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Tags big cats , cats , cryptozoology , Scotland incidents

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Old 28th July 2009, 02:39 PM   #41
ksbluesfan
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Originally Posted by Tristan Chi View Post
That must be Behemot! Who was beheaded by the tram this time?
Nice reference to Bulgakov!

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Old 28th July 2009, 03:29 PM   #42
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By the way, my cat is pretty darn big. His spine is like a slinky, though, and I know he can stretch out longer than he is when he's sitting. I just measured him while he was sitting on my lap (he hangs over--my lap isn't big enough). Measuring along the top, from his nose to the point where his tail starts he's 23" long. His tail looks proportionately short. It's just under 11" long.

Although he started out identical to his sister (at about 4 weeks old), he's now well over twice her size.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
I thought occams razor is more likely to tell you that if you hear the pitty-pat of feline paws see your doctor, you have developed hyper sensitive hearing
See jhunter's post number 25. My guy too is seldom silent. He likes to stomp on my stomach when I'm lying down and he's running from one point to another. I think he just gets a kick out of hearing me go, "Ooof!" When he's running from one end of the house to the other on my first floor, I can hear him when I'm in the attic.
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Old 28th July 2009, 08:12 PM   #43
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Apology to the Clan MacPherson


Everyone who took part in the MacPherson motto quiz did better than the fool who started it.

The only excuse I can think of is that Arthwollipot used his laser vision somehow to make me type "glaive" instead of "glove".

I have teh dumb. Winners - please share the internets out amongst yourselves.

/derail - puss now back on tracks


Cheers,

Dave
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Old 28th July 2009, 10:10 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
By the way, my cat is pretty darn big. His spine is like a slinky, though, and I know he can stretch out longer than he is when he's sitting. I just measured him while he was sitting on my lap (he hangs over--my lap isn't big enough). Measuring along the top, from his nose to the point where his tail starts he's 23" long. His tail looks proportionately short. It's just under 11" long.
Well, I've spent some time today measuring my cat and my friend's cat. The data are in, and I can say conclusively . . . that PetSmart should market the tape measure as a cat toy. Seriously, how the hell did you manage to measure your cat? Did you knock him out first? I didn't get any reliable measurements, but the cats had a wonderful time.


Quote:
See jhunter's post number 25. My guy too is seldom silent. He likes to stomp on my stomach when I'm lying down and he's running from one point to another. I think he just gets a kick out of hearing me go, "Ooof!" When he's running from one end of the house to the other on my first floor, I can hear him when I'm in the attic.
Our cats walk quietly enough, but when they're chasing each other, it sounds as if the annual wildebeest migration has made a detour through St. Louis.
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Old 28th July 2009, 10:56 PM   #45
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There is a large population of wild domestic cats in Australia. These are cats that escaped from shipwrecks and dumped cats. They are generally bigger than ordinary cats. Their main diet consists of rabbit and native animals.
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Old 28th July 2009, 11:43 PM   #46
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Moggie?

I love learning a new word. Can some of you guys clarify, for me? Is that like what we call an "alley cat" in the USA, e.g. a stray of mixed lineage? Or is it just a domestic cat (e.g. pet) of no specific breed?


And that one definitely looks like a "moggie". A big one, but yer regulation kitty cat, nevertheless.
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Old 29th July 2009, 12:26 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
I love learning a new word. Can some of you guys clarify, for me? Is that like what we call an "alley cat" in the USA, e.g. a stray of mixed lineage? Or is it just a domestic cat (e.g. pet) of no specific breed?


And that one definitely looks like a "moggie". A big one, but yer regulation kitty cat, nevertheless.

I'll speak for the Aussies. This will end well.


"Moggie" is almost completely synoymous with "domestic cat", as is "puss". Most Australian cats answer to a falsetto "Puss, puss, puss!"

"Alley cat", I believe, has the same meaning in Australia and the USA.

Cats living wild in the bush are just called "feral cats" (in colonies sometimes, known as clowders), Wild domestic cats living in urban areas are also referred to as feral, but less commonly. Plain old "Stray cat" would be the more common term in town.

We also use the term "kitty", spelled as you have, although I had, up to now, thought that it was spellt "kitteh" in the USA. The usage is equivalent, in any case.


I agree with your analysis of McPuss, FWIW.


Cheers,

Dave


PS Cats are cool.
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Last edited by Akhenaten; 29th July 2009 at 12:41 AM. Reason: spelling misteak
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Old 29th July 2009, 12:32 AM   #48
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Ref http://www.petuniversity.com/cats/be...ng-a-breed.htm
Quote:
Purebred or Moggy?
So, now you need to decide whether you'd like a purebred or mixed breed (moggy) cat. Purebreds are descended from one particular breed and can be quite expensive, so if you're not planning to show or breed your cat, a moggy may be the right choice for you.
This site is implying that a moggy cat is a mixed breed cat.
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Old 29th July 2009, 12:52 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Ref http://www.petuniversity.com/cats/be...ng-a-breed.htm


This site is implying that a moggy cat is a mixed breed cat.

I'll go along with that too, as a "rule-of-thumb". Good point.

Most people would, I think, where a purebred is concerned, say "Ooh look! A Siamese!" or "Burmese have no brains."

Still, it would be common to hear someone who is looking at a purebred Chinchilla asking, "What kind of moggie is that?"



Thanks rjh
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Last edited by Akhenaten; 29th July 2009 at 12:58 AM. Reason: removed teh stupid
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Old 29th July 2009, 01:25 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Ref http://www.petuniversity.com/cats/be...ng-a-breed.htm

This site is implying that a moggy cat is a mixed breed cat.

