Monday 29 December 2014

Was a 'big cat' really shot on Sheppey in 2001? Probably not...

...but for more info follow the link and join the BIG CATS IN KENT facebook page by clicking HERE

Monday 22 December 2014

Annual update...

So as it's the end of the year I thought I'd share a few of my annual statistics regarding local 'big cat' sightings. Firstly, it's been more quiet this year again due to my lack of interest in appealing via newspapers but the cats are still being seen in the same areas as they were - or indeed their relatives were - around twenty or so years ago. Ashford, rural Gravesham, Sevenoaks, rural Maidstone, Canterbury feature heavily again with around 65% of the 122 reports received being melanistic leopards.

Puma make up around 20% of reports this year, the rest being lynx and a handful of possible Jungle Cats. I see no reason as to whether such populations are diminishing; sightings are reasonably consistent for each area. A majority of witnesses now report sightings online rather than via actual newspapers; this is due to the fact that in Kent there are far less newspapers doing the rounds and the subject is pretty much 'old hat'.

As each year goes by I'm out less and less due to writing commitments but if anyone wishes to join me on a few vigils please feel free to get in touch - just remember; it's highly unlikely we'll se a 'big cat' but may find some sort of evidence. I've also noticed this year a slight increase in online 'research' groups (in other words, groups formed by people who don't like certain opinion in one group so decide to form their own!!); a couple of which have tried to adapt on my KENT BIG CAT RESEARCH tag; whilst one seems to have vanished - doesn't surprise me considering the chap who ran it claimed to have had some 200 personal 'big cat' sightings!!!!!! (he must be the luckiest man on earth and yet never has a camera with him!)

Reports from Sussex have remained steady, and again consistent regards to three main species in certain areas and I've also received more reports from Surrey and rural London than last year. Sadly, video footage seems to be decreasing in quality and I'm seeing more blobs, blurs, domestic cats and foxes than ever - shame those who shot the footage haven't realised this yet!
I wouldn't say that deer kills are on the increase, it's just that this year more have been found by witnesses and reported. However, it's definitely a case of cats following the deer populations but feeding on rabbit, pheasant, pigeon and foxes when deer are not present. Sheep kills are neither up or down from last year; but as expected seem more common around lambing. Still trying to obtain permission to publish a certain photo of what appears to show a very large cat in Kent; but I'm not holding my breath...

Saturday 29 November 2014

Cuxton sighting...

A black leopard was seen on 24th November 2014 by a couple walking through woods. they had become lost and began to follow a trail which brought them out to a field when suddenly a large black cat ran across in front of them at a distance of 50 yards. The female witness present stated, "The animal was sleek with a very long tail and just so fast as it moved..." - this follows on from a few weeks previous when a Cuxton resident woke one night, looked out of his window and observed a big, black cat which was much bigger than the domestic cat and fox he'd seen earlier that night...

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Taking a leopard for a stroll...

This fascinating piece of Pathe News shows a woman in '60s London walking her pet leopard down her local High Street and across her common...just check out the reaction of the poor pet dogs it encounters!

Monday 10 November 2014

Swanley sighting...

"Just to let you know myself and my girlfriend sighted a big black cat walking across a big open field in Swanley two weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon at about 4pm (just as the sun was setting). We were driving back from the Swanley interchange on the A21 towards Sidcup and were just at the top of the hill driving past the petrol station and drive in McDonalds when looking left down towards some fields/stables at the end of the Cray valley golf course, we saw the large cat stalking through the field. We both looked at each other and said “Did you see what I just saw?” and we both said “Yes!”

Thursday 30 October 2014

Forest Hill 'panther' ?

"I saw a cat like creature in Forest Hill. I was in the Millennium Albion Woods and it ran past us, we disturbed it. I was freaked out as I was with my kids. It was not a deer, muntjac are supposed to inhabit this green area. I know what deer look like, this was a black feline animal, very swift, it was large too, so not a domestic cat.  It all happened so quickly and totally unexpected so it was difficult to make much out. What really caught my eye was its black colour, it moved very quickly like a cat, I would've expected small muntjac in there I have seen them elsewhere and this was not a deer. It was too fluid and powerful. It's size I would say was appx three foot from head to back legs. I can't say for sure I saw it's tail I'm afraid. It happened in an instant my kids didn't see it at all. It was bigger than a domestic cat, much bigger, obviously very shy. It reminded me of TV programmes I've watched about pumas or lynx. I thought, "I saw a deer it can't have been a big cat" but my eyes told me it was a cat. I'm convinced. I had never known of their existence until I got home and did a bit of research which is where I came across your stuff. It happened at about 11.30am on Tuesday 28th October, 2014. In the Albion Millennium Gardens in Forest Hill off Albion Villas Way".

