ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags big cats , cats , cryptozoology , Scotland incidents

Reply
Old 30th July 2009, 06:17 PM   #201
makaya325
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,325
The problem is: Nobody makes an effort to count the number of stray cats in small communities.
makaya325 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 06:25 PM   #202
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10,183
Originally Posted by makaya325 View Post
The problem is: Nobody makes an effort to count the number of stray cats in small communities.
or people
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 06:39 PM   #203
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10,183
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Just correcting myself here. The sources I'm looking at say that only sheep were cleared from the forest, and they left the deer. (I'm not seeing anything about wild boar, I may be getting mixed up with Kent there.) The whole forest area was free of sheep for about 18 months.

So when the sheep were culled for FMD, the deer increased in numbers and spread. So what were these pumas eating, Mr. Frank Tunbridge, 60? 300 head of deer really doesn't seem much to support a bunch of big cats to me, and the census findings tell us that the population was actually getting larger.

This is just getting silly.

Rolfe.
Quote:
The deer are predominantly fallow deer and these have been present in the forest since the 13th century currently numbering around 400. A number of the fallow in the central area of the forest are melanistic. More recently roe deer and muntjac deer have arrived spreading in from the East but they are in much smaller numbers.

The Forest is also home to wild boar; the exact number is currently unknown but possibly a hundred. The boar were illegally re-introduced to the Forest in 2005. A population in the Ross on Wye area on the northern edge of the forest escaped from a wild boar farm around 1999 and are believed to be of pure Eastern European origin, a second introduction was when a domestic herd was dumped near Staunton in 2004 but these were not pure bred wild boar —attempts to locate the source of the illegal dumps have been unsuccessful. The boar can now be found in many parts of the Forest.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_of_Dean#Nature

so :-
fallow deer
roe deer
muntjac deer
wild boar
domestic boar
eastern european boar
badgers
rabbits
hares
foxes
mice
rats
voles
moles
bats
stoats
weasels
squirrels
birds
hedgehogs
pets



if theyre there they eat better than I do

Last edited by Marduk; 30th July 2009 at 06:40 PM.
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 06:40 PM   #204
pchams
Muse
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 818
To the original post I say, my first thought was that it was a Black Labrador Retriever. It does seem to move as "perkily" as a Lab, but perhaps it is a cat.
It's hard to tell from the angle of photography, but the size could be deceptive, and hence a bog standard "moggie" (I like learning new words).

[anecdote alert]
As pertaining to North American cats, I observed a Puma (Cougar) last year in eastern Canada.
I have a cottage in Haliburton, Ontario. It's been my second home for over 40 years. Last year, my daughter and I were driving along a gravel road not far from the cottage, and I observed in the ditch what I thought might be a white-tailed deer. I slowed to let her have a good look, and as we got to about 10 metres away, the animal stood up, looked, and bolted into the bush past the ditch.
It was a cougar. (Puma Concolor) . There was no doubt. As soon as I saw the tail I knew it was something I wasn't expecting to see there.
My daughter blurted out, "Is that a mountain lion?"
I said, "no, we call them cougars".
I was amazed, even though the Eastern Cougar used to be indigenous to the area. Then colour was very similar to a deer, and I read that Puma can take on the colour of their prey. There are many deer there. It's 1000's of sq. km. of swamp.
[/anecdote]

I reported the sighting to the MNR, but they claimed that most of the sightings in Ontario were escaped exotic pets.
It seems that recently, with increased sightings, that they may be changing their tune, and possibly, the Eastern Cougar has made inroads to being re-established in Ontario.