Not really. A moggy is a domestic cat of NO especial breed. Not one produced by cross-breeding existing breeds. On the contrary, the existing breeds have by and large been line-bred from particular moggies.

So you really can't call a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat a moggy.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th July 2009, 01:46 AM   #51
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Okay, so a mixed and indeterminate lineage housecat in other words. Sort of the equivalent of a mut when talking about dogs.

Feral cats I knew about. And then there are strays and alley cats - which are either moggies who got out, or descended from moggies who got out (or unpleasantly - were thrown out/abandoned), as most of us who live in cities know.

Sort of like "mongrel" or "mut" when talking of doggies.
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Old 29th July 2009, 02:07 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Okay, so a mixed and indeterminate lineage housecat in other words. Sort of the equivalent of a mut when talking about dogs.

Feral cats I knew about. And then there are strays and alley cats - which are either moggies who got out, or descended from moggies who got out (or unpleasantly - were thrown out/abandoned), as most of us who live in cities know.

Sort of like "mongrel" or "mut" when talking of doggies.

Yep. I was going to make the "mongrel" comparison myself.
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Old 29th July 2009, 02:21 AM   #53
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A Moggy is a Real Cat. See Terry Pratchett's "The Unadulterated Cat".
“Many Real cats are instantly recognizable. For example, all cats with faces that look as though they had been put in a vice and hit repeatedly by a hammer with a sock round it are Real Cats. Cats with ears that look as though they have been trimmed with pinking shears are Real cats. Almost every non-pedigree un-neutered tom is not only Real, but as it hangs around the house it gets Realer and Realer until one of you is left in absolutely no doubt as to its Realness."
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Old 29th July 2009, 02:28 AM   #54
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I'm interested in this. As a veterinary pathologist I occasionally have to investigate livestock deaths involving teeth-marks. Last year we had a spate of stuff happening near here, including two ewes with their throats torn out, a lamb with a fatal bite to its flank, and a young ewe with a huge lump taken out of one leg. I wish I could post a picture of that last one because it was very dramatic, but it would probably be judged too gruesome. Of course we thought about the "big cat" possibility, and indeed one of the ewes was brought to us by a policeman with that specific question.

However, the conclusion was "big dog". In each case the bites were more typical of canine jaws. Also, the modus operandi was almost always a single bite, with the carcass found otherwise unscathed - that is, not actually eaten. The ewe with the leg bite and two of the lambs were still alive when they were found, and in one case the perpetrator appeared to have run wild round the field killing several lambs but then abandoning the carcasses and moving on to catch another one. This had all the hallmarks of an animal that was not killing to eat to live.

The number of carcasses brought in with significant amounts of meat missing was exactly zero. In total, though it was enough to get concerned about, there were only six or seven incidents over a period of many months. My conclusion was large domestic dogs intermittently sheep-worrying.

If there is a feral big cat, or even more so, a breeding population, I want to know what they're eating. I absolutely accept that some carcasses might be completely scavenged and disappear, but central Scotland is a well-farmed area and farmers do know how many sheep and lambs they have. Nobody has reported unexplained disappearances. Even if some carcasses were completely disappearing, I would expect at least some to be found part-eaten. It's the law that all livestock have to be inspected at least every 24 hours, and most farmers comply with that (and then show up here with the casualties when I'm already busy....)

We did have one strange case where a set of sheep bones was brought in, however these were clearly the work of human hands, with bones having been sawn and meat sliced off cleanly with a knife. They'd been lying around for a while, but weren't much gnawed, showing that a stripped carcass doesn't just vanish without trace.

Sheep and lambs are very vulnerable to this sort of predator. I fail to see how something like that could live entirely on wild animals, small rodents and the like, and if it ever does get a lamb, then somehow the carcass vanishes entirely leaving no trace. I'm really pretty confident that there's nothing like that living wild round here, because the evidence just doesn't stack up.

Helensburgh? There's more scope round there because it is on the edge of some relatively wild country, but my reservations above still apply. All the land is farmed, with sheep and cattle, and even the hill sheep are shepherded fairly closely. Farms which do have a problem are not slow to shout about it. Further north, some farms lost a lot of lambs to Sea Eagle predation this year, and there were articles in the farming press and bitter recriminations against the Sea Eagle conservationists. I have enormous trouble believing that the farms round Helensburgh are supporting a puma, and nobody has noticed any untoward losses.

There has been some speculation that the animal is a Labrador, but I saw the film on the TV news and I don't think so. The way it walks along the actual rail is not canine, it's feline. I just agree that it's probably not that big.

All-black specimens of the big domestic cat breeds are unusual, and most of these are long-haired. I think the picture is of a shorthair. Scottish wildcats are tabby. My first thought when I saw the film was the same as most people here. Big black mog.

I had a similar experience a few years ago when cycling by a canal. I looked across the canal at an open field, and seemed to see a black panther walking across it. I did a double take, and realised that it was just an ordinary black cat, not even especially huge, but sufficiently far from any clear size comparison markers that I'd been misled. If the cat had vanished after my initial sighing I could easily have been left with the impression I'd seen a panther.

I think the size comparison markers in the video are deceptive. It's a single-track railway (though probably normal gauge), and it's not as wide as it looks. Even watching the clip, sometimes it did look like a normal cat. I think the position was just conducive to a bit of a trompe l'oeil effect.

Domestic cats (which it probably was) have a fairly small range. I would suspect enquiries round the area would turn up someone with a big black pet cat.

Now, about the horse. A few days earlier, a horse was found mauled near Ayr. Some "expert" said they thought this was the work of a big cat, probably a puma.

