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Beast of Exmoor

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posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:35 PM
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In Devonshire and Somerset England, there is a beast that resembles that of a large black cat like creature. It is said to be responsible for killing many farm animals in the area. The reports of this beast started in the early 70s. In the spring of 1983, a farmer by the name of Eric Ley lost over 100 sheep over a span of two and a half months. The killer did not kill the sheep like a dog or a fox would. The throats were found ripped out of these sheep and the attacks resembled that of a large feline, such as a lion, tiger, panther or a leopard. The killings were grisly. In 1987, the creature was blamed for over 200 animal deaths. The most recent reports of the creature are in 1995 and 2001. Most witnesses say that the Beast of Exmoor looks like a large cat. A Panther to be specific and they say that its around 14 feet long from nose to tail and jet black. It walks low to the ground and has been known to jump fences over 6 feet high. One account says that the beast jumped a 15 foot hedge. No such cat is native to England.

Lets take a closer look at this mysterious Exmoor beast.

Beast of Exmoor


The Exmoor Beast is thought to have been responsible for the high level of sheep found killed in the 1980's. The army was called in to shoot or capture the animal. Never caught, tracks continued to be found and sightings made usually described as a black catlike creature about four teet long with iong tail and looking like a puma To th day, events that occur in the wild of Exmoor, that cannot be fully explained, are often believed to be the exploits of the mysterious Beast of Exmoor. This puma-like creature has allegedly roamed the countryside here since some fleeting glimpses in the 1970s. In 1983, it came to national attention after 100 sheep were mauled and killed. Blurred photographs and a succession of intriguing sightings followed. At one stage the legend rivalled that of the Loch Ness Monster, striking terror into the hearts of farmers and tourists, and filling small children with dread. Countless bounty hunts, safaris and expeditions - one conducted by Royal Marines - failed to pin it down. Sheep and farm animals continued to be mysteriously slaughtered across Exmoor. A similar beast story relates to Bodmin Moor - the Beast of Bodmin, which is supposed to prowl Bodmin Moor, The Beast of Exmoor is a cryptozoological (cryptozoology is the study of rumored or mythological animals presumed cat usually having thick soft fur and being unable to roar) that is rumored to roam the fields of Devon, slaying livestock at times. Most scientists and casual observers believe the beast to be purely mythical, but some natives of Devon continue to insist today that they have seen the Beast with their own eyes.

First Sightings


Sightings of the Beast of Exmoor were first reported in the 1970s, although the period of its notoriety began in 1983, when a South Molton farmer named Eric Ley claimed to have lost over a hundred sheep in the space of three months, all of them apparently killed by violent throat injuries. The Daily Express offered a reward for the capture or slaying of the Beast. Farm animal deaths in the area have been sporadically blamed on the Beast ever since.

Government Involvement


In 1988, in response to increased reports of livestock death and sightings of the Beast, the Ministry of Agriculture ordered the Royal Marines to send sharpshooters into the Devon hills - although some Marines claimed to have seen the Beast fleetingly, no shots were fired, and the number of attacks on livestock dwindled. Ultimately, the Marines were recalled from the field, after which the attacks on the local sheep allegedly increased. The Ministry continued to study the problem into the mid-1990s, before concluding that the Beast was either a hoax or myth, and that the alleged sightings had been mistaken identifications of creatures native to Devonshire.

The Beast Itself


Believers in the Beast's existence claim it is a feline creature, roughly the size of a puma , and dark in color. The Beast is said to stand very low to the ground, and to be somewhere between four and eight feet in length (from nose to tail), with the ability to leap over 6-foot-tall fences with some ease. No physical evidence of the Beast's existence has been discovered, a fact which has been explained by some as proof that the Beast is from another dimension and can enter and leave our plane of existence at will. Most observers and scientists believe that the sightings are merely of escaped domestic cats whose size has been greatly exaggerated, or else of large dogs that have been misidentified. The livestock deaths have often been attributed to these large dogs, although human attacks on the sheep have also been suspected. The Beast of Exmoor is now seen by many in Devon as a whimsical fiction — St. John's Garden Centre in Barnstaple , for example, now features an animatronic leopard that has been nicknamed "The Beast of Exmoor". In January 2009 a 5 ft carcass with large jaws and a powerful chest in a decompoed state washed up on the shore of a North Devon beach, Croyde bay, and speculation was rife that it was the Beast of Exmoor. Had it been washed up on any other shore, it might simply have been dismissed as the unfortunate remains of a large dog. However, samples sent for analysis revealed that the Beast of Croyde Bay was simply a grey seal.

Source: exmoorencyclopedia.org.uk...