FYI, the articles I have read indicate that the Eastern Cougar is genetically identical to the South-Western Puma (ie. Puma Concolor).
__________________


Last edited by pchams; 30th July 2009 at 06:46 PM.
pchams is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 07:05 PM   #205
makaya325
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,325
OOPA'S do, indeed, exist. There is nothing mysterious about them. I do not see why people fail to comprehend this occurence?
makaya325 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 07:39 PM   #206
I Ratant
Penultimate Amazing
 
I Ratant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 19,258
Originally Posted by makaya325 View Post
The problem is: Nobody makes an effort to count the number of stray cats in small communities.
.
Since the entrance of the cougar, and most lately the bobcat, the instances of feral cats has dropped a LOT locally.
Especially at the office complex where the bobcat took up residence.
The three or four ferals I could expect to see on an evening's walk thru that area has dropped to zero.
The lion got credit for lowering the population here in the community, although there's coyotes active here also.
I Ratant is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 08:01 PM   #207
makaya325
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,325
Quote:
Since the entrance of the cougar, and most lately the bobcat, the instances of feral cats has dropped a LOT locally.
Are you saying that Cougars actually prey on feral housecats?!!


Quote:
The lion got credit for lowering the population here in the community, although there's coyotes active here also
Was the coyote population affected too?
makaya325 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 08:19 PM   #208
pchams
Muse
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 818
nevermind
__________________


Last edited by pchams; 30th July 2009 at 08:23 PM.
pchams is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 09:14 PM   #209
gtc
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,110
There was mention made of the Blue Mountains (New South Wales) Black Cat earlier in the thread.

The NSW government took the reports seriously enough to produce a 23 page report which either supports or doubts the claims.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
And why would DEFRA and the Forestry Commission be covering anything up? Why not simply tell the newspapers?
There really doesn't seem to be any reason for the government to cover up the existence of big wild cats.
gtc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 11:30 PM   #210
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Deputy Admin
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 41,368
Originally Posted by makaya325 View Post
OOPA'S do, indeed, exist. There is nothing mysterious about them. I do not see why people fail to comprehend this occurence?
OOPAs?
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
Ezekiel 23:20
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th July 2009, 11:44 PM   #211
kakariki
Student
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
OOPAs?
Obviously Obsessive Posting Addicts

Last edited by kakariki; 30th July 2009 at 11:59 PM.
kakariki is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 12:08 AM   #212
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Deputy Admin
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 41,368
Apparently it's "Out of Place Animals". I don't see anyone is denying that they are found, and in fact Rolfe gave some examples. What is being questioned is whether a big cat could live in a populated area without leaving undeniable evidence. Next you'll be claiming bigfoot is real.
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
Ezekiel 23:20
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 01:46 AM   #213
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_of_Dean#Nature

so :-
fallow deer
roe deer
muntjac deer
wild boar
domestic boar
eastern european boar
badgers
rabbits
hares
foxes
mice
rats
voles
moles
bats
stoats
weasels
squirrels
birds
hedgehogs
pets

if theyre there they eat better than I do

Er, like I said, show me the bodies! No matter the number of species, depredations by large predators leave evidence.

Note one species which just isn't on that list. Felis concolor just doesn't seem to be recorded there, for some unaccountable reason.

You can see how closely the wildlife (and even the tamelife) in that area is studied. It's crawling with people counting stuff. It's also crawling with members of the public, and they're not all just picnickers. Some of them are very serious wildlife enthusiasts, with big expensive cameras.

Just suppose a puma was miraculously transported to that habitat, from whatever source. I'd give it a month, tops, before it was obvious to every sane adult in the location what was going on, and the main controversy was between the farmers who wanted to shoot it on sight and the animal-lovers insisting it should be trapped and sent to a zoo.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 01:58 AM   #214
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Apparently it's "Out of Place Animals". I don't see anyone is denying that they are found, and in fact Rolfe gave some examples. What is being questioned is whether a big cat could live in a populated area without leaving undeniable evidence. Next you'll be claiming bigfoot is real.

Well, yeah. Felicity, for a start. But this isn't a huge continent we're sitting on. This is a relatively small island, in continental terms. A well populated island, with farming going on everywhere - and that's farming, not ranching, with a law that obliges farmers to inspect their stock at least every 24 hours. Sheep are gathered and counted and dosed and marked, and people get pretty pissed-off when above-normal losses are noted. Even in the Highlands the deer are managed for shooting purposes, and indeed the shooting is necessary precisely because there are no predators picking them off. You tell a gamekeeper that his hill is supporting a family of pumas that he hasn't noticed and he'll laugh in your face.