I want to know what the "expert" was smoking. (Actually, I'm guessing about the identity of the expert, but I think he may have been the guy who declared that an obviously dog-killed hare I'd examined might have been hit by a car. Yeah, a car with teeth? So yes, vivid imagination at work perhaps.) The same thing applies, only more so. The Ayrshire countryside round there is intensively farmed. And, this is the biggie, our Ayr investigation centre is only a few miles from where the horse was found. I flat guarantee that if farmers round there were experiencing livestock losses suggestive of a big cat on the loose, we would know about it. The only possibility would be a recent escapee, and I sort of think something like that might have been reported missing.

And just to squash the conspiracy theorists, Ayr isn't that far from Helensburgh as the crow flies, but it's quite far enough to make the two incidents entirely unrelated. Especially as there is a sizeable body of water separating the two places (the Firth of Clyde), and the only way to get across is either to cross the Erskine Bridge or trot right through Glasgow city centre.

The puma thing was just someone with a vivid imagination not thinking clearly. For goodness sake, just phone Auchincruive and ask if there have been any other suspicious livestock losses in the area before you come out with that one, why don't you? And the video clip was a big black mog.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th July 2009, 05:21 AM   #55
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Hi Rolfe

there were big cats loose in the UK,

Quote:
Felicity, as she was called, was capture by farmer Ted Noble at Cannich Scotland in 1980. This followed a string of reports dating back to 1976 in the area. Controversy surrounds this capture to date. Felicity was moved to the Highland Wildlife Park where she ended her days as somewhat a tourist attraction. (1980)

Quote:
This jungle cat was found at the side of the road in Shropshire and was probably a casualty of a vehicle strike. It is rumoured that this cat mated with domestic cats and had several offspring. One large smokey grey cat called Jasper had all the characteristics and markings of a jungle cat. It later found its way to Dr Karl Shuker. (1989)

Quote:
Stuart Skinner shot a leopard cat on the Isle of Wight after thinking it was a rampaging fox that had been taking ducks and chickens from a farm on the Island. He did not report the incident for several months thinking he had shot a protected species. (1993)

Quote:
Summer 1991 - Northern Lynx (Felis Lynx) shot near Beccles, Suffolk, after it killed about 15 sheep over a two-week period. After spending a short time in the farmers freezer it was sold on to a local game dealer - who then had it stuffed and sold it to a local collector - who apparently now has it on display in his house. The BBCS learnt about this previous unreported story last year and have unearthed the only pictures of it to exist.

A lynx was shot dead by R.U.C. marksman near the village of Fintona on the 18th of February 1996. The shooting followed days of reports of a 'young lion' in the area. The lynx, which was wearing a collar, was believed to have escaped from a private collection.
The body was suupposedly stuffed and placed in the R.U.C. museum.
A lynx was captured in London after a witness report of a leopard sat on a garden wall. The lynx was captured after being sedated by a vet with a dart and blow pipe. She was taken to London zoo and treated for a paw injury, she was given the name Lara there. (2001)
Big Cat Data

Regional Breakdown Big Cat Data Colour analysis

South West 21% Black 1319 – (64%)
South East 16% Brown / Sandy – 421 – (21%)
East Anglia 12% Lynx Type – 237 – (12%)
Scotland 11% Others – 75 (3%)
West Midlands 9%
East Midlands 9%
North West 7%
North East 7%
Wales 5%
Ireland 3%

Big Cat Sightings County ‘league table’ (between Jan 03 & March 04)

Scotland 231
Kent 141
Yorkshire 127
Wales 102
Devon 100
Cornwall 96
Lancashire 86
Ireland 82
Lincolnshire 80
Somerset 69
West Midlands 64
Gloucestershire 64
Essex 62
Suffolk 59
Norfolk 54
Sussex 50
Cumbria 47
Wiltshire 44
Dorset 42
Oxfordshire 39
Cambridgeshire 34
Shropshire 33
Hampshire 28
Leicestershire 27
Northamptonshire 26
Staffordshire 26
Derbyshire 24
Buckinghamshire 24
Herefordshire 23
Surrey 21
Warwickshire 19
Worcestershire 19
Northumberland 18
Berkshire 16
Cheshire 15
Nottinghamshire 10
Bedfordshire 7
London 7
Middlesex 6
Isle of Wight 5

TOTAL 2052

quite a lot of Animals that apparently don't exist which were all spotted during a 15 month survey, which lasted from January 03 till March 04.
http://www.britishbigcats.org/press_...20Stronger.doc

there are currently two schools of thought, they both agree that the big cat phenomena started overnight when the 1976 wild animals act made it impractical for ordinary people to own their own big cats, this forced three choices
1. donate animal to zoo
2. have animal euthanized
3. open the back door and say "shoo"

that a large number of cats were released into the UK countryside is not disputed, not even by the government, what happened to them next is

1. the big cats succesfully bred with each other forming large populations of naturalised pure bred big cats who know better than to show themselves around humanity
2. the smaller varieties of cats mated with ordinary housecats creating a hybrid which is naturally melanistic (black) and larger than domestic cats

whats known for sure is that the life expectancy of most big cats
Lions 10 years
Puma 13 years
Lynx 10 years
makes their presence unsustainable without procreation

once the idea that black panthers became fixed in the national consciousness in the late 70s anyone seeing a large black hybrid will immediately think "panther" and report it as such

but consider really, option 2 is far more likely and that type of animal would not predate domestic livestock anyway, they are far too small. I don't think its unreasonable to assume that anyone finding the rotten carcase of a 4 foot long hybrid cat is going to think its anything but a dead housecat. You as a vet will know that the large and stocky appearence of most housecats is a result of their fur and not their build.

