around 14 eye-witness reports made of so-called 'big cats' in Kent in the last month up until 25th November, the most recent being near Dartford where a visitor from Suffolk stated, "I was waiting at the roundabout on the B3228 where it joins the A206. It was about 7:30 PM on Tuesday 19th November 2013. There were no other cars around and I was waiting for the red light to change. As I sat there I saw an animal run out of the bushes on the roundabout, cross the road and disappear onto the bushes on the far side of the road. It was about the size a reasonably large dog – Retriever/German Shepherd - but was shaped like a cat and moved like one. It had a very long tail which immediately made me think of a leopard and because of this and the way it moved I was sure it was a cat. It was much too big to be a fox and because of the tail couldn’t have been a deer and moved completely differently. It definitely wasn’t a dog again because of the shape and movement. It was much too big to be a domestic cat."

There have also been two reports recently of a large black cat in rural Maidstone towards Lenham.

Even so, despite so many sightings a lot of evidence being put forward, especially in regards to photographs and video footage, is extremely poor. What usually happens when some people claim to have filmed a 'big cat' is that they state quite categorically that their evidence is open to debate but when you tell them it's inconclusive they dismiss you out of hand and then venture to other so-called 'big cat' groups in the hope that others will find their evidence compelling. Sadly, despite the numbers of trigger cameras in woodlands all over the UK literally every piece of footage or photograph I've seen where the witness claims to have seen a 'big cat' - is inconclusive. ALL evidence should be put under scrutiny but if you don't like your evidence being analysed then please DO go else where.

The sad thing is that I've often been scalded in the press by detractors and yet I'm one of the only people 'out there' in this field who believes that most 'big cat' evidence isn't good enough. Nothing bugs me more than someone who sits in doors whilst letting their expensive set of trigger cameras (which are all set up in the wrong place) do the work. It's as if they simply want to film a 'big cat' to make some money out of it, all the while advertising the alleged areas of activity to would-be hunters. Only recently a chap from Ashford bought three trigger camera's after claiming he'd seen a "lion-like" creature near local woods. As I was quick to mention, if there was any type of 'big cat' around, especially a lion - which is nigh on impossible unless it's recently escaped from a zoo, and then in this case it would be tracked down and recaptured/shot/tranquillised, then it would be leaving evidence.

If you think you've caught a 'big cat' on film, please be aware that if you pass it around from researcher to researcher, not everyone will agree with you unless that image is crystal clear. By being non-biased about a specific piece of evidence does not make a researcher any less of a person, in fact it makes them open minded  and that's how researchers should be. Any big cat enthusiast etc, should be willing to have their evidence looked at, and those that claim to see and film 'big cats on a regular basis should be dong more field work in order to find evidence because clearly your trail camera's are not up to scratch hence the poor images. We really hope that someone does get a crystal clear image of a leopard/puma/lynx et al sniffing around a camera but until then, the distant images of blobs, shadows etc are not good enough.

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