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Tags big cats , cats , cryptozoology , Scotland incidents

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Old 29th July 2009, 05:36 PM   #121
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by makaya325 View Post
Strength of a Leopard ends when it is dealing with a 450 lb Silverback. The only way that they can kill large non-human primates is through sneak attacks.

Mak, they attack everything with stealth. It's how leopards hunt. It's always a surprise and they hit with great speed and force. They are extremely skilled at instantly getting their terribly long canine teeth DEEP into the throat, even when coming from behind. Leopards do not normally target large gorillas. They will certainly take smaller individuals.
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Old 29th July 2009, 05:37 PM   #122
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By the way, you missed a couple.

Charlotte the sheep.

That horse near Ayr last week.

People do love to get excited about these incidents. However, just like the escaped cats, they're sporadic one-off reports from all over the place.

I recently met the pathologist who was said to have identified Ramsay's sheep predator as a big cat, and dammit I forgot to ask him! But the accounts of that sounded more like journalists making a great deal of someone who didn't say "no, that's just ridiculous" when the idea was put to him. Hertfordshire. And nobody has seen it. And it's killed one lamb in over a year.

As I said before, there is zero possibility that a puma is living in the farmlands within five miles of the Ayr veterinary investigation centre, and the only evidence of its existence is lesions on a horse.

People really do underestimate the damage a big dog can cause. And dogs are not usually expert hunters. They don't have the practice and they often lack the instinct. They can do anything from expertly ripping out a ewe's throat to running around grabbing randomly at lambs' rumps.

When you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras - or unicorns. When you see occasional, sporadic sheep-worrying, think Rottweiler, not lynx - or lion.

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Old 29th July 2009, 05:46 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
See I don't know what planet you are on but I have told you several times that I am gathering information from a government source using the freedom of information act. This may take some time. Til then youre just wasting your time talking crap about evidence I have stated several times is not good enough. I mean, what do I have to do here, write it in triplicate and hand it in to your supervisor at the funny farm ?

And who and where do you think the government source is going to get its information from?

I already showed you the VIDA reports. The evidence of any big cat living in Britain would be in there, as statistics on the numbers of livestock dead in the appropriate category. By which I mean, the animals (mainly sheep and lambs) it would have had to kill to eat.

Ask DEFRA for a breakdown of these statistics and see what you find. How many sheep would a puma need in a week anyway? How many would a breeding population need? How many could it possibly sneak away before some of them got into these statistics?

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
youre saying the same thing as I am but heres the difference
I am looking for better evidence, you have made your mind upon weak evidence and further to that your first post stated quite clearly that you didn't believe it because you'd never come across any big cat kills yourself
thats hardly credible, or correct is it, now you gonna give me some time to get some replies on this or do you want to talk more irrelevance to fill in the gaps


I mean for crying out loud, what does homeopathy have to do with this subject ?

I'm saying the same thing as you are? Really?

Quote:
the government does admit that there are big cats loose in the UK

Quote:
theyre out there, any way you want to look at it and its not like theyre attacking children
[link to allegation of an attack on a child attached]

Quote:
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

Quote:
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

Gimme a break.

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Old 29th July 2009, 06:43 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
Defra were recently caught covering up and playing down the evidence, they were forced to release information under the freedom of information act which showed they have examined plenty of animal remains over the years some of which showed clear evidence of a big cat attack and in every case they claimed "predator unknown" based on the fact that they didn't actually have the corpse of the animal responsible.

Look, you never answered me before. I want to know the source for that startling statement.

For someone who's just starting to look at the evidence you do seem to have some pretty firm pre-conceptions, and to have swallowed some pretty dubious-looking claims.

So tell us. What is the source for that one. Where is this evidence that DEFRA were "forced" to release? How did they hide it within the VIDA data?

And why should any predator attack be classed as anything other than "predator unknown" if nobody saw the attack? What makes you claim that these cases show "clear evidence of a big cat attack" rather than being dogs? Did you see the bodies? Who did then? Who made that judgement?

Come on, you can't just make statements like that with no intention of even showing where you got them from!

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Old 29th July 2009, 06:45 PM   #125
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Quote:
And who and where do you think the government source is going to get its information from?
Parcher specifically asked for the report made by the two forest rangers who twice spotted a pair of big cats over a three year period, they work for the forestry comission, you don't think they reported it, then where did the media release come from and why do the police have an emergency contact number for those two animals or is it just that you don't recognise the forestry comission as a government organisation ?

Quote:
I already showed you the VIDA reports. The evidence of any big cat living in Britain would be in there, as statistics on the numbers of livestock dead in the appropriate category. By which I mean, the animals (mainly sheep and lambs) it would have had to kill to eat.
Are you forgetting that the forestry comission said nothing about it in 2002 and 2005 and only released the information when it was requested under the freedom of information act, seriously, have you read any of the previous posts ?

Quote:
]
Ask DEFRA for a breakdown of these statistics and see what you find. How many sheep would a puma need in a week anyway? How many would a breeding population need? How many could it possibly sneak away before some of them got into these statistics?
There are no feral sheep deep in the new forest
http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/sheep






Quote:
I'm saying the same thing as you are? Really?
I was talking about the quality of the evidence, heres what happened
1. I said the evidence wasn't very good
2. you said the evidence wasn't very good
3. I said I would dig up some better evidence from the foresty comission
4. you started banging on and on and on and on and on about the evidence not being very good and attempting to make it look like I had said the opposite












Quote:
Gimme a break.