2052 sightings in a 14 month period made on the whole by people who are familiar with the usual wildlife and who have nothing togain by making it up, its not like claiming you saw the mother ship from Alpha centauri overhead on your way home from the pub is it, and I don't expect that the Royal Marines would be called out twice by the government at dartmoor to hunt for something that isn't there. Even if 1% of these sightings is genuine then there are 20 unknown felines running around out there

lets just hope they don't evolve like this


and finally
the government does admit that there are big cats loose in the UK
or they wouldn't be publishing lists like this
http://web.archive.org/web/200612100...at-escapes.pdf
checkout the last 6 which represents 1/5 of the total, 6 animals that were captured, shot or found dead which have no known origin
theyre out there, any way you want to look at it and its not like theyre attacking children
http://www.yowiehunters.com.au/index...o_pdf=1&id=376
right ?

Last edited by Marduk; 29th July 2009 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 29th July 2009, 06:02 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Lucian View Post
Well, I've spent some time today measuring my cat and my friend's cat. The data are in, and I can say conclusively . . . that PetSmart should market the tape measure as a cat toy. Seriously, how the hell did you manage to measure your cat? Did you knock him out first? I didn't get any reliable measurements, but the cats had a wonderful time.
My big guy is a fraidy cat. The tape measure spooks him (as does pretty much everything including his own shadow), so I used my forearm (from my elbow to the tips of my fingers) and then used my other hand sideways to get the remainder, then I measured those two things on me.
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Old 29th July 2009, 06:30 AM   #57
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FWIW, the "big cat" story is a bit of local woo woo as well, as hunters claim to have seen mountain lions in this and surrounding states. Some folks get really upset about the issue, and it's got all the trappings of a conspiracy theory.

For example, see: http://www.huntingpa.com/forums/ubbt...263505&fpart=1 from a local hunting forum I frequent.
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Old 29th July 2009, 06:44 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
there were big cats loose in the UK,
Those are dead or captured. What about now?

Quote:
Big Cat Data

Regional Breakdown Big Cat Data Colour analysis

Big Cat Sightings County ‘league table’ (between Jan 03 & March 04)

TOTAL 2052

quite a lot of Animals that apparently don't exist which were all spotted during a 15 month survey, which lasted from January 03 till March 04.
http://www.britishbigcats.org/press_...20Stronger.doc
Similar episodic sighting phenomenon with Bigfoot in North America.


Quote:
that a large number of cats were released into the UK countryside is not disputed, not even by the government,
They have figures and evidence for this? Is it just assumed or what?

Quote:
1. the big cats succesfully bred with each other forming large populations of naturalised pure bred big cats who know better than to show themselves around humanity
Are there any confirmed records of lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars or pumas presently living in the UK wilds? Any?


Quote:
2052 sightings in a 14 month period made on the whole by people who are familiar with the usual wildlife and who have nothing togain by making it up, its not like claiming you saw the mother ship from Alpha centauri overhead on your way home from the pub is it, and I don't expect that the Royal Marines would be called out twice by the government at dartmoor to hunt for something that isn't there. Even if 1% of these sightings is genuine then there are 20 unknown felines running around out there
This is what the Bigfooters say.



Quote:
and finally the government does admit that there are big cats loose in the UK or they wouldn't be publishing lists like this
What? Where is the government's confirmatory evidence that big cats are currently living in UK wilds? The list itself does not represent the "government admitting".


Quote:
checkout the last 6 which represents 1/5 of the total, 6 animals that were captured, shot or found dead which have no known origin theyre out there, any way you want to look at it and its not like theyre attacking children
The last 6 are not big cats. Big Cat = lion, tiger, leopard, jaguar and (sometimes) puma.
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:21 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by shawmutt View Post
FWIW, the "big cat" story is a bit of local woo woo as well, as hunters claim to have seen mountain lions in this and surrounding states. Some folks get really upset about the issue, and it's got all the trappings of a conspiracy theory.

...
We hear occasionally about catamount sightings here in New England as well. Unless they find scat or a carcass with confirmed large feline bite marks (or at the most extreme, a catamount carcass), most of the Fish and Game folks are very skeptical. It would be nice to have a large predator back in the region as a natural control to the burgeoning population of large game animals (moose and whitetails), but I don't see that happening.
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:37 AM   #60
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I'm not disputing that there have been incidents where non-domestic species have escaped in Britain. What I am disputing is the evidence of anything significantly larger than a domestic cat maintaining a population in the wild, or that anything large enough to prey on livestock could remain undetected for more than a few days or (at the most) weeks after escaping.

Quote:
that a large number of cats were released into the UK countryside is not disputed, not even by the government, what happened to them next is

1. the big cats succesfully bred with each other forming large populations of naturalised pure bred big cats who know better than to show themselves around humanity
2. the smaller varieties of cats mated with ordinary housecats creating a hybrid which is naturally melanistic (black) and larger than domestic cats

That second one isn't entirely implausible, because of course feral cats exist, and of course they maintain populations in the "wild". Cats of that size are not going to go after livestock, they are going to get birds and small rodents. My question on that one just echoes another thread here. Where are all the road kill? Maybe some bodies have turned up and I'm just not aware of them, however if there are no reports of dead individuals being found, I'm sceptical of their existence. If on the other hand they're nothing more than black moggies at the top edge of the size range, so are not being recorded as anything special, well, that isn't anything very special. Interesting from a genetics point of view, but no more.

