More evidence of big cats?

More evidence of big cats?

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12 Responses

  1. Mysteryshopper says:

    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.

  2. Mauro says:

    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

  3. Mysteryshopper says:

    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.

  4. Mauro says:

    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? ­čśÇ

    In Distortion We Trust

  5. Nessa says:

    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.

  6. Mysteryshopper says:

    Re: More evidence of big cats?
    [quote=Mauro]So you are telling me that for the first time in all of the history of “cryptozoology” someone (me) actually underestimated a creature size?[/quote]

    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.

  7. Daniel Parkinson says:

    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?

  8. Mauro says:

    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

  9. Agricola says:

    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.

  10. The Quester says:

    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

  11. Paul Paterson says:

    Re: More evidence of big cats?
    Fears that black panthers are roaming the Scottish countryside following the release´╗┐ of the Helensburgh mobile phone footage have been firmly debunked by international´╗┐ experts. According to big cat conservationist Dr Luke Hunter,´╗┐ And the lack of´╗┐ evidence leads Dr Hunter to remain unconvinced´╗┐ about the´╗┐ existence of big cats´╗┐ in Scotland.

    But experts have examined the shaky footage´╗┐ and say the animal’s characteristics are typical of a domestic cat.

    Rob Weaver, a BBC wildlife presenter and film-maker, said it would be very unusual for´╗┐ a big cat to calmly walk around in a public place.

    “The small, almost dainty steps´╗┐ the´╗┐ creature takes along the rail are not characteristic of a puma, or a similar big cat, which tend to have a far more loping gait,” he said.

    The footage looks very much´╗┐ like a very well fed domestic cat to me. ‘Leopards (black panthers are melanistic leopards) do not carry their tails upright, which you see in the footage, while domestic cats characteristically do. He added ‘I’ve seen big cats –leopards, lions, cheetahs, jaguars, tigers and cougars – in the wild thousands of´╗┐ times and nothing about this footage has the´╗┐ appearance or look and feel of any of those species. No way´╗┐ is this a big cat.’

    Graham Law, a zoologist at Glasgow University who has worked with leopards for 23 years, also said the animal was more likely to be of the domestic variety.He´╗┐ said: “The video isn’t of a good´╗┐ enough quality to verify exactly what´╗┐ the animal is. A leopard would not´╗┐ confidently walk down a railway line. It would more likely move along the sleepers or stay in´╗┐ heavily forested areas.

    Application of´╗┐´╗┐ Locard’s Exchange Principle as well as the Application of the´╗┐ Simons´╗┐ Test. Then we have Dr Luke Hunter of Panthera (well respected) & Dr Alan Rabinowitz, as well as Dr Graham Law as well as Prof McDonald, and so on who disagree completely and have shown this in the Black Beast of Exmoor Documentary. Until there is fact and proof´╗┐ then this´╗┐ myth will continue as a crank subject. Even´╗┐ Mark Fraser said´╗┐ it was a crank subject before he closed down BCIB.

    After all these years of these mythical big cat sightings in the UK and still no fact and proof. Tunbridge the so-called big cat tracker from Stroud´╗┐ still can not show any of his big cats. Then we have McGowan and the rest´╗┐ of the fantastists who swear that ´╗┐ these cats are here and breeding? Such fools try to use ego,´╗┐ hype, big words and "I am an expert" or "I know´╗┐ what I am talking about" rubbish. They´╗┐ say big cats are breeding in the UK; big´╗┐ cats are doing this and that´╗┐ in the UK. BS..

    Despite the usual dross from others saying that big´╗┐ cats frequent railway lines, really? Since when do cats read train´╗┐ time tables…? Saying that zoo keepers and the lady in the monster quest documentary taking about what is and is not a big´╗┐ cat.´╗┐ She never "forced" her opinion on anyone. Unless these UK big cat crypto groups and groupies can come up with real hard science fact and truth, showing that such mythical cats do exist. breeding and wild, then sadly they have no reply. No big cats..

    Scott Lope of Big Cat Rescue, who was used on the MonsterQuest: Black Beast of Exmoor´╗┐ TV episode 2008 said: "these are´╗┐ seen as minor scratches, not´╗┐ consistent with any width or claws of any big cat or wild cat. I would seriously doubt that this was caused by a´╗┐ big cat other than a domestic cat or by oneself." Then we have Dr Luke Hunter of Panthera (well respected) & Dr´╗┐ Alan Rabinowitz,´╗┐ as well as Dr Graham Law as well as Prof McDonald, and so on, who all disagree´╗┐ with this myth hype.

    Cryptozoology concerns itself with´╗┐ unknown´╗┐ species for which´╗┐ there are "myths"´╗┐ and with supposedly-extinct species. Strictly-speaking, a species that is simply unknown´╗┐ is not cryptozoological. Cryptozoology" is that it is not a legitimate field of science. Any idiot can call himself a cryptozoologist as if it means something important´╗┐ and it does not. A zoologist is a legitimate title, as is geologist, biologist, etc. Cryptozoologist means nothing.
     

    Dr Nick Royle, a senior lecturer in Behavioural Ecology´╗┐ at´╗┐ Exeter University, said´╗┐ people´╗┐ could overestimate the size of animals,´╗┐ which could explain sightings.

    He said that research conducted at the university had shown that when viewing an object that was the size and shape of a large domestic cat at a distance of 230ft (70m) from them 21% of people estimated the ‘cat’ to be the size of a leopard or larger. 

     

     

  12. Paul Paterson says:

    Re: More evidence of big cats?
     Dr Royle said: "The research´╗┐ showed´╗┐ that people can estimate regular shapes´╗┐ such as rectangles of different sizes correctly at distance, but have difficulty estimating´╗┐´╗┐ the size of cat-shaped objects.

    Application of Locard’s Exchange Principle as well as the Application´╗┐ of the´╗┐ Simons´╗┐ Test. Then we have Dr Luke Hunter of Panthera (well respected) & Dr Alan Rabinowitz, as´╗┐ well as Dr Graham Law as well as Prof´╗┐ McDonald, and so on who disagree completely and have shown this in the´╗┐ Black Beast of Exmoor Documentary. Until there is fact and´╗┐ proof´╗┐´╗┐´╗┐ then this myth will continue as a crank subject. Even Mark Fraser said it was a´╗┐ crank subject before he´╗┐ closed down BCIB´╗┐.

    Sorry, but no "big cats" wild, free or breeding within the UK.