Monday 13 October 2014

Surrey 'panther'?

From a witness: "I have literally just seen it too whilst out on a run (12/10/2014 at 1pm)! I was running along Rickman Hill Road in Coulsdon, when I saw what looked like a large jet-black dog cross my path about 100 yards ahead. I couldn't get a glimpse of its head but had very large paws and a long tail that curled upwards at end. Having originally assumed it was a dog I carried on running, expecting there to be a driveway that it had walked into, but it was just dense woodland!

Just arrived back home and searched online and found this post, turns out I'm not going mad!"

Friday 10 October 2014

Stalisfield sightings.

End of September 2014: "although I've not seen it myself, two independant sightings of a big, black cat near Stalisfield have been reported to me. One at the end of August and one this weekend. Both were by strangers to the area who stopped and warned me because I was out on my horse in the area."

Thursday 25 September 2014

The beast of Svendroog castle!

On the morning of 25th September 2014 a couple were walking within the vicinity of Svendroog Castle, at Oxleas Wood when they observed a large black cat staring into undergrowth as if stalking rabbits. One of the witnesses commented, "a large black cat was just in front of us, looking towards some bushes, it then went a short distance and disappeared into a near by bush. Wasn't quick enough to take a photo, but no doubt this was a big cat."

Friday 12 September 2014

The lion in the freezer...and more!

It's not everyday you hear a story concerning the discovery of a dead lion in a freezer in West Sussex and it's very likely that the tale isn't all it's cracked up to be, but for those interested please click HERE

Have received an incredible number of big cat' sightings over the last few weeks, one of the most recent as follows:
""Last Saturday 30th August we were in the car coming home when we came to the junction of Old Ham Lane and Headcorn Road opposite Pleasant farmhouse. In the field opposite I noticed what looked like a black dog sitting in the field next to a small wooded area.I expected to see the owner appear when suddenly the "dog" jumped up in the air and swiped with it's paw at a bird which had just flown out of a tree."

"It was obvious this was no dog but a large black cat with a long tail. My husband also saw it and took chase with a camera across the field. He came within 10 feet of it and although he didnt see it's face he saw it turn and run in the bushes faster than anything he had heard before.We spoke to one of the neighbours who said that yes they had seen the cat before and another friend who was walking home down Lenham Heath Road a couple of years ago saw it walk across the road in front of her"

"My husband emailed you (unbeknown to me) to tell you about a friends
sheep that were killed last month in Grafty Green, he said the ribs were
opened up and the insides eaten and another friend who lives not 500 yards from the sighting lost a pet emu from his back garden a couple of months ago, he said it was surgically eaten apart from the wings."

"Tonight (Wednesday 3rd Sept) my husband was walking home from Lenham at 10pm when he heard a feline high pitched growl in the same field, needless to say he got home pretty quick!"

Wednesday 30 July 2014

A rather close encounter...

Although an older sighting this has just been received in reference to the post 'An older Maidstone sighting':

"I too had a similar experience in 2009, and emphatically agree with your sentiments. I certainly would not fancy having one in such close proximity again.

I am taking it as you are a female. You were very lucky!