I don't think we're actually disagreeing with each other on that. And if you want to postulate that the cat in the video from Helensburgh is of that nature, then I'm not going to argue. (I'm not going to agree either until someone does some DNA analysis of a body, though.) It's just "some feral cats exist which are larger than average, and black, because they have a little bit of exotic cat in their ancestry courtesy of an escapee in the 1970s" isn't really a very newsworthy item.

So, about the bigger ones. That top photo is a cracker, and this is a famous case, but it happened in Cannich for God's sake! A better place to remain feral in would be hard to find. It's the back of bloody beyond. And even so, there were a string of reports for four years (from the 1976 act) and she was then captured. If a cat like that gets noticed even in a wild and remote area north of the Great Glen, then it's hardly going to be sneaking around Ayrshire under the radar.

The jungle cat in Shropshire is still quite small, and just proves what I was saying. If they are there, you find the road kill. But that wouldn't have been preying on livestock, and in fact there is no evidence it wasn't a recently escaped illegal "pet".

The leopard cat was found on the Isle of Wight. So where did it come from? I would start looking among people living on the Isle of Wight! How long had it been there? No idea, if we don't know where it escaped from. Probably not long. Recent escapees are always a possibility, and if people have been keeping things illegally, they may not report them. This thing was still small enough to have been secretly kept in domestic premises after all, it's not as if a wildlife park had lost a specimen.

Quote:
Summer 1991 - Northern Lynx (Felis Lynx) shot near Beccles, Suffolk, after it killed about 15 sheep over a two-week period. After spending a short time in the farmers freezer it was sold on to a local game dealer - who then had it stuffed and sold it to a local collector - who apparently now has it on display in his house. The BBCS learnt about this previous unreported story last year and have unearthed the only pictures of it to exist.

You make my point for me. Anything big enough to prey on livestock isn't going to lurk unnoticed for long. The day I have 15 mauled corpses on my hands in a two-week period, is the day I'm absolutely convinced there's something out there. That day is not today, however. Also, if it was killing a sheep a day, where had it been before that two-week period? Another recent escape, clearly.

Quote:
A lynx was shot dead by R.U.C. marksman near the village of Fintona on the 18th of February 1996. The shooting followed days of reports of a 'young lion' in the area. The lynx, which was wearing a collar, was believed to have escaped from a private collection.
The body was suupposedly stuffed and placed in the R.U.C. museum.

Recent escapee. No mystery.

Quote:
A lynx was captured in London after a witness report of a leopard sat on a garden wall. The lynx was captured after being sedated by a vet with a dart and blow pipe. She was taken to London zoo and treated for a paw injury, she was given the name Lara there. (2001)

In London. How long do you think that had been on the loose? Answers in hours rather than days are more likely to win the jackpot.

Quote:
the government does admit that there are big cats loose in the UK
or they wouldn't be publishing lists like this
http://web.archive.org/web/200612100...at-escapes.pdf
checkout the last 6 which represents 1/5 of the total, 6 animals that were captured, shot or found dead which have no known origin

I've had a look at this, in fact a closer look than you have it seems.

The first two look like the same animal recorded twice, and it's our friend the leopard cat from the Isle of Wight. As I said, probably a recently-escaped illegal "pet", not reported missing for obvious reasons.

The next one is the London one. I really, really hope you're not suggesting that there is a breeding population of lynx established in London.

The last one is the Shropshire one you mentioned above. Small cat, no reason it couldn't be a recent escapee.

So we have only two left, both leopard cats. Small, again. One in Devon and one in the south of Scotland. Twenty years ago. And again, no reason to think they were anything other than recently escaped illegal pets.

You have totally failed to convince me that there is anything of that sort breeding in this country, or anything other than the occasional illegal exotic pet getting out and either coming to grief or being recaptured.

Quote:
theyre out there, any way you want to look at it and its not like theyre attacking children
http://www.yowiehunters.com.au/index...o_pdf=1&id=376
right ?

No, you have no evidence that "they're out there". And that last link is just another story along the same lines as the mauled horse. Pure conjecture.

In spite of the 1976 act, some people will still continue to keep exotic cats. And sometimes they will get out. And the miscreant won't necessarily report this, and when the animal is either found dead or recaptured they will still keep quiet for obvious reasons. (That was one omission in my original post - while of course a legal zoological collection would report an escape, an illegal "pet" might well not be reported.) This is the simple explanation for all the cases you cited. Your information also highlights that when something big does get out, dead sheep are a pretty obvious giveaway.

Beyond that, hey, some feral cats alive now might have a little bit of exotic cat in their ancestry, and these may be larger than average and black. Well, stone the crows!

Rolfe.
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Old 29th July 2009, 08:02 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's just "some feral cats exist which are larger than average, and black, because they have a little bit of exotic cat in their ancestry courtesy of an escapee in the 1970s" isn't really a very newsworthy item.

Beyond that, hey, some feral cats alive now might have a little bit of exotic cat in their ancestry, and these may be larger than average and black.
Right, but we are talking about possible hybrids within the genus Felis. Increased size, but with limitations. The Big Cats are genus Panthera. We are not expecting Felis x Panthera (which would really kick-up the size).

The issue is that so many eyewitnesses are compelled to estimate the size of their beast as being in the domain of Panthera, not a Felis x Felis hybrid. The hype is for these wild or escaped exotics to be Panthera, not Felis. If you look at the enthusiast websites, you see many comparison photos of melanistic leopard (Panthera).
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Old 29th July 2009, 08:32 AM   #62
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Well, exactly!