Here are some "thought to be" photos of the creature.



Foot print of the creature.


Here are the MonsterQuest videos documenting the Beast of Exmoor:





Enjoy




posted on Jan, 19 2012 @ 11:44 PM
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Very interesting.
S&F

I've some experience in handling and working with exotic cats, ie; caracal, serval, puma, lynx, bobcats.
They're wonderful, beautiful, amazing animals and much smarter than you'd think without having experience with them.

It wouldn't surprise me if this was a melanistic puma, a panther, or some other larger exotic someone had as an exotic pet that got out of hand and escaped, or, even scarier, is bonded with it's owner where the owner just lets it loose.
The latter would give the animal human protection and a place to hide, further confounding efforts to find an animal suspected to be living totally in the wild.

The biggest, clearest picture in your post, however, the cat's tail doesn't look long enough for a puma, though it would fit for a panther.


edit on 19-1-2012 by nineix because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 12:07 AM
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reply to post by nineix
 


One of the theories is that it was a pet that was let loose into the wild. That is about the only explanation since its not native to that area. Unless you want to dig into the more paranormal side of this creature...which such tales do exist.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 12:21 AM
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The beast was first reported soon after the Exotic Pets Act was passed in 1976, leading some researchers to conclude that the beast was in fact a black panther or puma that had been released into the wild after it was no longer legal to keep such creatures as pets.

Source: paranormal-phenomena.yoexpert.com...

That might explain the creature. For now though, all we can do is speculate

edit on 20-1-2012 by Vrill because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 01:27 AM
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Big cats are far more common here than is generally acknowledged. The name 'Beast of ......" is used to give the false impression one creature is resident in one area. There have been sightings throughout history, the sightings increased as street and vehicle lighting improved. The explanation that the 1976 act tightening up restrictions on dangerous pets is responsible is an attempt to downplay the situation. Many cats were released at this time but black Leopards held their value longest yet by far the majority of sightings are black Leopards.

I've seen six black Leopards and one Puma. I've heard Pumas twice. This number of sightings is by no means unusual if you spend a lot of time in the countryside and keep your eyes open. One explanation for the Leopards is that the Romans brought them here for the gladiatorial games and these are the descendants of the escapees. We have Pumas, Lynx and other cats that have escaped or been turned loose over the years. Some experts think the native Lynx was never fully exterminated.

If you send scat to the government,(tempting, I know), they return it with a standard letter saying "We do not have the resources to analyse this". If you soak it the hairs float to the surface, cats clean themselves by licking so there's usually plenty of hairs. Independent experts will analyse the hairs, the result is usually 'a member of the Leopard family'. A black Leopard cub was once found and taken away for 'Rabies testing'. I cannot find out what happened to it after that. Roadkill is witnessed then disappeared. Other cases of physical evidence get brushed under the carpet one way or another.

The sightings, photographs, video and physical evidence are all there. Publicly acknowledging this would lead to walkers and countryside workers being armed, undesirable on hunting trips (this already happens), demands for action (any hunters want to tell me what'd wrong with using high powered rifles in a high population density area?) demands from farmers for compensation and other problems. There are many good reasons the existence of these creatures is usually not officially admitted.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 04:34 AM
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reply to post by Kester
 


So you are saying that they are native to the area?



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 06:38 AM
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reply to post by Vrill
 

The Eurasian Lynx is native. It's widely believed to be extinct here. Bones 1,500 years old have been found but some experts think it was never fully exterminated and the cleverest survived. Many Lynx of various subspecies have escaped or been turned loose over the years. Private collections of animals used to be fairly common. Small cats such as the Kellas cat and the Rabbit Headed Cat may be natives that have never been fully accepted by science. The situation is considerably confused by the fact that domestic cats have been brought here for at least 2,000 years and these have bred with the native Wildcat producing many hybrids. The native Wildcat is usually called the Scottish Wildcat but once lived all over Britain and again, many people think populations of Wildcats managed to avoid extermination in many parts of the country. Various smaller cats were used as ratters on the old sailing ships and there are well established populations around many of the old ports.

The Pumas of course are all escapees or released. They are very well established.

The real mystery is the number of Black Leopards. The Roman explanation is the most reasonable but there are factors that make it hard to be sure. If they've been here since Roman times that isn't exactly native but very well established. There is evidence of some interaction with humans. A truck driver working for a fish farm befriended one and regularly fed it buckets of fish heads at a rest stop during his night run. Many people don't mention their sightings through fear of ridicule but it is also a common sentiment that they aren't doing any major harm and should be left in peace. For example the cousin of a man who was with me when we saw the puma said he'd seen a Black Leopard on four occasions early in the morning but never told anyone till he heard about our sighting. There are some enthusiastic hunters who tend to arrive in an area after sightings are reported in the media. This isn't usually welcomed.