My encounter with a Black Leopard occurred in a field at 01:30am, and was as incredible as it was terrifying. I had ventured with my two dog's along one side of the field which was completely overgrown, when I was confronted with two options, either turn and go back, or go through the field to my right. I decided on option 2, as the field had Pheasants in, and my dogs love chasing them. Please don't be alarmed, my dog's have never caught one of these birds, they're just not quick enough, but they enjoy doing it and it's very good exercise for all of us. On reaching the other side of the field, I turned right and made my way ahead between the four and a half feet tall grass along a rabbit run, when the two dogs shot past me and disappeared off in front of me. I glanced at the long grass either side of me and decided to check behind me, as I had reason to believe that a large cat may be visiting the location where I walk the dogs. I grabbed my small LED Torch and shone it along the rabbit run behind me. Approximately 20ft away, there was a pair of amber coloured eyes hugging the ground which then started to slowly move toward me covering a distance of about 4ft. As a realisation of which type of creature was facing me set in, a large cat, and it was stalking me, a wave of fear swept through me. I knew immediately not to turn and run and believed the only option was to stand my ground and try to back it off. I was carrying part of a tree branch to help negotiate muddy inclines and I raised both arms into the air whilst holding the stick, to make myself look as big and intimidating as possible. I then began shouting whilst making aggressive motions with the stick, but this was to no effect and the cat stealthily moved toward me another two times to within a distance of around 9ft. Panic gripped me for a few seconds as I realised my tactics weren't working. I stared down the beam of the torch into the cats eye's and just knew it was about to pounce. I very much doubt it was about to edge toward me another 4ft so I could stroke it. Out of desperation I kind of hissed at it as loud as I possibly could, and to my utter relief the eyes disappeared into the long grass to my left. I just stood there for 6 seconds or so, worrying that it may be trying to get behind me again, when it suddenly appeared around 40ft away in the direction from whence it had came. There was a bright full moon in a clear night sky and the sight of this animal raised in the air on its back leg's with the front ones pulled in to its body was magnificent! This was a big Leopard. It's said that a large male can grow to 6ft in length from the tip of its nose to the start of the tail, and when raised up on its back legs in a 2 o'clock position you can add the length of the back legs to get an idea of how large this animal appeared. The developed muscle I could see, a testament to its power and a vision that will always stay with me, as will the memory of the fear this creature instilled in me on a night in May in 2009."

Monday 28 July 2014

An older Maidstone sighting

"I've only just stumbled across your web site and wanted to tell you about my brief encounter several years ago.  I was walking back from a friend's house late at night and as I walked past the open gates at St Luke's Church in Maidstone, I looked to check there was nobody lurking there, as I always do. Terrifyingly there was a big, black panther just over a metre away from me which had stopped and turned it's head to look at me.  It was probably roughly the size of a Labrador dog, but much wider and stockier.  To say I was terrified would be an understatement.  Can you imagine how it feels to be so close to a panther staring at you? I was so scared I just looked away, crossed over the road and carried on walking in the hope that it wouldn't come after me.   I've often wondered how exactly it came to be there - in the middle of a town?  Well, it's an experience I'd prefer not to repeat I can tell you."

Saturday 26 July 2014

An exotic cat in a Surrey garden?

Read all about it HERE (with actual decent photographs for once!!)

Thursday 17 July 2014

The Bewl reservoir 'cat' again.....

It's rather sad that when a piece of possible 'big cat' evidence comes to light that those involved are either a) immediately ridiculed or b) accused of putting on a hoax. Over the past few weeks the photographs of an object apparently swimming in Bewl Reservoir have caused so much controversy with various internet trolls, cowards etc coming forward to ridicule just about everyone involved. It's a sorry state of affairs that in the current climate that every image is dismissed out of hand but this is what it has come down to due to the You Tube generation. Even so, whilst no-one can say for 100% what the photograph shows photographer David Burr has sent me two more images which hopefully may add extra spice to the mystery.

The main image shows an enhanced picture of the object. Now, many people have put forward opinions that the original silhouette shows a bird, such as a coot, swan or grebe, and we present here images of such birds which clearly DO NOT match. The image does NOT show an otter, deer, dog, mink, or fish either. As with all alleged evidence for anything unusual we naturally require more to go on and what sceptics need to realise is that people will go on researching, collecting evidence and data etc because if anything it's fun, so it is rather sad that so many people can become so nasty when such evidence is put forward. You'd think that some detractors would have something better to do with their lives rather than cowardly hide behind a PC screen rather than offer constructive debate. But even so, the other image shows just how shallow the reservoir in question can be and it would suggest that if this photograph does show a cat then it is literally in a few inches of water.

Some people - whether adults or children - have a genuine interest in so-called 'big cat' sightings in the UK, and it's a topic that brings much debate, it's just a shame that some of it is so unhealthy. But anyway, hopefully the silhouette images of swan, coot and grebe will prove that the photograph taken by Mr Burr is NOT a bird. All CONSTRUCTIVE thoughts are welcome.