Rolfe.
I reckon you need one
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Old 29th July 2009, 06:54 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
your opinion isn't credible and your above statement is nonsense
Epic Fail,
read previous posts then I won't have to ignore yours

Oh yes. I posted a post at 10.47, that I'd been working on for two hours. Work you should maybe have done for yourself before you posted a link to that lame DEFRA list to support your case.

You posted that at 10.49. You couldn't have read a quarter of it.

Read the assistance one professional is giving you before you run around bothering other people.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:07 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
Parcher specifically asked for the report made by the two forest rangers who twice spotted a pair of big cats over a three year period, they work for the forestry comission, you don't think they reported it, then where did the media release come from and why do the police have an emergency contact number for those two animals or is it just that you don't recognise the forestry comission as a government organisation ?

Have fun. If you can't recognise a fluff piece of journalism mainly provided by that Danny nutter, then too bad.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
Are you forgetting that the forestry comission said nothing about it in 2002 and 2005 and only released the information when it was requested under the freedom of information act, seriously, have you read any of the previous posts ?

Maybe because the whole thing is a non-event blown up by Danny and fed to local reporters with a bit of space to fill?

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
There are no feral sheep deep in the new forest
http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/sheep




Who said anything about the New Forest? Or feral sheep? The story you've been banging on about happened in the Forest of Dean. You know, the place I already told you was completely cleared of all ungulates in 2001 because of foot and mouth. Mainly deer and wild boar. They shot the lot, although it has since been re-stocked.

How did the pumas escape notice and then manage to survive while all that was happening?

And my question about "sheep" was general. How many sheep-sized prey animals per week does a puma need to live? A breeding family of pumas? Where is the evidence anywhere in Britain (possibly outside that Bodmin story, don't know enough about that) of livestock losses at the scale that would be inevitable if such animals were there?

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
I was talking about the quality of the evidence, heres what happened
1. I said the evidence wasn't very good
2. you said the evidence wasn't very good
3. I said I would dig up some better evidence from the foresty comission
4. you started banging on and on and on and on and on about the evidence not being very good and attempting to make it look like I had said the opposite

No, you came here flaunting "evidence" you seemed pretty pleased with. It began to look a bit less shiny after a little while, and you began making back-tracking noises. Your evidence got less and less shiny the more it was examined.

Maybe you go away and come back if you ever find anything that stands up to any reasonable scrutiny? Right now, you've shown nothing at all but some cut-and-paste from a bunch of crank web sites.

Have fun making a nuisance of yourself.

Rolfe.
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:09 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Cougar Network is an excellent source for no-nonsense coverage of cougars in "the east". Young male mountain lion asks: where are the MILFs?
That cracks me up.

I like that they specify their levels of confirmation: Level 1: mostly cadavers believed to be wild; Level 2: other physical evidence (like tracks IDd by an expert).

Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
We now have DNA profiles of the various population areas and can talk smart when addressing the question "Where did this cougar come from?"
Is that info on the cougarnet site? I'd love to see where the cats found nearest to me came from.

ETA: Just surfing the site, about the only thing I see is that they've used DNA profiles to determine whether a cat is from a North American population. I haven't seen anything more specific than that.
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:34 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh yes. I posted a post at 10.47, that I'd been working on for two hours. Work you should maybe have done for yourself before you posted a link to that lame DEFRA list to support your case.

You posted that at 10.49. You couldn't have read a quarter of it.

Read the assistance one professional is giving you before you run around bothering other people.

Rolfe.
you wasted two hours on a post that was meaningless then, I had already stated quite clearly that I was contacting the forestry comission at 10:31 and asked you to hold of until I had an answer, since then you've been telling me over and over that the evidence presented so far isn't good enough, I was telling you that I knew it wasn't good enough, thats why I was mailing the forestry commission. Like I have said several times, if you don't bother to read previous statements about following up evidence then whats the point in you posting anything

youre like a stuck record over and over and over saying the same thing, I heard what you had to say the first time buddy and I acknowledged it, thats why I agreed with you and stated that I was going for the source at Parchers request. Are you even slightly interested in what a government organisation which no one has investigated yet has to say on the matter or are you convinced that you are the font of all knowledge

you clearly have lost the plot, you've been slagging off people you don't know, calling people liars and making spurious claims on my character, your house is dirty, go clean it


last time in big bold letters at the end of the post just so you can't miss it
I AM CONTACTING THE FORESTRY COMMISSION TO SEE IF THE NEWS REPORT HAS ANY SUBSTANCE, WILL YOU WAIT FOR AN ANSWER OR WOULD YOU PREFER TO CARRY ON WASTING YOUR OWN AND EVERYONE ELSE'S TIME ?

If I was religious I would be worried about taking the lords name in vain at this point
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:39 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
Is that info on the cougarnet site? I'd love to see where the cats found nearest to me came from.

ETA: Just surfing the site, about the only thing I see is that they've used DNA profiles to determine whether a cat is from a North American population. I haven't seen anything more specific than that.

I'm trying to track down info on the applied science behind this. There could be something on Cougar Network, but I can't search the site.

I found this news article but the link is dead...