Complicating the issue still further there are reports of heavily built dog-faced cats, the males black and the females brown. They don't answer the description of any known cat and are thought by some to be a very unusual and rare native.

This being ATS I can add the truly unbelievable factor. I have no explanation for this other than shapeshifting. I am aware of two occasions on which armed police surrounded a cat in a barn. Both times, when they couldn't justify the expense of waiting any longer and also couldn't walk away and leave it they entered the barn, and found no trace of the animal. I think I'm also right in saying the naturalist Trevor Beer has seen Black Leopards walk into a dip or behind a bush and simply disappear. Trevor is a very open man who's phone number is on his website. You could ask him yourself. If you google Trevor's name you will find a lot of good information.

Sorry I can't give a simple answer to your simple question. This is far from a simple matter.

I'll finish this post with a funny story about my brother-in-law. He lives in a caravan in Devon. He and his girlfriend are always happy to adopt stray cats. They throw out food scraps for the foxes. One night he went out into the field behind their caravan with some chicken scraps. He shone his torch around and saw some cats eyes. He slowly approached the cat, throwing scraps towards it saying "Do you want to come and live with us little kitty. Do you want to come and live with us......BIG KITTY!!!" There have been several well documented attacks resulting in minor injuries. I've seen a photograph which I don't think has yet been made public. She walked right into it in long grass and it swiped her across the belly. The injuries are very, very few considering the number of close encounters. I've heard talk of one serious attack but it seems to have been hushed up.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 06:42 AM
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reply to post by Kester
 


Im not sure how to reply to your post, because although i do believe there are big cats there, some of your stories seem a bit......over the top......

I looked up dog-faced cats and could find NO information ..........

Care to link some sources



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 07:30 AM
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Originally posted by ManBehindTheMask
some of your stories seem a bit......over the top......

I looked up dog-faced cats and could find NO information ..........

Care to link some sources


I agree some of the stories seem over the top. What can I say? I've never seen a 'disappearing' cat but I've heard others talk about it. I have to get on with other things now so I can't give you a long answer at the moment. I'll look for link's to the dog-faced cats. Its a very fringe subject compared to things like the Rabbit-Heads and Kellas cats which are in freezers and stripped down to skeletons but still the subject of much controversy. One of the strangest reports I've heard is of a black one, a brown one and a white one wearing a collar all walking in a line. There are current reports of a white one in the press.
I'll give you the story of one personal sighting.
I was taking a series of sunrise photos from the top of a local hill. I'd been going up there before sunrise for a couple of weeks. One morning I set up the tripod and as I settled it into the ground I looked ahead and saw 280 yards ahead of me what I think was a Black Leopard running in a zig-zag towards me. I suspect it was a young inexperienced hunter hoping to stumble over a rabbit. I realised it would go behind a bush and thought 'All I've got to do is get the camera out, clip it onto the tripod when it's behind the bush then when it comes back into view I'll get the best photo anyone has ever got'. By this time it was 200 yards away. I paced the distance afterwards. I reached across my body and pulled the camera case open. It was a small movement but instantly the cat turned 180 and shot down into the undergrowth. I'm one of many who didn't manage to get a photo. Of course the light levels were low but it was only a couple of minute before the sun was going to rise from behind the trees on the opposite hillside. There was enough light to see.
This is a subject that has been of great interest to me since my first sighting. That was very clear at fairly close range. I have heard many first hand accounts. This is very frustrating, I really have to deal with some family issues but I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
I only mention the 'weird' stuff because this is open-minded ATS. It's possible to be totally nuts and bolts scientific about this and avoid any weirdness. Did you know that a Norwich politician who is also a Dean of Biology has seen a Puma? It can be discussed in a very non-ATS manner if necessary.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 08:26 AM
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I have seen 2 big black cats in norfolk england.The first was when i was 14 in some strawberry fields in costessey the police came and told us all to stay inside and the second was last year in the field next to were i live now,it was 8 in the morning and i was getting my kids ready for school i looked out of the side window of my house at the top of my stairs and it was just casualy walking along the dirt road that runs up the side of the field,my kids and my partner saw it also.I did follow it 2 fields back until it went into woods.

The thing i will never forgot about that cat was its tail,it was easily aslong as its body.I estimate the length of the cat to be roughly 2 and a half meters but i never got within 15 meters of it so is just a guess.