Also, there are very strict import restrictions in place. You can't just swan into the country with a leopard in a cage. Even if you managed to smuggle something in in a private yacht, you couldn't afford to let anyone see what you had because it's illegal to keep wild animals without a licence. By and large, we know what's here, and nothing is just walking in off the street, as it were.

And if anything does get out, it's noticed and dealt with pretty soon. No mystery there.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 02:15 AM   #215
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
Originally Posted by gtc View Post
There really doesn't seem to be any reason for the government to cover up the existence of big wild cats.

Well, exactly. The problem, if there is one, is that nobody has ever taken the fruitcakes in the BBCS as seriously as they think they should be taken. They're cranks. So the replies they're getting are really government apparatchik-speak for "go away and stop bothering us you silly little man." However, the obsessive big cat enthusiast interprets this as "we're not going into the sort of detail you want because we have something to hide."

What surprises me is the lack of anyone stating the obvious. That any alien species will leave traces of its presence in the ecosystem. Something as big as a puma is inevitably going to leave pretty big traces, especially of what it's been eating. Every real instance of a big cat on the loose has been accompanied by dead sheep in abundance.

One needs to think about what the environment and the ecosystem would look like if something like that was there. At that point it becomes painfully clear that nothing is there. The few, ambiguous "sightings" and a handful of mauled (but not consumed) animals and a blurry pawprint or two just don't cut it.

Just explaining this to the local paper and radio station would put a big crimp in the public's propensity to believe these stories. But on the other hand, maybe nobody wants to do that? Are the stories themselves a bit of a tourist attraction? Nessie is worth fostering, after all.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 03:49 AM   #216
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10,183
Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Apparently it's "Out of Place Animals". I don't see anyone is denying that they are found, and in fact Rolfe gave some examples.
tcoh, there goes my thunder
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 03:52 AM   #217
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10,183
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Nessie is worth fostering, after all.

Rolfe.
bloody plesiosaurs turn up everywhere, theyre practically vermin in some american lakes
allegedly
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 04:08 AM   #218
JcR
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,206
Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
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.
Like this Liger at around 1:59. The rest is just about a mini Bigfoot
JcR is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 04:17 AM   #219
Marduk
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 10,183
Ligers for some reason scare the crap out of me.

if one of these were on the loose I doubt anyone would be reporting it, feeding it bodily yes, reporting it no
Marduk is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 05:37 AM   #220
Sean84
Muse
 
Sean84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 951
And someone once wondered how bigfoot threads get so long?
Sean84 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 05:37 AM   #221
Nomada
New Blood
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
18. A lion. Recaptured in Humberside in 1991, with the report being dated 9th March 1991. A zoo or a circus? Look for the news report, I'd suggest.

Rolfe.
This was indeed a circus escape, and it was 4 lions that ecaped into Grimsby town centre late in the evening. One man (biped) was attacked and the police used their car to ram the offending lion to get it off him. Think they were on the loose for a couple of hours if I remember. On the bright side, while the lions were rounded up, the local pubs were ordered to have a lock-in by the police!

Last edited by Nomada; 31st July 2009 at 05:39 AM.
Nomada is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 06:22 AM   #222
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
I wasn't going to give details about last year's incident(s), but why not? It's not a state secret, no matter what Danny thinks. I can't get the exact dates and so on without searching the records, which I can't be bothered doing, but hey, it's lunchtime, so here's what happened as well as I can remember.

The shepherd from our own farm, right on the doorstep, showed up with the carcase of a ewe. He brings in almost every fatality he has, because of Home Office regs - a lot of his groups are on official feeding trials and things (OMG! vivisection! ban it!) and they're pretty strict about having fatalities properly investigated. This one was gruesome though, it was a classic throat-torn-out suffocation job. The excision was so neat he thought it might have been done by a human with a knife. He didn't find the missing flesh, but he did find the plastic ear tag from the missing ear, lying by itself a few feet from the body. The way it had been chewed suggested the missing tissue might have been eaten.