Quote:
DNA tests link cougar shot in Chicago to Wisconsin, South Dakota

Animal did not have rabies, necropsy shows

A Chicago police captain said the cougar turned on officers when they attempted to contain it, forcing them to shoot it. (Tribune photo by Candice C. Cusic / April 14, 2008)

By Jeremy Manier | Tribune reporter
3:27 PM CDT, April 30, 2008

DNA test results show that the cougar police shot April 16 on the North Side of Chicago was the same animal that left blood drops in southern Wisconsin in January, Cook County animal control officials said Wednesday.

The cougar's genes link it to a population from the Black Hills of South Dakota, according to Wisconsin wildlife officials. The animal's long journey apparently took it through North Chicago and Wilmette, where people reported seeing a cougar after the animal left Wisconsin but before it arrived in the big city.

"These findings provide a glimpse into the life of this wild cougar and are critical pieces of a larger puzzle, which for us and other agencies is: where it came from, and how and why it reached an urban area," Dr. Donna Alexander, administrator of the Cook County Department of Animal Control, said in a statement. "Additional testing still being performed will further delineate his genealogy and paint a better picture of his life."
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Old 29th July 2009, 07:52 PM   #131
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This is interesting...

Quote:
Leopard Panthera pardus 01/06/1988 21/06/1988 21/06/1988 Shot Unknown Kent

(Evidence now exists to suggest that this is not a credible sighting)
Not a credible sighting? Was it not shot dead? Was a body examined? If the shot cat wasn't a leopard after all, why is it listed as a leopard? Please don't tell me we may have reports of shot cats that were never recovered.
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Old 29th July 2009, 08:14 PM   #132
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Is this the same incident here?
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,0,98147.story

Too add a thought:

Maybe these "UK big cats" are just "domestic cats" infected with some unusual wild strain of CDV,
and morph into what we would call Pantherinae, or in this case a (large) diseased felid.
Unless these cats are resistant/elusive to "pathogens" also?
I guess these unverified vertebrates elude exposure to dogs, ticks, and the usual farm beasts.
The lion has a cooperative ambush... I guess these "Big UK Cats" may have a co-op elusive strategy.
Like some of our cool cryptoids over here in North America, they never end up on the table.

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Old 29th July 2009, 08:35 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by JcR View Post
Is this the same incident here?
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,0,98147.story

Too add a thought:

Maybe these "UK big cats" are just "domestic cats" infected with some unusual wild strain of CDV,
and morph into what we would call Pantherinae, or in this case a (large) diseased felid.
Unless these cats are resistant/elusive to "pathogens" also?
I guess these unverified vertebrates elude exposure to dogs, ticks, and the usual farm beasts.
The lion has a cooperative ambush... I guess these "Big UK Cats" may have a co-op elusive strategy.
Like some of our cool cryptoids over here in North America, they never end up on the table.
So, in other words, These cats are simply freaks of nature?
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Old 30th July 2009, 01:19 AM   #134
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Mod WarningTo all participants: stop the bickering and personal attacks. Any further breaches will result in suspension.
Posted By:Darat
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Old 30th July 2009, 01:50 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
<snip>

How did the pumas escape notice and then manage to survive while all that was happening?

<Snip>

Rolfe.
It's obvious, innit? They all stayed at the local B&B.




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Old 30th July 2009, 03:03 AM   #136
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So, who's voting for the Scottish leopard and who expects an informed individual to end up right?

Nevermind, this has devolved into a bigfoot thread.
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Old 30th July 2009, 03:07 AM   #137
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I guess a "shot Cougar" in Illinois doesn't = breeding population.
Are pushed out siblings/off-spring from South Dakota stock, meandering to Chicago? Time will tell if they set up camp in Illinois and other eastern regions.

Regarding the OP.
This cat? appears to be slightly taller than the rails, how tall are they? about 8 inches? One of my cats is 10 inches at the shoulders, as apposed to a Puma which can reach 30 inches. This has already be said so I will move along.




To add: I wanted to add this link http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/st...r.html?ref=rss

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Old 30th July 2009, 05:38 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by JcR View Post
Regarding the OP.
This cat? appears to be slightly taller than the rails, how tall are they? about 8 inches? One of my cats is 10 inches at the shoulders, as apposed to a Puma which can reach 30 inches.

I've looked at the video a number of times, and it's a real shame the resolution is so poor, and that the cat is walking away from the camera and so gets less and less clear.

At some points it seems to look a bit like a black Labrador, which is what the policeman who took the pictures thought it was at first. However, at other points it looks distinctly feline, especially the shape of the head and the length of the tail. There are also parts of the film where it doesn't look any bigger than an ordinary moggy.

There's a part of the film where I thought it actually walked along the rail. If this is the case, that's a very feline thing to do and a dog wouldn't do that. (A dog would also be likely to wag its tail while exploring like that, and this animal doesn't.) Also, if I was right about it walking along the rail, that would suggest it wasn't any bigger than a domestic cat. However, looking again at the film, I can't be sure it actually does that.

In spite of the railway line, there aren't good size reference points in the film, the policeman was a fair distance away, and the resolution is very poor. I think, just as the news item said at the time, that it's very inconclusive. It still could be a black Lab, but I think it's more likely just to be a big black mog, maybe somebody of 6 kg or more. Trying to magnify it into a puma seems a bit of a stretch though.

Although Helensburgh is on the edge of the Highlands and the Loch Lomond Park, it's very civilised. It's posh Glasgow commuter belt. That's what the railway line is. It shouldn't be all that hard for someone determined in the area to find out what lives there that might have taken a little stroll on the tracks.