Regards to all



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 


I've got a few minutes spare. One of the problems with the Roman explanation for the Black Leopards is the number of similar sightings in America and Australia. I'm aware some people say the Romans got to the Americas though evidence produced can sometimes be explained by ballast containing artefacts dredged up from rivers such as the Thames jettisoned in America and replaced with cargo. It's a very long shot to suggest Romans brought Black Leopards to America, even more so Australia. If you've researched the Australian Black Leopard sightings and shootings you'll know it's a subject that's been very well covered. I think I'm right in saying Australia has Pumas thought to be descended from American servicemen's mascots. That kind of thing is more easily accepted.



One thing I've noticed over several years researching this subject. The best information gets removed and the sensational stuff with the silly soundtracks stays.

There's a publication here called The Countryman's Weekly. A few years ago they had an article on Big Cats. It got a massive response and the subject quickly became a major part of the publication. The readership of this publication are the people who would know. Suddenly all mention of Big Cats stopped. Presumably a D-notice. They very cleverly instead carried a story about a Leopard hunter in Africa. This gentleman shot dangerous Leopards for the benefit of poor farmers. The only way he could afford to do it was to take the usual 'businessman who wants a trophy' to do the actual shooting. The hide was set up by the leopards latest kill. The gun was placed on a tripod pointing at the right spot. All the businessman had to do was aim and fire. He blew part of it's head off but didn't kill it. It bounded away. Next day the hunter and the tracker went back with a shotgun, the best weapon for close quarters ambush. The Leopard had lain down where it had bounded to, they expected it to be further away. It charged so fast he didn't have time to shoot. It knocked the gun out of his hands, pinned him against a tree and proceeded to attempt to disembowel him with it's back claws while holding his shoulders with its front claws and trying to bite through his skull. He stuck his hands into it's mouth to defend himself. Sounds like a great day out. The tracker darted forwards and grabbed the shotgun then shot it in the side of the chest from about 8 feet. It was thrown back and rolled but as soon as it stopped it leapt straight at the tracker. He shot it in the forehead when it was about 3 feet away. A very educational article without once mentioning big cats in Britain. Next time I read it they had a technical article about SG. You probably call it 00 Buckshot. They mentioned that it had limited uses in this country but in other countries was used against Baboons and Leopards. They finished the article saying that some gamekeepers carry two cartridges of SG at the end of their cartridge belt in case of the unexpected. Again no mention of British Big Cats. That's the way things are here.

There used to be an excellent web site that listed all the newspaper articles over the years, hundreds of them. That website went through several changes and became less useful each time. If you search British Big Cats you'll find lots of information, bear in mind the best stuff won't be there. Another thing that's become apparent after reading many hundreds of articles and letters is that a handful of people are apparently speaking from the same script. They are private individuals but they seem to have been instructed on the same debunking points.

When I have time I'll try to find references to the dog-faced cats since you've asked but I dont hold out much hope. It's a very fringe element of the overall story.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by FeatheredSerpent
I estimate the length of the cat to be roughly 2 and a half meters but i never got within 15 meters of it so is just a guess.

Regards to all


Thanks for that. Did you feel any fear? I was within 28 yards of a Puma. It went through a hole in a wall. Impulsively I ran after it and stuck my head through the hole but it was dark and I could only see the outline of the vegetation. I turned and started walking back to the milk van. Then the fear hit me. It was like the cat was projecting fear directly into my head. I suspect this may be similar to the way a Stoat 'freezes' a Rabbit. I tried to act nonchalant but when my hand touched the door I opened it, jumped in and closed it in one swift movement.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by Kester
 


When it stopped and turned and looked at me that was when i knew i should back off.

Regards to all



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 09:59 AM
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How not to do it.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 02:06 PM
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I think it's fair to say that there are big cats roaming the British country side, I don't think anyone can really argue against that anymore.

They also appear to be in fair numbers too so the thing that bothers me is where are the body's?

Surely they, like all animals die at somepoint, so where are the remains?

I live up near Faslane and Coulport, and there are plenty of reportings of them up here, of the coulport cougar and there was the black cat filmed in Helensbourgh a few years ago, reprts of people seeing them on loch lomondside as well.

Scary stuff really when you see what a leopard sized cat can do to a grown man.

I always make sure I carry a large, sharp, easily accesable knife when I'm hillwalking now, would be silly not to I think.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by maintainright
They also appear to be in fair numbers too so the thing that bothers me is where are the body's?

Surely they, like all animals die at somepoint, so where are the remains?

I always make sure I carry a large, sharp, easily accesable knife when I'm hillwalking now, would be silly not to I think.