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Old 29th July 2009, 08:52 AM   #63
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Cougar Hysteria


Quote:
In the last year alone, we have witnessed television and newspaper news alerts, warning signs posted along public trails, public school and work-site closings, and city police warnings issued in several eastern states over nothing more than reported sightings backed up with videos and photographs of bobcats and housecats mistaken to be cougars and black panthers. It seems that deep down, somewhere in our psyche, many want these animals to exist so much that these kinds of events have become commonplace, even in our populated and heavily-modified environments. This phenomenon even exists in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries that don’t have native large cats. The term often used to describe these mysterious sightings of pumas or panthers is “Phantom Cats” or Alien Big Cats (ABCs).
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Old 29th July 2009, 08:58 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
No, you have no evidence that "they're out there". And that last link is just another story along the same lines as the mauled horse. Pure conjecture.
well I think we can all see which side of the fence youre sitting on, to claim that big cats aren't occaisonally spotted in the UK is ridiculous when I have actually posted pictures of some of them.

I am not saying that I totally agree with either of the two schools of thought that I posted, but we do have alien big cats on the loose, they turn up bodily too often to deny it. Before you go mocking my use of Alien there, you'd best be aware that it is the right termnology for a creature that isn't native which is in evidence.


btw the last link was backed up by several eyewitnesses and the testimony of the boy himself, who managed to describe the usual method used by panthera when attacking bipeds in its native habitat and displayed the wounds to prove it. I expect you'd claim he saw it on a tv show and then faked the injuries, and then went on to convince his parents, friends and the local constabulary that he had really been attacked. I expect he hasa future as a oscar winning actor, wake up, he was 11, not 30
To claim that it is conjecture is the grossest exaggeration, do you know what the word actually means or is it just an attempt on your part to defend your earlier position which you had decided on before you knew any of the evidence

as for me not examining the defra list properly, perhaps you can tell me then why there are not 6 unknowns listed but 11. I suggested you just look at the last six, I said nothing about ignoring the rest of the data
This means that 1/3 of the proven cats are from an unknown source, not 1/5 so in fact, you didn't really bother to read it at all before rendering judgement did you.



and no, 2052 sightings is not just like bigfoot, we have a far smaller area and the witnesses on the whole were not a bunch of rednecks out to make some bucks from the local rag. The 2052 were reported in a 14 month period, since 2000 there have been over 12000 sightings and current government policy is that it is a police matter admittedly some of the claims were that they had spotted Top cat, the pink panther, Garfield or Simba, but these are not added to the figures
you say they arent there, thats fine, but the British Forestry commission don't agree with you
http://phantomsandmonsters.wetpaint....g+Cats+Roam+UK
let me guess ?
conjecture again ?

this is a sceptic site, one of the rules of scepticism is that you are aware of the evidence and make an informed decision based on it, by claiming that there are no big cats in the wild in the UK you have shown a shocking ignorance of the facts

for shame
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:12 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
and no, 2052 sightings is not just like bigfoot, we have a far smaller area and the witnesses on the whole were not a bunch of rednecks out to make some bucks from the local rag. The 2052 were reported in a 14 month period, since 2000 there have been over 12000 sightings and current government policy is that it is a police matter admittedly some of the claims were that they had spotted Top cat, the pink panther, Garfield or Simba, but these are not added to the figures
It is because of the context you used. Thousands of sightings... they can't all be wrong. You sound unfamiliar with Bigfootery. Plenty of witnesses are not "redneck", nor out to make money from it.


Quote:
you say they arent there, thats fine, but the British Forestry commission don't agree with you
http://phantomsandmonsters.wetpaint....g+Cats+Roam+UK
let me guess ?
conjecture again ?
Originally Posted by Phantoms and Monsters
The official confirmation came yesterday — proving thousands of members of the public have been right for years.
Do you have a link to the actual government confirmation, instead of a blurb from a paranormal site?

The government is saying that this photo (on that link) shows a black leopard in the UK wilds?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg panther4.jpg (28.5 KB, 9 views)
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:14 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
And here I thought the link was going to refer to Desperate Housewives!
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:18 AM   #67
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ETA: removed a comment that was based on a misunderstanding of a post.


I once heard a news story about incursions of mountain lions into Missouri and Iowa. IIRC, part of the issue is that farmers and ranchers want laws changed to protect their property from just about anything, and reports of big cats can lead to a scare that might support passing such laws. So it might not be simply a matter of mistaken sightings but more about people who are motivated to see big cats.
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:19 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
And here I thought the link was going to refer to Desperate Housewives!
As I posted it, I thought that there is no way this forum will let that title pass. I intentionally left off the subtitle just for fun.
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:24 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It is because of the context you used. Thousands of sightings... they can't all be wrong. You sound unfamiliar with Bigfootery. Plenty of witnesses are not "redneck", nor out to make money from it.
Probably an error on my part mentioning bigfoot in the same breath, duh





Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Do you have a link to the actual government confirmation, instead of a blurb from a paranormal site?

The government is saying that this photo (on that link) shows a black leopard in the UK wilds?
I have the local gloucestershire news report that includes a police telephone number and a comment from the environmental health officer which is a lot more credible and is obviously the source for the earlier site
http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co....l/article.html

and
Quote:
Earlier this year, Forestry Commission chiefs admitted for the first time that their own rangers had reported sightings of big cats in the Forest of Dean, in 2002 and 2005. The incidents were only made public after a request was made under the Freedom of Information Act.
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/wdp/l...l/article.html
which may go someway to explaining why government sites weren't blazing it across their front pages


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Old 29th July 2009, 09:25 AM   #70
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Quote:
So it might not be simply a matter of mistaken sightings but more about people who are motivated to see big cats.