And if it is a wild or feral animal, rather than somebody's pet, it should still be easy. That animal wasn't wary. It wasn't casing an unfamiliar joint. It was comfortable. If that was a free-living animal, it's probable it was in its home range, so it should be quite easy to find. I don't suppose anybody's looking though, because it was a bit of a nine-hour wonder.

Hybrid moggies with some non-domestic ancestry some generations back aren't impossible, but if they are around it's a bit odd nobody has ever produced any DNA evidence - for example as part of the project to get DNA typing of the remaining Felis sylvestris specimens in Scotland and see how much hypridisation of these with domestic cats has taken place. I think it's all mostly horse-feathers.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th July 2009, 05:42 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by JcR View Post
Maybe these "UK big cats" are just "domestic cats" infected with some unusual wild strain of CDV, and morph into what we would call Pantherinae, or in this case a (large) diseased felid.

I really, really hope you're joking. Do you really imagine we don't know what strains of CDV are around? And the answer is very little to none, because widespread vaccination of puppies has pretty much wiped it out.

However, even in the days when CDV was rampant, it never infected cats. And we never had pet cats morphing into diseased werewolves before our very eyes.

This one hits a new high in the paranoid fantasy stakes.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th July 2009, 06:09 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
This is interesting...

Not a credible sighting? Was it not shot dead? Was a body examined? If the shot cat wasn't a leopard after all, why is it listed as a leopard? Please don't tell me we may have reports of shot cats that were never recovered.

William, I think it has to be seen in the context of Aspinall's zoo activities in the area. There were a number of escapes from there, into the Kent countryside, which as I'm sure you know is very intensively farmed and quit densely populated. It's "the garden of England". Local people were actually a bit paranoid about it all at the time, and I wouldn't be surprised if someone reported one of these "it's not as big as it looks" cat sightings, and it was at first attributed to Aspinall's activities, and some wires got crossed.

The other context is of course the absolutely dreadful quality of the DEFRA document. This is a million miles from the sort of data usually produced by that department. I linked earlier to the VIDA statistics. These are meticulously maintained and checked, and every so often I get someone on my doorstep asking me about a VIDA code assignment on something I've done, pointing out an irregularity, and asking me to clarify. That's how the work is routinely done.

In contrast that table isn't even dated. We don't know when "the present day" relates to. It's full of errors that can easily be identified simply on a cursory inspection. That's why I believe it was something hastily cobbled together for a specific purpose, some time in 2001 or soon after, and never looked at again. The heading suggests the specific purpose to me. It looks like an FoI request. It looks like something sketchily assembled simply to comply with that request.

I'm guessing where the source material came from, but I've a shrewd suspicion that someone was able to source a handful of press clippings about big cats discovered in the countryside, and just sat down and banged in what was there, guessing approximate dates. It must have been done very hurriedly, because it didn't take me long at all to spot the duplications, and the "date of capture" of 1950 is also a glaring typo.

So all that note against the Kent leopard story suggests to me is that the minion doing this had a garbled press report relating to something Aspinall may or may not have been responsible for, and just typed in a little caveat note without making any further enquiries. I don't imagine the writer spent more than half an hour on the whole thing.

Which is why I think Marduk might be disappointed with the result of his FoI enquiry. Such enquiries are usually made by people who think the government department has a specific document or set of records. If they're right, then hopefully the document will be released. But if nobody really knows what they're talking about, or the information simply doesn't exist in the form in which it is requested, then this is the sort of amateur abortion likely to be handed over.

That table may have been of use to someone. I suspect it's actually pretty complete. Once you've realised that the Norfolk incident in the table is probably the same one as the Suffolk incident Marduk listed, the only one of his six that's missing is the one in Northern Ireland, which might not have been covered by the original data-trawl. Once you've looked at what's there, there are about 11 reports that aren't either obviously Aspinall, or Marduk's six. Searching for further information about these might reveal more - some of them are almost certainly well-documented zoo or wildlife park escapes. What we can say though, even with that poor-quality information, is that there is no particular area of the country which is more likely than another to be involved in such a report (except Kent!), and there is no one species repeatedly being turned up. This therefore argues quite strongly against there being a breeding population of any species in any part of the country.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th July 2009, 06:28 AM   #141
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Depends on: cat paws on what? IMHO. On soft carpet, maybe not, but on any kind of hard floor and a quiet enough setting (e.g., at night) I think most people can hear a cat.
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Old 30th July 2009, 06:32 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by makaya325 View Post
Strength of a Leopard ends when it is dealing with a 450 lb Silverback.
We don't seem to have many of those round here, and I suspect the same is true even in Scotland. Anyway, they'd be 32st 2lb Silverbacks.

(ETA: 204.5kg for the youngsters, and Rolfe.)
(ETA: Sorry, that was less than gallant; 204.5kg for the benefit of Rolfe and other youngsters. )
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Old 30th July 2009, 06:35 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by JcR View Post
Is this the same incident here?
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...,0,98147.story

Too add a thought:

Maybe these "UK big cats" are just "domestic cats" infected with some unusual wild strain of CDV,
and morph into what we would call Pantherinae, or in this case a (large) diseased felid.
Unless these cats are resistant/elusive to "pathogens" also?
I guess these unverified vertebrates elude exposure to dogs, ticks, and the usual farm beasts.
The lion has a cooperative ambush... I guess these "Big UK Cats" may have a co-op elusive strategy.
Like some of our cool cryptoids over here in North America, they never end up on the table.
Actually, _if_ such a big cat existed, my wildly uninformed bet would be more on "hybrid" than "mutant". Some hybrids of closely related species -- e.g., the Liger -- end up with some hormonal imbalance that makes them not stop growing.