Monday 30 June 2014

Sussex sighting:

Recent Sussex sighting from the Argus 24/6/2014:
"A DOG walker dialled 999 to report seeing a leopard at a beauty spot.
Dianne Lonnon was walking her terrier-collie cross called James in Cantercrow Hill, Denton, near Newhaven, when they came across the “spotty brown coloured big cat” just in front of her.
Mrs Lonnon, 66, said: “I was just yards away.
“It was in front of us and looking away so I don’t think it saw us and I was just praying it didn’t turn round. I was just hoping the dog didn’t bark. “It was walking in front of us and just walked away. We were heading towards it so I turned around and hoped it didn’t smell my fear. “I didn’t even look behind me I was so scared.
“Then I ran home with the dog and phoned 999. They told me I had to call the non-emergency number and were asking me lots of questions like what shape its ears were and whether it was bigger than a Labrador.
“Its tail was right up and I can’t remember what its ears looked like because I was so scared and keen to get out of there.
“I’ve been on safari twice and it looked just like a leopard.
“I saw it long enough to know it was definitely a cat.
“It was right in Denton village. I have seen lots of people riding bikes and up there with kids and I’m terrified. I just wanted to tell everyone it could be out there.”
A spokeswoman for Sussex Police: “A sighting of a large brown wild cat with lines on its tail was reported to police on Sunday at 9.44am by a dog walker who had spotted it in a field north of St Leonards Road, Newhaven.
“The sighting has been noted by the wildlife officer for the area.”
She added that if anyone spots a suspected leopard or other big cat they should call the 101 police non-emergency number. But if you are being attacked or in fear of attack call 999."

Thursday 26 June 2014

Barming sighting:

24th June 2014, approximately 6:45pm: "
Out walking the dog this evening in a field on the Barming to 'North Pole' pub road, we had a sighting.My Dog (a Jack Russell) was stalking rabbits on the edges of the long grass when he stopped dead. My wife and I looked ahead about 50 yards and saw an animal exiting the field.We did not see its head but only the last 75% of its body and long black tail (tail length 2ft 6" or more).We both looked at each other aghast, because we both knew what we'd just seen. Trust me, we are absolutely certain what we saw. We called the dog back and gave the animal a wide berth."


Tuesday 10 June 2014

Older Sheppey sighting...

"Hi a few years back i was visiting a friend in Warden Bay on the Isle of Sheppey Kent. I left his house around 3am Monday morning, i got to Bay View which is on the Leysdown Road when a Cat of some size which i could see over the bonnet of car ran out in front of me from the fields on the left of me, i had to brake quite hard so i didn't hit it, i carried on about hundred yards before being able to turn around, realising what i had just seen so i went into bay view housing estate which has only got about 150 homes situated opposite fields, had a look around for about 10 minutes but never saw it again. Even after that night travelling along the same road at the same time i have not seen it since."

That 'photo' debate continues...

I'd like to thank a chap called Trevor for this recent email regarding the alleged 'swimming cat' image:
"I would just like to say that; David who took the photograph is a very honest person and he would not lie or try to manipulate any of his pictures he takes, David worked for us over a number of years and you couldn't ask for a more honest professional person, he called around to our workshop yesterday and showed us the picture to which I/we think is an incredible shot, this picture is of a feline species and as the picture was taken at some distance the animal is of reasonable size, Dave estimates it could be 4ft long, the water in that area is fairly shallow, Dave is more of an old school photographer and does not use fancy computer software, so in my/our opinion and knowing Dave personally this is a great picture, and I wish that some of these skeptics out there would perhaps except the image, and give Dave some positive response and accept that this is a great picture and get out there and try and capture some images or prove its not.

Many thanks for this Trevor. No-one is doubting David, and I enjoyed chatting to him on the phone. As with any photograph of this ilk it's only natural that people will try to prove or disprove its authenticity which is fair enough. There is no information as yet to determine just how deep/shallow that section of water is but for those who believe the 'object' is a great crested grebe need to only look at these images to see that it isn't.  Even as a grebe turns to the side, the 'tufts' are extremely close together and the body of the grebe would certainly be smaller than the ducks as it's some fifty yards or so behind. Deer, otter, mink, seal, dog, domestic cat, fish, birds have been ruled out by many but whilst some believe the image shows a cat we just cannot be 100% sure. It's just a shame there were not more photographs or even better if this had been film footage, but as it is it remains another inconclusive photograph. If this was a puma swimming in deep water then it would be more submerged, so until we can find out depth of water it remains a mystery. Many thanks.

