Monday 9 June 2014

'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.

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