I have no idea what could a moggie breed with for something like that to happen, though.
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Old 30th July 2009, 06:37 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
thats why I agreed with you and stated that I was going for the source at Parchers request. Are you even slightly interested in what a government organisation which no one has investigated yet has to say on the matter or are you convinced that you are the font of all knowledge

What is surprising is that we don't already have this information available on the web. I mean, why haven't the ABC enthusiasts tracked this stuff down yet? Big Cats are seen with night-vision and nobody is interested in the actual reports? A Puma skull is found in Devon and that is all there is to that story?

Are there any UK websites or forums devoted to ABC skepticism?
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Old 30th July 2009, 07:30 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
What is surprising is that we don't already have this information available on the web. I mean, why haven't the ABC enthusiasts tracked this stuff down yet? Big Cats are seen with night-vision and nobody is interested in the actual reports? A Puma skull is found in Devon and that is all there is to that story?

Are there any UK websites or forums devoted to ABC skepticism?
I expect because like most other woo subjects they are not either controlled or set up by anyone who knows the rigours expected of a scientific hypothesis. The man who runs the British Big Cat Society is an ex carpenter who's income is now reliant on lectures that he gives on the subject, so debunking his own claims is not in his best interests. However he is very active in debunking some of the more ludicrous claims and hoaxes
see here bottom of page
http://www.britishbigcats.org/evidence.php
so he does have some rigeur, just not enough to damage his own income


I know myself from past experience that there is a big difference between lecturing as a form of entertainment and academic discipline. When I was working my way up studying Mesopotamia it was almost a year before I understood how to catch the attention of the academic community by demonstrating knowledge rather than open mindedness and another year before anyone really wrote back
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Old 30th July 2009, 07:58 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
However he is very active in debunking some of the more ludicrous claims and hoaxes see here bottom of page
http://www.britishbigcats.org/evidence.php
so he does have some rigeur, just not enough to damage his own income

I've seen those hoaxes before. I don't think "cuddly toy" is the proper explanation for the Norman Evans hoax photo. I think this is Photoshop and possibly uses a real dog for part of the body. Start with a shot of a reclining black lab and then shoop it into a black panther. Note that the area from the chest forwards is pure black with highly defined edges. I have seen this hoax explained as a toy on numerous sites, but nobody has produced an example of the toy that was used. A stuffed animal collector (some are extremely versed in all such toys) ought to be able to identify the exact plush toy that was used.
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Old 30th July 2009, 08:16 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
you wasted two hours on a post that was meaningless then, I had already stated quite clearly that I was contacting the forestry comission at 10:31 and asked you to hold of until I had an answer, since then you've been telling me over and over that the evidence presented so far isn't good enough, I was telling you that I knew it wasn't good enough, thats why I was mailing the forestry commission. Like I have said several times, if you don't bother to read previous statements about following up evidence then whats the point in you posting anything

I'll waste my time any way I want, thanks. (Our local TV relay transmitter went on the fritz last night, so the usual time-wasting opportunity was denied to me.) At 8.30, which is when I started the fine-tooth comb job on the DEFRA table, I was hardly in a position to see something you'd posted at 10.31, you know!

I found that trawl through the DEFRA table quite interesting, if only to see how many mistakes I could spot. I find it telling that anyone would link to that document as if it was evidence of anything at all, without having given it the cursory glance which would reveal that it was riddled with errors.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
youre like a stuck record over and over and over saying the same thing, I heard what you had to say the first time buddy and I acknowledged it, thats why I agreed with you and stated that I was going for the source at Parchers request. Are you even slightly interested in what a government organisation which no one has investigated yet has to say on the matter or are you convinced that you are the font of all knowledge

So, you've decided to abandon the Helensburgh sighting which was the subject of the OP. You agree that was something unremarkable? Fine.

You've also decided to ignore the DEFRA table. Well, it's a mess. However, as I said, once you realise that the Suffolk incident with the dead sheep has been recorded as Norfolk, it seems to be complete as far as we know, as regards to mainland Great Britain. So it is actually a useful resource as far as that goes.

You've decided that the Forest of Dean is the place to look, in spite of its having been denuded of all cloven-hooved livestock in 2001. You're new to this, aren't you? The first question in that case, might be to see if any of these 11 DEFRA cases might possibly relate to that area.

The Forest of Dean is on the Welsh borders, in Gloucestershire, north of the Severn (nothing to do with the New Forest, which is in Hampshire, which you seemed to confuse it with earlier). Now, how many of the DEFRA cases (which are categorised by county) were found in Gloucestershire? That's right, NONE AT ALL. Nothing seems to have been found in that area.

If it's pumas you're after, then apart from Felicity, there is only one and it was in Leicestershire, quite some distance away, twenty years ago.

Do you actually know anything about the Forest of Dean? I've never been there, but I understand it's a very popular tourist spot. It's not very big - it's roughly circular, with a diameter of only about 5 miles. That's how they managed to clear it of wild boar and deer in 2001 without too much difficulty. There are several public roads through it and lots of paths, and it's studded with picnic areas. It's surrounded by main roads and by pretty villages, and the countryside around it is intensively farmed.