Monday 9 June 2014

That 'swimming' puma photo and theories...

'Cat' photograph copyright David Burr. Bewl Water photograph James Mitson.
This is the photograph a number of people have been raging, arguing and fussing over - taken by David Burr at Bewl Reservoir in Sussex on 7th June 2014 at 9pm. Davis did not see this 'object' until he returned home to his PC and downloaded the images as at the time he was looking through his viewfinder at the sunset. Many people have argued that the 'cat' - if it is a cat, is too high out of the water but we do not know the actual depth of this area, but there are certainly very shallow areas of Bewl Reservoir - see image provided by James Mitson. Some have argued that David was the victim of a hoax and that it's a cuddly toy, but the wake suggests a moving object - there were no boats to be seen dragging the object and it is too balanced to be merely a toy 'panther' which do not resemble this image anyway.

Others have suggested a grebe with its head turned away from the camera, but the grebe has a smaller body and a more slender neck. Seals and otters do not have ears like this, and deer and dogs have a muzzle whilst a domestic cat would be much smaller as this 'cat' is some fifty yards or so away. It could be a small puma that is swimming across the lake - cougars are known to swim with ease and at pace, or if this is shallower water it may simply be hunting fish although maybe we would expect more of a commotion in the water. As with many so called 'big cat' photographs they are open to debate and either way, whether 'big cat' or not they should be looked at with an open mind rather than dismissed out of hand or believed in to the point of thinking it is 100 a cat, but even so, the object resembles a cat especially in the head. Others have stated that maybe the cat was hunting ducks which were dotted around the lake which could of course explain the dark patch near the front of the object. 'Big cat' evidence in the shape of photographs will never please sceptics and this is understandable as they are rarely convincing. It's a shame that this was not a piece of film footage, but not everyone who carries a camera is fortunate enough to film a 'big cat' so clearly. This object was the last thing David expected to see whilst filming the beautiful sunset. To join in the debate join the BIG CATS IN KENT page on Facebook.

'Swimming cougar' debate continues

Now that the photograph showing an alleged 'large cat' has featured online and in a couple of newspapers, we've been inundated with several theories regarding what the image shows. Some people are of the opinion that the photograph shows a large cat but that maybe the photograph was taken in another part of the world and not in Sussex. Others seem rather dubious to the height of the animal out of the water but what has not been confirmed is the actual depth at the specific point where the object has been film.

I do believe the photograph in question shows a cat, and I do not think it's a hoax in the sense of it being a cuddly toy. I've just received these comments:

"Hello Neil,

Always difficult to be 1000% sure, but there are several points which do go strongly against it being a large cat swimming.

• Unless the water is shallow enough for the animal to walk, it seems the animal is sitting too high in the water to be a mammal, let alone a cat swimming.

• Also the ‘ears’ appear to be too close together and on the top of the head and not the sides.

• If this was supposedly a large cat why are there not multiple images of such a striking encounter?

• I would say this is almost certainly a great crested grebe, which appears to be further away than it actually is."

In answer to these questions, and thank you for them, the animal in the photograph is too big to be a grebe. The witness in question was taking different snaps of the sunset and only noticed this 'object' afterwards. The ears resemble a puma, and there is a possibility that the reason it is higher out of the water is because it's in a shallow area.

Sunday 8 June 2014

'Big cat' seen swimming across Kent lake.

On 7th June 2014 at 9pm a professional photographer snapped a large, cat-like swimming across a Kent lake. At the time the witness was photographing the beautiful sunset and the ducks floating on the surface of the lake. After taking hundreds of snaps he then noticed in them an animal swimming in the distance behind the ducks. I was contacted by the agency, and then the photographer regarding the images and believe the image in question shows a large cat - possibly a puma, swimming across the lake. Although the lake at its deepest is around 90ft and several hundred metres wide, puma are known to swim - at pace - in such bodies of water, especially as it takes less time than walking around it.

Many so-called 'big cat' images have been passed around and dismissed but the photographs I've seen DO NOT show an otter, dog, domestic cat, deer or fish, but instead a large cat - its head and arch of back - silhouetted against the orange glow of the water as the sunset is reflected on the lake.