We got as far as determining that was no knife involved, and that it was a predator. I don't recall if we skinned her to check for claw marks or not. If it happens again I certainly will - this forum is a great resource! However, there was certainly no meat missing and the fleece was intact and unmarked. Whatever had killed her had not tried to eat her - only her right ear and her larynx.

I'd literally just got out of the PM room when I was called to the door to deal with a policeman. He had a bunch of photographs in his hand. The PM room attendant said, hey, how did you get photos of our sheep?? I pointed out that our ewe had been a Suffolk, and this was a Greyface. The policeman said the photos had been taken in Fife, the previous day, and he'd been sent to ask if it could be a big cat killing.

(At this point I tried to contact a retired local pathologist who has special expertise in these cases, the guy who looked at Charlotte the Sheep in fact, but he was away. When I got hold of him later, he confirmed from the photos that death was due to asphyxiation from the death grip, and the lack of bleeding was because the ewes were dead before the larynx was actually ripped out.)

So, we had a discussion about it - the shepherd, the policeman and the vets. Fife and Midlothian are separated by a big body of water, and we all agreed that it was physically impossible for an animal without access to a motor vehicle to have carried out both attacks. Thus, it was either two separate free-living animals, or one animal with access to a motor vehicle.

We considered the former possibility first. The policeman said that there had been big cat "sightings" in Fife, but we'd had none in Midlothian. We thought about the possibility of there being a loose cat in either location, and realised it wouldn't fly (unless the cat could fly!). Fife is low-lying and intensively farmed. One mouthful of larynx wouldn't keep anything going for very long, and they'd had no other reports of dead sheep. The same was really true for our own area. Although we have a big area of wild country right on our doorstep, and indeed the field the ewe had been in was on the edge of the wild country, it's still farmed. We have hill sheep and beef cattle up there, and the stockmen keep an eye on them and record any losses. There are also gamekeepers looking after the grouse shooting. Nobody had reported any unusual losses, or any devoured carcasses lying around. The hills are also very open, with little cover, and in spite of shepherds, gamekeepers and quite a lot of hillwalkers, there were no Danny-style "sightings" on record.

So we decided that if either case was the work of a big cat, it was a big cat which had only just arrived. Paradoxically, it was the double occurrence that was reassuring. If it had only been one, we'd have been seriously considering the possibility of a newly-released big cat (even though there isn't a zoo near here), and waiting for the next body to show up. However, the likelihood of two big cats appearing simultaneously in two separate counties was stretching credulity. We concluded that as we had two, it was either something common enough to happen in two places independently, or the same animal taken from one location to another in a vehicle. Both of these possibilities led to the same conclusion - dog. (The shepherd kept talking about badgers, but I didn't really buy that myself.)

I thought it was either the case that one dog had learned this particular killing grip, and the owner had taken it to Fife the previous day, or that the technique was quite a common canine attack method. However, I haven't seen another one since, so it seems to have been a coincidence whichever way you look at it.

More cases did appear, but they were different. Later in the summer the same shepherd came in with a big Suffolk lamb, newly dead. He said he'd seen it looking ill and breathing badly, and had taken it inside and given it antibiotics. However, he found it dead next time he checked. He was worried about pneumonia.

This lamb had suffered one single powerful bite to the flank, with the teeth apparently having taken hold round the end of the rib cage. There was a tear in the skin, the body wall was intact, but the rumen and the diaphragm were both ruptured. There were rumen contents in the chest, which is why the lamb had been breathing badly. There was one other skin-deep bite on the hindquarters.

About the same time a farmer from East Lothian came in with a lamb in his trailer. He said he'd gone out in the morning to find at least half a dozen lambs lying dead, and many of the remainder looking ill. He'd loaded up this one, apparently the sickest of the survivors, for us to find out what was going on, but it had died in transit. This lamb had also suffered bite wounds to the abdomen which had penetrated the intestines. This time there were numerous smaller bites, and when we skinned the lamb we found a lot of skin-deep teeth marks on the rump and hind limbs.

