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.