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More evidence of big cats?


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Daniel Parkinson
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Another link from the bbc

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8172064.stm

To me it doesn't look that big, I thought it looks more like a big tom cat, hard to say as you can't gauge it exactly on the rails.

Mysteryshopper
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

Looks good to me. The rails are about 15cm high so the animal is big. The cat has a long tail, held horizontally as it walks, typical of black panthers.

Mauro
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

I was at the train station this morning and while waiting for my ride I carefully observed track measurement to come up with an extimate using my (quite poor) observation skills.
I'd extimate body length to be about three feet so it's definetely large. But the head and shoulders do not scream "leopard!" in my head. First time I saw leopards at a zoo as a child I was absolutely stunned by how massive their heads are and how broad their shoulders are when compared to other large cats, even tigers and lions (the zoo my mother usually took me to had a couple of very rare Asian lions, the stars of the show).
This cat is less powerfully built than the average leopard though, to be completely honest, a few subspecies are considerably slimmer than average, as Darren Naish noted on his website.
So if it's a leopard I take a guess... a melanistic Javan leopard, Panthera pardus melas. Melanism is very widespread among this subspecies and, as Darren Naish again pointed out, a few roe deer carcasses found wedged among tree branches in Scotland with telltale teeth marks in their skulls definetely point towards leopards being present there.

In Distortion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


Mysteryshopper
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

If you measure from the the video, the body (not including tail) is around the same length as the width between the track, making it about 1.4m long! So, it certainly isn't a domestic cat!

It is useful that the cat was by a railway line because in so many other photos and videos, it is impossible to gauge the scale. In many such cases, I suspect it's just domestic moggies, but not here.

Mauro
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

So you are telling me that for the first time in all of the history of "cryptozoology" someone (me) actually underestimated a creature size? :-D

In Distortion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Nessa
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

It is difficult to tell because of the distance, however it does look rather convincing. I shall be keeping an open mind.

Mysteryshopper
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Re: More evidence of big cats?
Mauro wrote:

So you are telling me that for the first time in all of the history of "cryptozoology" someone (me) actually underestimated a creature size?

It's tricky to measure off the video because the animal is moving all the time. Even in freeze frame, the legs are stretched out in front and behind because it is walking. However, if you place the image of the cat across the track (allowing a better estimate than using a ruler), it appears to cover most of the gap between the rails. So, on a revised estimate, I would say it is at least 1.1m long, not including the tail. It might be 1.4m including the tail.

There is a possibility that it might be a Kellas Cat.

Daniel Parkinson's picture
Daniel Parkinson
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

I guess the best way to gauge its size would be to take a video or image from the view point and have somebody stand in the place where the cat was pictured with a rule or similar gauge of measure, and then compare the two. A  cut out cardboard panther might be taking it a bit far.

Hope its not a narrow gauge railway like at Eskdale.

Would this be the best evidence so far if it proves to be measurable?

Mauro
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

Daniel, as I have already related there's plenty of physical evidence about the presence of ABCs. A number of Leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) have been shot or captured over the years, Kellas cats have been caught and stuffed (though not as well studied as they should be) and Roe deer carcasses have been found with both teeth marks and dragged in places consistent with leopard behavior.
That so little is being done to properly and officially exhamine the problem is beyond me.
Last year I talked with an Italian biologist who helped track and capture two juvenile leopards in his home country: despite being definetely newsworthy it didn't end up in the news and authorities quickly gave up trying to discover who set the cats loose. They just turned them over to a foreign zoo to keep.

In Distortion We Trust

__________________

"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Agricola
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

One thing to note, rail lines, or more specifically, sleepers, vary in shape and size depending on what their intended use is. So a passenger line may be designed to reflect the light loads it carries, whereas a line primarily used for good may have a heavier line to supress noise, and support the weight of goods trains. So not sure we can go on rough estimates of cat size based on track/sleepers unless we know the technical details of the line in question.

The Quester
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Re: More evidence of big cats?

There was an article in (I believe the Mail-so do take with a grain or two of salt) recently about two girls who saw something they believed to be a panther in the forest of Dean. Now obviously the word of two young scared girls alone is hardly trustworthy however the article was written by a reporter who had not long ago made a report  for television about big cats and as an adittional peice of light material at the end he decided to look breifly at wild big cats in Britian with the intent to be a tongue-in-cheek fluff peice showing more than a few wild-haired yokels and their tale tales. He was lamenting that the story was never included as he felt what he learnt would have opened peoples eyes and potentially have made the girls more aware.
He suggests their is a mild cover up by some authorities to play down their own suspicion of big cats do to its potential to incite hysteria but he mentioned several experts and policemen that claim there is strong evidence. I know this is hardly detailed and would like to find the story to link, however for the life of me I cant be sure which paper it was.

Anyway personally I beleive there is a grain of truth in the rumours but not as wide spread and many people over fantasise. I saw the video if the animal on the tracks when it was first shown and assumed it was indeed a big cat and supported my (reservedly sceptical) veiw that there could well be something living in our countryside other than cider-swillers lol



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