Oddly, when I made my report, the farmer didn't believe me, but by the time he received the report the knacker had already collected the other carcasses. A phone call to the knacker's yard elicited the information that there were no bite wounds visible, but there hadn't been on the one we'd seen either - they were only visible once the lamb was skinned. I asked if we could have another one, but as the others were all recovering the farmer was understandably reluctant. I told him to inform the police.

Some time passed, and then the third local case occurred. I got in one morning to be told that our shepherd was already on the doorstep with a casualty, and it was horrific. He had gone to do his usual morning inspection and found a full-grown gimmer trying to stand, but obviously injured. She had no muscle or connective tissue between the stifle and the hock of her left hind leg. The intact tibia was the only thing holding on the rest of the leg and the foot. The shepherd had immediately got his needle and killed the sheep on humane grounds. There wasn't another mark on her, but there wasn't a hunk of meat lying on the grass either. I've still got that leg in the freezer. We told the cops, because we were concerned that a dog that could do that to a sheep could do the same to a child, but they didn't seem all that interested.

These were all the ones I dealt with myself, but I think there was at least one more, possibly two, that colleagues saw. There have been none for some time though. I'm fairly sure that the East Lothian one was a separate incident, with a completely different modus operandi. However all the Midlothian ones I saw, all from our own farm, looked like a dog with very powerful jaws that was into giving one huge bite, then running off with whatever it had in its mouth. The first case, the throat-torn-out, had looked very expert, but it didn't manage to that again.

The real oddity was the Fife one, with the identical injury just two days before our one. Quite a coincidence whichever way you look at it. Either two dogs happened to do exactly the same (very unusual) thing almost simultaneously and never again, or our dog was taken to Fife by its owner and pulled off the only two perfectly-executed throat-rips of its life (that we know of) in the two locations. There have been no other casualties reported from Fife since then.

So there's why I'm as sure as I reasonably can be that there isn't a big cat stalking the Pentland Hills, or even Fife. Not because we haven't had suspicious injuries, because we have, but because the amount of unaccounted-for meat around here wouldn't keep a toy poodle alive. Even the ones that are found dead of disease or accident only have evidence of carrion bird scavenging.

I think there's a sheep-worrying Rottweiler somewhere round here, and I hope the next thing it bites isn't human.

Unless, of course, we have an invisible ghost panther that only slips through the interdimensional void to have one quick chomp, then disappears again....

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 06:35 AM   #223
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
Originally Posted by Nomada View Post
This was indeed a circus escape, and it was 4 lions that ecaped into Grimsby town centre late in the evening. One man (biped) was attacked and the police used their car to ram the offending lion to get it off him. Think they were on the loose for a couple of hours if I remember. On the bright side, while the lions were rounded up, the local pubs were ordered to have a lock-in by the police!

Thanks, that's great info! I suspect all the other cases on the DEFRA list (which isn't hosted on www.defra.gov.uk by the way, it's a link to the Wayback Machine) can be found the same way by anyone who's interested. I think they've just collated whatever news reports they could find to get rid of an annoying FoI request, then washed their hands of it.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 07:11 AM   #224
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20,846
It should also be mentioned that the big cats deal with their prey after killing in a different way than the canids.

Big cats (maybe putting aside lions) don't like to eat their prey in an exposed situation. They instinctively drag or carry the prey to a more secluded place before beginning to feed. Leopards commonly take prey up into a tree. Pumas try to hide the carcass and will even cover it with debris, returning to feed over a period of days. It is unusual for a big cat to feed on its prey in the exact location that it was killed (unless that spot is already in deep cover). A sheep may be killed in a pasture or meadow, but they will want to drag it to the woods before starting to eat. Conversely, canids are quite happy to eat the prey where it fell. Small prey that can be carried (think rodents and rabbits) may be taken to another location to eat.

There are also differing feeding preferences concerning which parts are eaten first and how.
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 07:24 AM   #225
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
Is there anywhere online that describes these differences? As you can see, we don't get many predator killings round here and it would be interesting to read up a bit more on it.