Now, just thinking about this sensibly, how credible do you really think it is that there's a breeding population of pumas living in there? Or even a solitary puma? With alleged sightings being rare, and questionable to put it mildly. Local farmers on the edge of the forest (remember, it's only 5 miles across) are not reporting mysterious livestock losses. And what do we postulate happened in 2001? Does this alleged colony date from later than that? In which case, where did the breeding stock actually come from, and who put them into this small enclave? Otherwise, how did they survive during the foot-and-mouth panic, when not only the Forest but the surrounding farms were all de-stocked?

If you're postulating real, warm, breathing animals rather then invisible pink unicorns, then these are the things you really have to consider.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
you clearly have lost the plot, you've been slagging off people you don't know, calling people liars and making spurious claims on my character, your house is dirty, go clean it


last time in big bold letters at the end of the post just so you can't miss it
I AM CONTACTING THE FORESTRY COMMISSION TO SEE IF THE NEWS REPORT HAS ANY SUBSTANCE, WILL YOU WAIT FOR AN ANSWER OR WOULD YOU PREFER TO CARRY ON WASTING YOUR OWN AND EVERYONE ELSE'S TIME ?

If I was religious I would be worried about taking the lords name in vain at this point

I think you need to stop these outbursts, if you want to keep posting. And I'm quite religious as it happens, don't be such a prude.

Now just think again about what I said above. You're putting in an FoI request to follow up on a reasonable suspicion (that you seem only to have thought of yesterday) that there is a breeding colony of pumas (or something of a similar size) in an area of Gloucestershire which is only five miles across, with a lot of human activity in and around it.

How seriously do you expect the Forestry Commission to take you? Any more seriously than they take that Danny fruitcake?

Rolfe.
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Old 30th July 2009, 08:43 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
What is surprising is that we don't already have this information available on the web. I mean, why haven't the ABC enthusiasts tracked this stuff down yet? Big Cats are seen with night-vision and nobody is interested in the actual reports? A Puma skull is found in Devon and that is all there is to that story?

Are there any UK websites or forums devoted to ABC skepticism?

Look at what I posted about the Forest of Dean. It's tiny. There's nothing hiding in there that the rangers don't know all about.

The "big cat" meme in that location is really all down to one fruitcake carrying on about it. In fact, in the (several) press reports I found saying that various sighting were credible, it was actually Danny or one of his mates who was being reported as giving the accolade of "credible" to the story, and most of the stories mainly just seem to be reporting what Danny is feeding the reporter. It's the sort of thing they like to put in local news on a slow day.

I don't know what the deal is with that skull, but from the utter lack of any interest in it, I suspect it's another case of "nothing to see here, move along folks". The DEFRA response to that is just a blocking tactic. They said they have no reason to believe there are big cats living in the British countryside. Yes, which says precisely nothing about the skull, as that isn't alive. The answer is intended to head off the Dannys of this world, rather than to inform - typical government brush-off. And nobody else has produced any other information about it. Which suggests it wasn't anything interesting. Or they lost it.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th July 2009, 08:47 AM   #149
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Rolfe, I want to thank you for your outstanding work and informative posts. It's interesting investigative work and it feels like it hasn't been done before. That's why I asked about the ABC skeptic sites. Have others already gone through the DEFRA list and found the same problems that you did? Is it buried in some pro-ABC forum thread?
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Old 30th July 2009, 09:00 AM   #150
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I'm especially curious about how the forest rangers concluded that is was Big Cats (Panthera or Puma) that they were seeing with thermal night-vision (non camera type).

I think that estimating size may be challenging with infrared (IR) vision. Warm objects glow and cool surroundings don't. Non-living objects around the living subject may not appear clearly. It could prevent a proper frame-of-reference to determine size of the glowing thing. I'm hoping that the ranger reports give objective explanations that were cause for concluding - Big Cats. Can you screw up an IR moggie sighting and think you are seeing a leopard?
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Old 30th July 2009, 09:11 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think you need to stop these outbursts, if you want to keep posting. And I'm quite religious as it happens, don't be such a prude.
It wasn't an outburst, it was a response to stimulus, did you read the big letters or not, I can post them larger if it helps ?
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Now just think again about what I said above. You're putting in an FoI request to follow up on a reasonable suspicion (that you seem only to have thought of yesterday) that there is a breeding colony of pumas (or something of a similar size) in an area of Gloucestershire which is only five miles across, with a lot of human activity in and around it.
no I'm not, like a poor marksman you keep missing the point don't you, how many times do I need to state what I am asking them for, it is the report made by the two rangers who claimed to have seen a pair of big cats, the report itself, nothing more, nothing less, if you are incapable of understanding any of my posts, and it certainly is starting to seem that way then just go back and read Mr Parchers original request will you, I'm getting sick of you wasting my time
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
How seriously do you expect the Forestry Commission to take you? Any more seriously than they take that Danny fruitcake?
I expect them to take it as seriously as the letter of the law, its quite specific on these matters
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Old 30th July 2009, 09:20 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by shawmutt View Post
It is just like a conspiracy theory!
Yep, someone cross the genes of a bigfoot with a house cat and set the unholy spawn loose in Britian.

