posted on May, 15 2017 @ 08:45 PM
I've worked in agriculture and in various environmental management jobs in several different countries and continents over a 40 year career and have
considerable experience of working with domesticated livestock and wild animals.
In the 1990s I was living in a rural area of Wales, for the geographically challenged that’s part of the UK. Working for a UK government department.
During an inspection of a farm in the Black Mountains I observed several sheep carcasses as I walked with the farmer through an area of oak woodland.
The carcasses were in different stages of decomposition from fresh to several months old. The freshest carcass showed signs of having been killed by
trauma to the neck area. Seeing dead sheep on a farm in Wales isn’t unusual, but there were a few things that didn’t make sense. The farmer
didn’t own any sheep, the nearest were out on the open mountain several fields away. It was highly unlikely the sheep would have broken through
several fences to get to where they died so they would have had to have been killed on the open mountain and dragged to the woodland. There are no
large predators in the UK capable of dragging adult sheep across fences like this. Foxes will kill lambs, but not healthy adult sheep. Feral dogs may
kill sheep in large numbers, but this wasn’t typical of a dog attack and they don’t drag sheep for hundreds of yards and over fences. Besides
which in the UK you may occasionally get domestic dogs killing some sheep, but you don’t get packs of feral dogs roaming the countryside.
At one point during the inspection, we were walking in some scattered trees near the edge of the woodland. About 20 yards in front of us there were
two patches of bracken separated by an open area of about 10 or 12 yards width. I observed a very large black cat moving from left to right across the
open space. I had the impression it was trying to get away from us without attracting our attention. I asked the farmer what it was and he replied
that it was the panther. What was really odd was that he was so used to seeing it around the farm he had become accustomed to its presence. It
didn’t bother his cows or calves so it didn’t really worry him. He showed me some scratch marks on trees where he said it lay up during the day
I spoke to a couple of his neighbours who were also aware of the big cat. One told me it had killed two of his dogs, both German Shepherds, and he was
trying to shoot it. Both told me that it was common knowledge locally that a breeding pair of big cats were in the area and were using the old air
shafts of a disused colliery out on the mountain.
I never saw it again, but on several occasions in that area I heard an animal screaming at night. I’m very familiar with the sounds of native UK
mammals and birds, and in my opinion, based on my experience in countries where these animals are found, it was the sound of a big cat.
I’d previously heard various big cat stories like the Beast of Bodmin and its Welsh equivalent, the Beast of Bont, but I’d never believed them.
For some years following my encounter I carried out farm inspections for a government department all over Wales and the UK, and I used to take note of
any big cat related story. In one area I became aware of unusual livestock attacks and deaths progressing southwards down a river valley over several
I think there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there, including my own, that there is a small breeding population of big cats in the UK. Most
likely a result of releases from private collections in the 1970s when laws regarding the keeping of dangerous wild animals were tightened up.
However, given the nature of the available evidence, I doubt their presence could be proven beyond reasonable doubt at the present time.
Just as an aside. As I said above I used to work for a UK government department. It’s been speculated there’s a government cover up of big cats in
the UK, if that’s true then no one let me in on the big cat secret.