JTJ, cougars are confirmed in Missouri and Iowa.
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:35 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
I have the local gloucestershire news report that includes a police telephone number and a comment from the environmental health officer which is a lot more credible and is obviously the source for the earlier site
http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co....l/article.html


Quote:
In new information revealed under the Freedom of Information Act the Forestry Commission has confirmed two reliable sightings of large cats.

Rangers taking part in a deer survey using thermal imaging cameras spotted the creatures on two separate occasions in different areas of the Forest.

Deputy surveyor Rob Guest said they were reliable sightings of the mystery beasts.

He said: "Both were observed at night using heat-activated night vision equipment, used to undertake deer census, so the colour of the animals was not determined."

The first sighting was at the edge of Churchill Inclosure east of Parkend in February 2002 and the second was on the southern slopes of Staple Edge in March 2005."

But Mr Guest said there was no sign of large cats during the most recent deer census in March 2008.

Despite no concrete photographic evidence of big cats in the county, Gloucestershire police believe there are pairs living in the Forest of Dean and around the Cirencester area.

There could be problems with estimating size using thermal night-vision. They have no photos. It's not a proper confirmation.

The thing is, these Big Cats should be rather easy to locate and confirm. They are territorial and creatures of habit. They use game trails and scent-mark, etc. Camera traps will take pictures of them. Is the gov. presently engaging efforts to properly confirm them? Camera traps, meat baiting, scent baiting, hair traps, etc. all work VERY WELL for wild or escaped felids.
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:47 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
There could be problems with estimating size using thermal night-vision. They have no photos. It's not a proper confirmation.

The thing is, these Big Cats should be rather easy to locate and confirm. They are territorial and creatures of habit. They use game trails and scent-mark, etc. Camera traps will take pictures of them. Is the gov. presently engaging efforts to properly confirm them? Camera traps, meat baiting, scent baiting, hair traps, etc. all work VERY WELL for wild or escaped felids.
totally agree, the police as always do not require evidence of an animal to take reports from a government source seriously. I think they would rather err on the side of safety than have to say "we did nothing" when someones toddler goes missing.

but heres the thing, we are a country that has reports of big cats roaming the countryside
we are a country that has recovered bodies of those big cats which were roaming the countryside
we have testimony from people attacked by those big cats roaming the countryside

so does it really matter if theyre recent escapees or breeding in the wild, either way, theyre still out there aren't they

found in a field by a farmer in Devon in 2006

identified as a puma

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Old 29th July 2009, 09:47 AM   #73
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Camera trapping research project to survey for cougars in Western Kentucky/Tennessee. They didn't capture any on camera but got lots of other animals. No Bigfoots either.

The report contains some very interesting data from a project in Myanmar to survey tiger populations...


Quote:
How do you know if an animal is truly absent?

Carbone et al. (2001) used camera trapping rates and computer simulations to estimate the minimum effort required to determine if tigers (or any other species) were present in an area.

Carbone et al. (2001) found that camera trapping programs running for 1000 trap nights had a 95% chance of obtaining at least 1 photograph at simulated low tiger densities of 0.4-0.7 individuals per 100 km2.

If trapping effort were 10,000 trap nights tigers presence could be determined when cat density was very low 0.05/100km2.
I think "trap nights" = number of cameras x nights in use.
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:48 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
well I think we can all see which side of the fence youre sitting on, to claim that big cats aren't occaisonally spotted in the UK is ridiculous when I have actually posted pictures of some of them.

Please show where I claimed that "big cats aren't occaisonally spotted in the UK". I said no such thing. I said that in every case you cited, there was no reason to believe the animal wasn't a recent escape from captivity. Which rather implies, unless something else got out last week, that there are probably none "out there" at the moment.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
I am not saying that I totally agree with either of the two schools of thought that I posted, but we do have alien big cats on the loose, they turn up bodily too often to deny it. Before you go mocking my use of Alien there, you'd best be aware that it is the right termnology for a creature that isn't native which is in evidence.

Sorry, you have been totally unable to produce a single piece of evidence for an animal turning up which wasn't either definitely or most probably a recent escapee.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
btw the last link was backed up by several eyewitnesses and the testimony of the boy himself, who managed to describe the usual method used by panthera when attacking bipeds in its native habitat and displayed the wounds to prove it. I expect you'd claim he saw it on a tv show and then faked the injuries, and then went on to convince his parents, friends and the local constabulary that he had really been attacked. I expect he hasa future as a oscar winning actor, wake up, he was 11, not 30

To claim that it is conjecture is the grossest exaggeration, do you know what the word actually means or is it just an attempt on your part to defend your earlier position which you had decided on before you knew any of the evidence

It's just another story, even less convincing than last week's mauled horse. Put it in the Bigfoot file.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
as for me not examining the defra list properly, perhaps you can tell me then why there are not 6 unknowns listed but 11. I suggested you just look at the last six, I said nothing about ignoring the rest of the data
This means that 1/3 of the proven cats are from an unknown source, not 1/5 so in fact, you didn't really bother to read it at all before rendering judgement did you.

Yes, I did. I do work for the Scottish equivalent of DEFRA, I'm not a complete amateur. There are only five actual unknowns, as I discussed above. Unless you'd like to tell me how we can have a "date of escape" filled in, even though the animal is one of a wild-breeding population? For pity's sake, two of the "unknown source" cases are recorded as "recaptured". They simply don't have the full data on all the historical cases. The five with no recorded date of escape are the only ones they have no idea how long they had been out there for.