I've never been of the opinion that any 'big cat' evidence is good enough for the sceptics and detractors, but the photographs - in the possession of the agency - are VERY interesting indeed. Over the years the lake in question has featured in several 'big cat' encounters with joggers, walkers and fishermen reporting sightings both puma and black leopard. Many thanks to the photographer and agency for showing me the images.

Monday 2 June 2014

Hever castle puma?

31st May 2014: "Today my family and I were waking our dogs in the grassed car park area of Hever Castle when my lurcher chased out a large, brown/orange animal from the long grass and into the forest. It was stocky, the same colour all over and had a large head proportional to a leopard. Certainly not a fox!! That's all I can tell you really. I think it's resting in the circular patch of long grass at the far end of the car park."

Thursday 22 May 2014

Paw-print guide

For those of you still confused as to how to tell the difference between 'big cat' and dog tracks please take a look at this interesting and helpful guide:

Tuesday 29 April 2014

A few more sightings:

1) It's mad I only just found this site! I want to comment on all these sightings in the sevenoaks area, i used to fish sundridge lakes nr sevenoaks and I see one whilst shooting rabbit, I was around 50 yards tops away could be the same animal tbh it just stopped dead looked at me and walked off not scared at all me and my dad tried looking for 1 min later vanished!!!! i looked into it i believe its a black leopard?"

2) "At 6-50 this morning (26/4/2014)I was looking out of my bedroom window and saw a large black cat walk past a tree.  It caught my eye by the sheer size of it  and the length of the tail.  As I watched it, it turned and began to run slowly across the field. It runs with a slight limp. It remained in view and was distinguishable as a cat way into the distance.  It looked like a black panther and was slightly smaller than a sheep but at least three - four times the size of my cat, who when in the field opposite looks tiny in comparison.  I live in westwell, kent."

Friday 11 April 2014

'Big cat' sighting in Surrey?

Read more HERE at our sister site.

Monday 7 April 2014

New Ash Green sighting?

Have just received these rather vague details: "i saw 2 big black cats going thru my rubbish bags last night. im in new ash green", could the person who posted this please get in touch, thanks.

Friday 28 March 2014

Another Sevenoaks sighting...

Just received this as a follow up to the recent Sevenoaks sightings:
" I ran into the same animal (or at least it seemed to match your profile of it) this morning 28/03/14 returning from work in the early hours. Driving down Blindhouse Lane towards Stone Street I encountered a large cat moving down the middle of the road, the cat too large to be a domestic cat ran down the road jumping the bank impressively into an adjoining field. I stopped at the point the cat entered the field & called to it. It stopped briefly looked back then ran off. I shined a torch into the field for a minute or two trying to see the animal however it had disappeared. It clearly lives close by."

Thursday 27 March 2014

Recent Sevenoaks sighting...

There has been lots of activity recently hence lack of updates, including this recent report from 25th March 2014 at Sevenoaks:

"We saw it from knole park whilst on a hill looking toward the back hill of holly Bush. It ran along the hill in a flash and went up towards the blackberry bushes at the other side. It was giant about 6 foot long and jet black with a long tail. We ran to the hill at holly bush and looked up the hill but no one was on it and it was gone. There was no chance it was a dog or a horse or anything."

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Recent puma sighting

"I had quite a experience this afternoon (24/2/2014), I live in Sellindge, Kent and I was looking out of my patio windows across a small field at the back of my garden this afternoon when I noticed something coming up the field behind our house at around 3.50pm , straight away I knew it wasn't any normal indigenous animal or domestic cat. as it turned side on to us I called my wife over and at first she couldn't see it but then i moved into her field of view too. all this was approx 100 120 yrds away. The best description I can give is a sandy/fawn colouring, very short haired and the a dark colour from it's head to its rear end along it's back., which my wife describes as looking similar to when our dogs hackles are up. It's head was definitely feline but it look very small and out of proportion if that makes sense. one thing that sticks in my mind is it's tail, it was long and slender and curled upwards slightly towards the end. Sod law would say that my camera wasn't to hand and I stuck my boots on immediately and went down the field to see if I could see it gain but it had gone.

This isn't the first time I have seen a big cat, in 2005 I also saw a lynx whilst out shooting rabbits."

Tuesday 4 February 2014

New and older sighting...