None of the cases I described showed any signs of anything trying to consume the carcass in any way at all, although the bitten-out chunk was always missing (except the ear tag had been rejected!). Two of the sheep weren't even dead, although one was certainly incapacitated and should have been easy prey.

I find this behaviour entirely typical of a sheep-worrying dog, which is acting out its predatory instinct in only a partial way, without taking the act through to consumption. It was really just the two examples of the apparently skilful throat-ripped-out bite I found remarkable.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 07:56 AM   #226
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20,846
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Is there anywhere online that describes these differences? As you can see, we don't get many predator killings round here and it would be interesting to read up a bit more on it.

There must be. It is also likely to be American. We have large predators here and they do take livestock. The science of specifying the predator is sometimes applied by necessity. We also have a similar situation here where people claim cougar predation in places where they are not documented or expected. This is because of Cougar Mania. Professional necropsies usually conclude canid or bear. Injuries from barbed wire and such will be blamed on cougar. Dogs or coyotes will get into wired pens and send a herd into a frenzy. You get ripped hides and other self-injuries from the barbs in addition to the typical kill/feed injuries. The hide rips can be declared as a cougar using its claws like a scalpel. Much of this can be attributed to local "common folk" insisting that they have cougars or "panthers". We told you so.

This is routine work for vets and other experts, but the subculture populace can be at odds with them. Yes, we have our conspiracy theorists here in full force. Those government guys don't want to admit that big cats are on the prowl. Those guys will tell you that coyotes killed that pony but they know it was a panther!
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 08:32 AM   #227
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20,846
HORSE KILLED BY COUGAR IN JACKSON COUNTY (Michigan Wildlife Conservancy)


Horse was not attacked by cougar (Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources)


Here you will see the clash between the State and cougar maniacs.
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 08:44 AM   #228
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
As far as things that will go for sheep or larger are concerned, we've really only got domestic dogs. The last wolf was killed in 17-something. Foxes will take poultry and may scavenge, but they don't usually go for mammals bigger than about rabbit size. Our shepherd was banging on about badgers, but I'm still sceptical about that one. We do of course have people, too, but they usually use knives, which cut the hair, and that can be seen.

So if anything other than that is suspected, we'd have to go for American (or maybe European) information. We'd need the accounts of the pathologists who work in the areas where such animals are indiginous. I have a feeling that some of my colleagues are a little too ready to say "possible big cat" without any supporting evidence.

Charlotte the Sheep
The Sundrum horse

Certainly, if the injuries are suspicious, then one must always consider the possibility of a recent escape from captivity. And in that case, where might it have come from? Privately-owned big cats are extremely rare and normally illegal, and the location of most zoological collections is known. One also has to ask, if this animal has been at large for any length of time, what else is it eating? Is there any possibility that the local ecosystem is supporting a large carnivore?

I just don't think enough people are asking these latter questions. There is no evidence of any such animal in Hertfordshire or Ayrshire or any other damn place for that matter. So, dear colleagues, kindly stop exciting local reporters by talking about big cat attacks until such time as some evidence emerges. Dogs (or as you say, barbed wire injuries) and occasionally human malice are the default explanations, and these causes can produce a very wide range of presentations.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 31st July 2009 at 08:46 AM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 09:05 AM   #229
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20,846
On this side of the big pond, there is considerably more 'sophistication', organization and effort put into promoting the mania. At least for that Michigan Wildlife Conservancy which seems to be running the front lines for this.

Their website hosts a video of two housecats in a Michigan field which they say are cougars. You will see expert testimony and analysis of the video. Conclusion: 100% cougars. It's ridiculous, but look at the slick product and promotion that they pulled off.


"Cougar Video"
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 09:10 AM   #230
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
I had a fantastic week in Michigan last autumn. I loved it! However, I didn't get very far from Lansing, apart from a day trip to Saugatuck. I had an imaginative hour wandering in a patch of woodland telling myself it was a bit Paul Bunyan had missed, but I kept coming to the edge and finding myself in a ploughed field. I was shown round the university veterinary facilities, which were very impressive.