Now all the vets are covering it up, so as not to alarm the public.
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Old 30th July 2009, 09:26 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Here, I'll make you happy. The San Diego Zoo made special mention of baboons because they are really different than other monkeys. You see, baboons are bipeds.
Not really. When they walk and especialy run they use all four limbs on the ground.

My dog can walk on two legs sometimes, that does not make him a biped.
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Old 30th July 2009, 09:37 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Rolfe, I want to thank you for your outstanding work and informative posts. It's interesting investigative work and it feels like it hasn't been done before. That's why I asked about the ABC skeptic sites. Have others already gone through the DEFRA list and found the same problems that you did? Is it buried in some pro-ABC forum thread?

No, it's just not a subject of any interest to anyone outside the little fruitcake club that it the British Big Cats Society. And as they're all fruitcakes, I'm not surprised they haven't analysed any of their "evidence". I'm just interested because of those sheep that were worried here last year. Two had their throats torn out in just the way an expert predator would do it, so we all sat down and had a discussion about it.

We concluded that any animal killing for food wouldn't have left the carcasses otherwise unscathed. We concluded that although the two throat-tearing incidents were close in time, they were too far apart in distance to have been the work of the same predator unless someone had driven it in a vehicle across the Forth Road Bridge. We concluded that the three incidents on our own farm here were so sporadic they suggested a predator that was only here very intermittently. We also noted the very varied attack angles on these (one throat, one flank and one hind leg) suggested an inexperienced predator. And again, we noted that the predator had abandoned the sheep after the attacks, with apparently no attempt to eat them. Also, we noted that the shepherd concerned reliably showed up with almost every casualty he discovered for us to investigate, and that he knew exactly how many sheep he had, so we pretty much knew that there were no other deaths. And he hadn't seen anything roaming the fields. And we could see that the amount of meat missing from the carcasses we did have wouldn't have kept a spaniel alive.

So while we were speaking jokingly of the "Pentland Beast", logic dictated that we had a sheep-worrying dog in the area, which was only intermittently getting access to the sheep. I reported this to the police and the SSPCA, and even went on local radio about it. The attacks seem to have stopped. It would be wildly exciting if there was indeed something in tham thar hills. The Pentland Hills (where about half of the attacks happened) at least occupy an area significantly larger than the Forest of Dean. But it doesn't stack up, and that's the boring truth.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th July 2009, 10:02 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
It wasn't an outburst, it was a response to stimulus, did you read the big letters or not, I can post them larger if it helps ?

no I'm not, like a poor marksman you keep missing the point don't you, how many times do I need to state what I am asking them for, it is the report made by the two rangers who claimed to have seen a pair of big cats, the report itself, nothing more, nothing less, if you are incapable of understanding any of my posts, and it certainly is starting to seem that way then just go back and read Mr Parchers original request will you, I'm getting sick of you wasting my time

I expect them to take it as seriously as the letter of the law, its quite specific on these matters
How will the report (if there is one) get you any further forward though? Without other supporting evidence its pretty weak stuff.
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Old 30th July 2009, 10:07 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I'm especially curious about how the forest rangers concluded that is was Big Cats (Panthera or Puma) that they were seeing with thermal night-vision (non camera type).

I think that estimating size may be challenging with infrared (IR) vision. Warm objects glow and cool surroundings don't. Non-living objects around the living subject may not appear clearly. It could prevent a proper frame-of-reference to determine size of the glowing thing. I'm hoping that the ranger reports give objective explanations that were cause for concluding - Big Cats. Can you screw up an IR moggie sighting and think you are seeing a leopard?

I've had a look at the BBC reports, because they tend to be the least sensationalist.

The one about that specific incident is very unhelpful.

Quote:
Commission spokesman Stuart Burgess said the sightings had been confirmed by "very experienced" rangers unlikely to mistake deer for big cats.

"Both were observed in low light, using heat-activated vision equipment while they were carrying out a deer census," he said.

"The colour of the animals couldn't be made out, but these are very experienced guys and they know what is and what isn't a deer.

"One definitely believed that what he saw was some sort of large cat."

It seems as if all the word "reliable" means is that they have confirmed one of the Rangers really believed he saw a big cat.

The other recent report I turned up was a good demonstration of how the BBCS are stirring up the media. (This is referring to a different incident.)

Quote:
Big cat expert Frank Tunbridge, 60, who has 25 years experience believes the men's sightings are "credible".

He thinks the reason behind an increase in sightings at this time of year are due to the breeding season.

"I've had 12 this year that I am investigating in the Stroud Valley. As they are breeding they take more risks and go out looking for a mate.

"They are non-aggressive and some have lost their fear of people."

It's just silly. If there are enough animals there to form a breeding colony, and some have lost their fear of people, where the hell are they in this very manicured and populous countryside?

But this guy is an "expert", so his views are reported with a straight face, and he can actually validate the vague story in question as "credible". It's fluff like this that lies behind all these reports. It's just that a couple of the reports came from forest rangers, who are propably as susceptible to mistaking the size of an ordinary cat as anybody else.

To see how the stories grow in the telling, look at this one. The original report of the story in question can be found here.

Quote:
We agreed with the police that while either cat could be a hybrid with a few wildcat genes within it, these were behaviours typical to wild-living feral cats and it was pure terrible luck that had taken place. The police intended to look at it some more and establish for certain if the cat might be best re-homed by someone like Cats Protection.