If you actually look at the data in detail, you can see that a lot of it is approximate (an awful lot of stuff seems to have happened on the first of a month, and especially the first of January, this suggests to me they sometimes only knew the month or even only the year, but Excel imposes restrictions) and some of it is missing. Some of the cases weren't reported till years after the event. Some of it is flat wrong - one lynx is recorded as having escaped in 1991 and then captured in 1950! Most of the animals were only on the loose for a very short time, so far as we can tell from the incomplete, approximate and questionable data.

There is absolutely NOTHING there to support any suggestion of a breeding population of any of these species being present in the wild. The range of species is wide, and the locations are widely separated. Exactly as you'd expect when the cause is sporadic escapes from (sometimes illegal) captivity.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
and no, 2052 sightings is not just like bigfoot, we have a far smaller area and the witnesses on the whole were not a bunch of rednecks out to make some bucks from the local rag. The 2052 were reported in a 14 month period, since 2000 there have been over 12000 sightings and current government policy is that it is a police matter admittedly some of the claims were that they had spotted Top cat, the pink panther, Garfield or Simba, but these are not added to the figures
you say they arent there, thats fine, but the British Forestry commission don't agree with you
http://phantomsandmonsters.wetpaint....g+Cats+Roam+UK
let me guess ?
conjecture again ?

Show me the helium bodies.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
this is a sceptic site, one of the rules of scepticism is that you are aware of the evidence and make an informed decision based on it, by claiming that there are no big cats in the wild in the UK you have shown a shocking ignorance of the facts

for shame

I claim that there is no evidence of any big cats ever having been in the wild apart from a number of assorted escapes from captivity. I claim that there is no evidence that such cats are in the wild at the moment, or that there is or ever was a breeding population of anything beyond possible hybridisation of some small exotic cats with feral moggies. And even the last remains to be proved.

Listen, if something like this were true, it would make my day. It would be great! However, I know what my job would look like if there were anything big enough to prey on lambs anywhere around south-east Scotland, and I know that my colleagues around the country also make regular reports of the causes of livestock deaths they're seeing. The dog-worrying cases I mentioned above went into the reports. We know about the losses caused by the Sea Eagles. Big cats have to eat, and there's plenty around to prevent them going hungry.

Show me the bodies.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th July 2009, 09:56 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
but heres the thing, we are a country that has reports of big cats roaming the countryside
we are a country that has recovered bodies of those big cats which were roaming the countryside
we have testimony from people attacked by those big cats roaming the countryside

so does it really matter if theyre recent escapees or breeding in the wild, either way, theyre still out there aren't they
If I said "there are no Big Cats presently living in the UK wilds"... you would be powerless to prove me wrong using proper confirmatory evidence.

Quote:
found in a field by a farmer in Devon in 2006 - identified as a puma
Wiki
Quote:
In 2006, the British Big Cats Society reported that a skull found by a Devon farmer was that of a Puma, however, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) states, "Based on the evidence, Defra does not believe that there are big cats living in the wild in England."
Why would they say that after the skull find?
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Old 29th July 2009, 10:02 AM   #76
JoeTheJuggler
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
JTJ, cougars are confirmed in Missouri and Iowa.
I know, but not in the numbers that present a serious threat--that's what the story was about. In fact, when I heard the story (some years back), conservation officials said the Iowa sightings were probably just "visiting" cougars--that is, at the time there wasn't a "resident" population, and the numbers of sightings being reported in the news were not credible.

Anyway, my point is that the "thousands of sightings" (in the U.K.) that could indeed all be wrong could include accounts from people who are motivated (for one reason or another) to embellish the truth aside from accounts of people who just saw some other animal and honestly mistook it for a big cat.
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Old 29th July 2009, 10:10 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
JTJ, cougars are confirmed in Missouri and Iowa.
Now we just need them to jump that big ol' river and keep heading east!

(Confirmed as being wild North American cougars, not escaped/freed exotics by more than just eyewitness accounts/photos, I take it.)
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Old 29th July 2009, 10:10 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
conservation officials said the Iowa sightings were probably just "visiting" cougars
Natural dispersion from a large and growing population in the Dakotas. It is predominantly roaming males looking for females away from other male competitors. But, the further they get from the Badlands the lower the odds become for finding females (who do not disperse at the same rate). Without females there is no chance to establish a population.


Quote:
Anyway, my point is that the "thousands of sightings" (in the U.K.) that could indeed all be wrong could include accounts from people who are motivated (for one reason or another) to embellish the truth aside from accounts of people who just saw some other animal and honestly mistook it for a big cat.
It's that romanticism of belief and the hobby that comes with it. This is very much like Bigfootery.
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Old 29th July 2009, 10:14 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Arisia View Post
Now we just need them to jump that big ol' river and keep heading east!

(Confirmed as being wild North American cougars, not escaped/freed exotics by more than just eyewitness accounts/photos, I take it.)
This has already happened with confirmations in Wisconsin and Illinois. Those cats crossed the river with their origin being the big population in the Badlands. We now have DNA profiles of the various population areas and can talk smart when addressing the question "Where did this cougar come from?"

ETA: There is a way into Wisc. at the very far north that doesn't require a Mississippi crossing.
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Last edited by William Parcher; 29th July 2009 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 29th July 2009, 10:29 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
This has already happened with confirmations in Wisconsin and Illinois. Those cats crossed the river with their origin being the big population in the Badlands.

Nonetheless, the Mississippi River does seem to be a natural barrier of sorts. Look at this map and see what happens at the river.

Cougar Network is an excellent source for no-nonsense coverage of cougars in "the east". Young male mountain lion asks: where are the MILFs?
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