I'd have been mildly surprised to learn there were undetected big cats in the southern peninsula, given the geography. But who knows? It's all wild and woolly over there!

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 10:13 AM   #231
I Ratant
Penultimate Amazing
 
I Ratant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 19,258
Originally Posted by makaya325 View Post
Are you saying that Cougars actually prey on feral housecats?!!
.
The community manager saw the cougar in her front yard, and her feral cats disappeared.
.
Quote:
..
Was the coyote population affected too?
.
I don't know. There's many more coyotes than cougars around. And they move fast!
It's difficult to wait for the prey to come by out here in the desert. One has to go look for it.
The jacks I see are usually already moving away from me when I see them. They get antsy when I a hundred yards away, but some can be startled, and don't always move rapidly, sometimes freezing. Which can lead to disaster.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg jrJackRabbit-notrunning.jpg (154.0 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg fcCoyoteLunch.jpg (125.5 KB, 3 views)
I Ratant is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 10:32 AM   #232
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20,846
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Is there anywhere online that describes these differences?

Some basic information here (w/photos).

Related: INTERPRETING PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF COYOTE PREDATION
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 11:23 AM   #233
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Some basic information here (w/photos).

Related: INTERPRETING PHYSICAL EVIDENCE OF COYOTE PREDATION

Oh, thanks!

You seem to have some very ambitious foxes over there - ours don't tackle sheep or cattle of any age.

I note the comment about dog attacks.

Quote:
Domestic dogs do not normally kill for food and their attacks usually lead to indiscriminate mutilation. True feral dogs are more apt to kill for food.

Sheep-killing dogs usually work in pairs or larger groups and can inflict considerable damage. Sheep are likely to be bitten in the head, neck, flank, ribs, and front shoulders, and the ears of mature sheep are often badly torn. Often sheep attacked by dogs are not killed but are mutilated to the point where they must be destroyed. The external appearance of some dog bites may not look serious but a necropsy reveals serious tissue damage (Bowns 1976).

Fits the cases I described very well. I didn't suspect a pair though. However, I noticed something else, with regard to the coyote.

Quote:
In attacks on adult sheep, goats and older lambs, coyotes typically bite the throat just behind the jaws and below the ear (Wade and Bowns 1982). [....]

Connolly et al. (1976) considered the sheep killing technique of coyotes to be remarkably consistent. Each coyote ran alongside the fleeing sheep, clamped its jaws on the neck laterally (sometimes dorsally) just behind the ear, and braced its feet to stop the sheep. The coyote's grip then shifted to the larynx region, and it simply held on and waited for the sheep to succumb (primarily by suffocation).

That is an exact description of the first two ewe carcasses I saw. Which confirms my evaluation that a canid could be responsible. Whether it was one dog, simply taken to Fife on that day (I'm surmising it's local to here because of our subsequent losses), or two individual dogs which both got it right within two days, I suppose we'll never know. It didn't manage to repeat the performance in subsequent attacks though.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 11:45 AM   #234
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20,846
Here is an amazing video of a cougar taking down a deer on a forest road. NSFW because of profanities, and know that you will see a deer being killed.

Note the determined kill bite to the throat. This is all about crushing the trachea - it's virtually a bloodless kill.
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 11:50 AM   #235
I Ratant
Penultimate Amazing
 
I Ratant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 19,258
That -is- one of the better ones!
At least they used the zoom properly.
The deer was bigger than the cat.
I'm bigger than the cat.
Hmmmmmmmm!
I Ratant is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 01:31 PM   #236
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
Stuffed Felicity

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
there were big cats loose in the UK,


Here's a little conundrum for the Bigfooters. The above photo isn't "real", of course. It portrays Felicity after her death and appointment with the taxidermist. I'm just curious about the provenance. I'm inclined to believe it might be as real as the Cottingley Fairies - that is, not manipulated. I think it's perfectly possible they took the stuffed cat into a street, put her on a bench, and photographed her with a couple of interested onlookers, as a publicity stunt for the museum or something.