A few days later a series of media stories found their way to me, starting with the story of a 3ft feral, progressing to a 4ft "big cat" and culminating in a possible puma that had stalked the lady through the woods before charging after her and trying to drag her off to its lair - twice.

According to reports, police were apparently now telling people to lock themselves in their homes while the big cat lurked the Highlands.

Interestingly, transmogrification happens a lot with big cats in the UK - like the lion that turned out to be a Canadian lynx about the same size as a wildcat; or the black panther that turned out to be a soft toy; or the other black panther that turned out to be a cardboard cut-out; or the innumerable black panthers that turned out to be a farm cat.

The media love tales of British big cats. Every now and then a wild cat species does escape a private collection, but it has no idea how to hunt, most are designed for very hot climates and even if that doesn't get them then gamekeepers, farmers, their lack of any road sense or anything else to breed with certainly will.

That sums it up very well. The media love the stories, and people read them, but very very few people actually take them seriously, or if they do, proceed to become obsessive about it.

Rolfe.
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Old 30th July 2009, 10:14 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Two had their throats torn out in just the way an expert predator would do it, so we all sat down and had a discussion about it.
You probably already know this stuff. Canids do not have a killing bite, felids do. Canids have to tear, shake and pull until the prey succumbs to blood loss or shock. Their paws are useless for gripping large prey and so they literally hang on by their teeth alone. If they bite the throat, it could indeed "rip it out". It is rarely a quick death and feeding may begin before that. The big cats are set up to deliver a bite to the throat or skull that causes death without any tearing or pulling with the teeth. There seems to be an instinct directed towards crushing the trachea and maintaining it until suffocation. Their killing bite is not applied to anything other than the head and neck. The different species of big cat have slight variations on how they do the killing, but it's all the same theme. Hold on tight with the claws and direct your bite(s) at the neck/head. Attacking any other part of the body is a waste of time and is potentially dangerous. Your teeth are not designed to kill that way.

The canids grab almost anywhere with their teeth and pull/shake. If they grab the throat of a fleeing sheep, they may try to plant their feet which causes the struggling animal to rip its own throat by frantic pulling away.

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We also noted the very varied attack angles on these (one throat, one flank and one hind leg) suggested an inexperienced predator. And again, we noted that the predator had abandoned the sheep after the attacks, with apparently no attempt to eat them.
Attacking the flanks or legs is just not what big cats do - it's what canids do. When in doubt - shave the carcass and look for penetrating claw marks.
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Old 30th July 2009, 10:19 AM   #158
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Old 30th July 2009, 10:24 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
It wasn't an outburst, it was a response to stimulus, did you read the big letters or not, I can post them larger if it helps ?

Suit yourself. If you'd rather thrash around aimlessly than read posts that are trying to help you, that's up to you.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
no I'm not, like a poor marksman you keep missing the point don't you, how many times do I need to state what I am asking them for, it is the report made by the two rangers who claimed to have seen a pair of big cats, the report itself, nothing more, nothing less, if you are incapable of understanding any of my posts, and it certainly is starting to seem that way then just go back and read Mr Parchers original request will you, I'm getting sick of you wasting my time

I expect them to take it as seriously as the letter of the law, its quite specific on these matters

Yes, I get it. You've put in an FoI request for the reports by the Rangers who thought they saw big cats. Except that it might only be one, as the BBC report which quoted their spokesman only referred to one of the Rangers believing he'd seen a big cat.

What do you expect to get? It's possible that these "reports" were only verbal. Given that the incident already seems to have been the subject of an FoI request, and all that seems to have come out of that is a statement by a spokesman that yes, one of these men really believes he saw a big cat, I rather suspect that might be the case.

Suppose he wrote something down. I can't imagine that it will tell you any more than we already know. That one (or possibly two) Forest Rangers thought they saw something they thought was a "big cat" while using night-vision thermal imaging.

The fact that this has already been subject to FoI may be reason for them to refuse the request anyway.

Where do you think this is taking you? What reason do you have for believing there's any more to this than the usual mistaken-size sightings in poor visibility conditions, followed by the usual Chinese Whispers? If (as I suspect) you hadn't even thought about any of this until yesterday, don't you think it might be worth sitting on it for a while and thinking about the possibilities and probabilities in a sensible manner, rather than firing off FoI requests just because you read something on a fruitcake web site yesterday?

Rolfe.
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Old 30th July 2009, 10:37 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I really, really hope you're joking. Do you really imagine we don't know what strains of CDV are around? And the answer is very little to none, because widespread vaccination of puppies has pretty much wiped it out.

However, even in the days when CDV was rampant, it never infected cats. And we never had pet cats morphing into diseased werewolves before our very eyes.

This one hits a new high in the paranoid fantasy stakes.

Rolfe.
I hope I was joking to... I shouldn't make light of such an highly contagious viral infection. I had large felids (lions in particular) on the brain. Maybe my brain tissue needs to be examined? Might find some positively labeled crazy antigen up there somewhere.
Anyhow. Yes I wish the video was a little more clear, though it does look like the cat? isn't much taller than the rail, considering the angle and poor quality, of the video. I guess it would have been ideal to be on the same level.
We had three large cats (Lion, Tiger and a cougar) in my area, kept as pets. Due to new bylaws they were relocated. They needed much better living quarters anyways. The black "blob cat" reminded me of my cat.
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