It's always nice to receive an older sighting every now and then...
" I used to live in Maidstone, Kent between 1992 and 2006 but moved away when I was only 14 years old. I’d like to tell you about something that happened one day. I was quite young at the time, possibly only 8 years old but it’s clearly imprinted upon my memory! I lived in Ditton in a fairly big house and big garden, one afternoon my mum and I were in our conservatory doing some chores. I looked up and saw at the end of our garden an unmistakeably big cat! This thing was by far bigger than any dog I had ever seen. Being so young all I could do was describe it as a lion, which now looking back I know was probably a puma. I desperately shouted at my mum to look up and see as it sat there in perfect view, turning it’s head and observing the area. By the time she looked up it was moving on and she only glimpsed it as it was jumping the hedge to the next garden. We both went out to investigate and look around the area but it was gone.  I still remember it so clearly, but trying to tell anyone that you saw a puma in your garden when you were young is near impossible. So I’ve done my own research and found that actually I’m not alone in these sightings!"

Also receive a relatively fresh sighting:
"Last Saturday (1st Feb') I was driving along a quiet unadopted road (Nevill Park) which is close to Tunbridge Wells town centre but also amongst woodland and open fields. It was about 7pm and I caught sight of a deer. As I was coming out of the road I saw what I would describe as a feline creature, much larger than a normal domestic cat. It was about 20m ahead of me and visibility poor but the silhouette was unmistakable. More squat than long, I think it may have been a Lynx?"

Monday 20 January 2014

Not in Kent but....

Sometimes we receive 'big cat' reports from elsewhere in the country and we like to post them up in case others may wish to try to follow them up. This one was recently sent regarding the Essex/Suffolk border:

"It was recommended by a friend of mine that I report this sighting to you, after being fobbed off by Haverhill Police Station
when I tried in vain to it to them.

On Sunday 19th Jan approx 2.30/3.00pm, we were driving across country from Radwinter to Haverhill.
It was a very clear and fine afternoon.

We took the Haverhill turn off from Steeple Bumpstead and not 30 seconds along the road I suddenly spotted what at
first I took to be a large black dog, easily jump a fence between fields some 400 yards away.

The animal moved very quickly and gracefully and started loping across the field to cut off the corner and I had it in perfect side view/profile.
I could immediately see it was a very large cat... jet black and sleek with a very long sinuous tail... After 2 or 3 seconds it turned and disappeared
into a small stand of trees/hazels adjacent to the field.

I would estimate the creature to be at least 2 feet tall at the shoulder and about 6 feet in length with the tail included...
maybe a little more considering the tail was so long.

Interesting point: Less than two minutes beforehand a herd of 20 or so startled deer bolted across the road right in front of us, all very skittish.
I wonder if this is connected with the cat sighting?"

Sunday 19 January 2014

East Farleigh lynx

"My friend was driving along Dean Street,  East Farleigh heading towards Coxheath at around 0200 this morning (18th Jan' 2014). Around 50 metres before the Horseshoes pub he saw a lynx run across the road from right to left in front of his van. It jumped around two metres (vertically) from the road to clear an obstacle on the left hand side of the road but appeared unable to clear it and "bounced" back into the road before running back across the road (crossing it in 2 bounds)  from left to right, jumping a fence and disappearing into a field usually occupied by horses. He observed the lynx initially from around 40 metres and the entire sighting lasted about 3 seconds.  He as absolutely positive it was a Lynx. It was observed as grey, around 1 metre long,  stocky with a short tail and pointed ears. He is familiar with the species as he originates in Poland where they exist in the wild." 

Friday 10 January 2014

'The beast of blue Bell Hill'....

On 22nd December 2013 at lunch-time a family were driving in the vicinity of the village of Boxley when a huge black cat crossed the road in front of them. The female witness stated that the animal was clearly a 'big cat' and not a domestic cat.

This animal has been seen infrequently over the last couple of years and is clearly not the same animal reported on in the 1920s a few miles from the spot of this recent sighting. Even so, what it proves is that such cats have been a round a lot longer than some people think and are not merely occasional releases from private collections and zoo parks and that there must be mating pairs.

In the late 1990s the so-called 'beast of Blue Bell Hill' came to the fore after hundreds of sightings around the old village which is situated between the Medway Towns and Maidstone but as leopards only live for between 12 and eighteen years the animal seen even in 1998 would most probably be on it's last legs by now or dead. There are too many sightings close together, from different areas of Kent for this to be just one roaming melanistic leopard, proof surely that there are breeding populations of these animals.