However, it could be photoshopped. And I'm not sure where the background is, but it looks more likely to be Inverness than Cannich. The apparent age of the picture seems deceptive. Felicity didn't die till the mid-1980s as far as I know, so the whole picture can't be older than that. I think the use of black and white film (or is it a colour pic rendered in black and white?) makes it appear older than it really is. Or has someone photoshopped a picture of the late Felicity on to an older photograph? A car nut might be able to date the models on display in the car park.

I'm just curious, as I can't find the provenance of the image beyond its presence on the British Big Cats web site, where Marduk took it from.

Anybody know anything about it?

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 02:10 PM   #237
JcR
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,206
Speaking about government cover ups. It got me looking for something I remembered from awhile back... Virgil Smith.
http://www.lib.niu.edu/2001/io010221.html

Quote:
Mr. Smith contends there is a population of 250 to 300 cougars living in the wild in Illinois and that state and federal officials have participated in a secret release of the animals. As early as 1998, the DNR urged Mr. Smith to share his alleged evidence with state biologists.
On another note: I have come across a few deer kills from coyotes. In one case I followed the tracks, both deer and coyote, to the location where I had discovered the deer kill. Quite a bit of tooth punctures to the upper throat area, also, it was cleanly gutted. Drag marks on the ground around the area, and the puncture wounds to the neck, made me confident this was a kill as opposed to scavenging. The rear legs also had some small superficial cuts on the surface. I didn't see any large posterior leg wounds or any large perforations to the hind. My friend with me at the time thought "It must have been dogs, Only dogs would hamstring a deer." He said. I'm not convinced of this? I tend to think more "indiscriminate mutilation" would have been present. I had seen more damage to the upper neck area (puncture wounds) Thinking the coyotes had brought this deer down in this fashion... Then fed.
The last one I had seen was too scavenged to tell, it may have succumbed to disease or predation. Though I think the coyote diet here, consists more of the local rabbit.
Coyotes are the only large predator we have in my area. There isn't a big problem with attacks on livestock here. About the most exciting thing that happens here is the palpation of cattle.
JcR is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 02:13 PM   #238
Rolfe
Anti-homeopathy illuminati member
 
Rolfe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NT 150 511
Posts: 42,698
Sorry, I'm having way too much fun here! I just noticed this delicious contradiction.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
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.

Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
Defra were recently caught covering up and playing down the evidence, [....] The forestry commission were also forced to release information [....]
it would cause public panic to know that there was a possibility of coming across a big cat in the wild, we have enough trouble getting parents to understand that every stranger is not a paedophile intent on raping and murdering their children without starting a nationwide panic over every domestic feline thats spotted without anything in view for scale.

Sorry, don't mind me. I hadn't realised quite what a rich seam of woo we have right here on this little island, and I was reviewing the thread to follow some of the lynx. [Boom, boom - I'll be here all week....]

I think a lot of what's going on is because nobody is really debunking it. So it's quite easy for the BBCS to feed up-beat stuff to receptive local press looking for a story.

Quote:
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.

Well, if nobody actually goes to the Gloucestershire police and asks them if this is true, then it's just going to sit there unchallenged. And so the legend grows. I'm quite astonished at the number of web pages I found all either stating point blank that pumas are breeding in the countryside, or taking a mysterious, well-you-never-know line. Pointing out that the whole thing is vanishingly improbable simply on empirical grounds just doesn't sell papers I'm afraid.

I'm not volunteering, but it's kind of fun to realise that we've got our own local Bigfooters right here.

Rolfe.
__________________
"The way we vote will depend, ultimately, on whether we are persuaded to hope or to fear." - Aonghas MacNeacail, June 2012.

Last edited by Rolfe; 31st July 2009 at 02:14 PM.
Rolfe is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 02:16 PM   #239
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 20,846
Originally Posted by JcR View Post
About the most exciting thing that happens here is the palpation of cattle.

Wait until transmogrification comes to your town. Felix turns into the Pink Panther.
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st July 2009, 02:20 PM   #240
JcR
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,206
Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Wait until transmogrification comes to your town. Felix turns into the Pink Panther.
There goes my coffee.
JcR is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:58 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.