How often are bodies found in countries that big cats are known to live in? Bear in mind the nature of the undergrowth in the British Isles. There's one moderate sized body in a freezer a few miles from where I am. It isn't big enough to really impress people. A roadkill in Yorkshire was witnessed by a number of motorists and seen being loaded into a van. One was buried and the shooter later emigrated. He didn't have permission to shoot on that land. When the story eventually came out the exact grave site could not be found.Two lynx have been preserved by taxidermists, one in Beccles and one in the RUC museum in Northern Ireland, though the latter was wearing a collar when shot. There is a report of a black Leopard shot and buried on a pheasant shoot. With a bit of searching you will find reports of bodies. The black Leopards in particular are incredibly tough. One was hit by a vehicle near here. I've spoken to the wife of the driver. His vehicle was written off and the animal left the scene. A farmer hit one in his four wheel drive near the Forest of Dean. He called police who saw it leave the area. I've heard a second hand account of a sitting big cat being shot at close range in the chest with a .22. Very dangerous. It bent down and licked the wound, took a few bounds away then turned and sat down again to watch the shooter who became very scared at that point.

The Countryman's Weekly article about the Leopard hunter I recounted earlier included the hunter attempting to reach his knife but having to stick his hands into it's mouth instead. They're very tough. A short, narrow blade will probably be the best deterrent if you get a chance to use it. It is very, very unlikely you could penetrate far with a large knife. Of course it depends what you mean by large. Leverage is the issue, once the length of the blade exceeds the width of your hand leverage works against you. They don't like to get hurt and prefer prey that doesn't fight back. Many people worldwide have successfully fought of attacks, occasionally even killing the cat though that is very rare. We live in a hotspot. A black Leopard has been seen by several witnesses in the woods beside our house. My wife and I saw it on one occasion after a very heavy rainstorm when it appeared to have been flooded out of its lair. It was obvious from it's body language that it wasn't pleased. I've taught my children to spread out their coat of they're wearing one to increase their apparent size, avoid eye contact and back away slowly. However when a young man we know encountered an aggressive black Leopard on his own in the middle of the night he ran for his life and was noticeably upset for several days. It isn't always possible to control your reaction. While I strongly support your right and the good sense in being prepared I have to point out this is one of the reasons the 'authorities' play down the reality of the situation. It wouldn't be long before frightened dog walkers accidentally shot each other or their pets if we all took the precautions we would like to.

This is from the Times of India.
"Priyanshu Joshi, 10, from Uttarakhand will receive Sanjay Chopra Award for single-handedly fighting off a leopard that attacked his sister while they were on their way to school."



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by FeatheredSerpent
I have seen 2 big black cats in norfolk england.The first was when i was 14 in some strawberry fields in costessey the police came and told us all to stay inside and the second was last year in the field next to were i live now,it was 8 in the morning and i was getting my kids ready for school i looked out of the side window of my house at the top of my stairs and it was just casualy walking along the dirt road that runs up the side of the field,my kids and my partner saw it also.I did follow it 2 fields back until it went into woods.

The thing i will never forgot about that cat was its tail,it was easily aslong as its body.I estimate the length of the cat to be roughly 2 and a half meters but i never got within 15 meters of it so is just a guess.

Regards to all



A few years ago, a dark big cat leapt across the road in front of me. I knew it wasn't a dog because of the long tail and the way it jumped across into the field. Was night time maybe about 1AM down Long Lane area.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by sightings
 


Long lane in which village or town/city?i ask because i have a road named long lane were i live.Would be interesting to know if its the same place.Whats the range on a black leopard?do they stay in one place or do they move around alot?theres been alot of cats gone missing between my village and the next one across i lost 3 myself,would black leopards eat these?

Regards to all



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 07:52 PM
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reply to post by FeatheredSerpent
 



Yes its the same Long Lane. I haven't spoken to you in a private message for a while so its understandable you may have forgotten that I am roughly 2 miles away from you. Remember we were talking about those cloud formations you saw in Wymondham that looked like a Grey's face.



posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 10:11 PM
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Originally posted by FeatheredSerpent
.Whats the range on a black leopard?


Enormous. Said to be up to 60 miles in a night. Will travel far in search of a mate etc. They often stay in one area for a while and do a set round. Can be quite predictable and also very unpredictable. Individuals like us.

They sometimes lay a scent trail then go thundering down that trail in some sort of travelling trance. Two sightings I'm aware of when the witness thought it was a horse galloping towards them! Shows the enormous strength and power. One witness saw it pass very close. The other saw the cat become aware of them and swerve aside at the last moment. Reports of people being knocked over and one time knocked unconscious.
edit on 20-1-2012 by Kester because: addition



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