Alien Big Cats ('ABCs')

In your opinion what are alien big cats most likely to be?

  • Escapees from collections, breeding in the UK countryside

    Votes: 49 47.6%
  • A species of endemic British big cat somehow overlooked by science

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Zooform Phenomena - animal-shaped manifestations of paranormal activity

    Votes: 6 5.8%
  • Misidentifications of big dogs, normal cats etc

    Votes: 23 22.3%
  • A big hoax

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Summat else

    Votes: 4 3.9%
  • All of the above

    Votes: 21 20.4%

  • Total voters
    103

PeteByrdie

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The northern lynxs I saw were far bigger than any domestic cat I've ever seen (and they're beautiful, and I can only love an animal so sure of its identity that its trinomial is an emphatic Lynx lynx lynx), but Wikipedia gives quite a range of sizes for different lynx.
 

marhawkman

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I was watching Secrets of the Zoo last weekend and the particular zoo was Columbus (Ohio) Zoo. They had 3 female lynxes - Canadian lynx I think - and their weights were 20-24 lbs. i didn't realize that lynx are that small

While I know they are considered a medium sized wild cat, my 10 year old, born in a barn, male cat is just shy of 20 lbs. I really have over estimated their body size. I've only seen them on tv and since they usually photographed for documentaries, I haven't seen them sized next to a large domestic cat. Even Maine Coon cats would be bigger.
Yeah, my sister claims she's seen Jules growling at some sort of wildcats. Who... well... decided the property was occupied. Apparently, it's never gotten more serious than just growling matches though.
 

Paul_Exeter

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View attachment 58656
This was taken on the banks of the Lune between Glasson Dock and Lancaster, At first I thought the Pilling pussy's
were back these two were seen quite a few times by people like game keepers and famers and disappeared after
a year or so some said they had been shot by a farmer others that they had been trapped and moved but none
would say were to.
This one looks to have the Lynx type ears but I think it's some sort of stuffed toy.
Genuinely looks like a small black terrier-type dog, you can see the muzzle with nose and jaw whiskers (well at least I think I can)
 
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RaM

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This was taken by someone else, they recon it is a tree stomp

Panther2C.jpg
 

catseye

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Good point. Always suspicious when there is only one photo
In photos of suspected Big Cats, I usually try to look at the behaviour of other animals in the shot. There aren't many creatures that will sit happily on the ground in the vicinity of an Even Not Very Big Cat, so if there are birds close by or rabbits or just other animals, and they aren't keeping a watching brief on the 'Big Cat'...then it's not a cat. And probably not an animal at all in fact.
 

Nemo

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'Puma' spotted on roof near Cheshire market by drinker on night out.
Link is bad (empty). Here's a news story with the same title:

'Puma' spotted on roof near Cheshire market by drinker on night out.

James swears he saw the large cat but his 'boys' were sceptical.

A man who had been on a night out 'drinking with his boys' says he spotted a puma on a roof. James Davies claims he saw the large cat near the Chester City Centre Market when he had stepped out to go the toilet.

Speaking to Puma Watch North Wales he described the moment he saw an animal that was 'far too big to be a dog' at around 7pm on September 3 before it shot out of site, Cheshire Live reports. James told Puma Watch: "I was out drinking with the boys in the market in Chester. You have to go outside and into another old building to get to the toilets and, when I went around the corner where the toilets are, I spotted something moving on the roof opposite that made me look up from my phone.
MEN. (C) '22.

Nice 1st comment. :thought:
 
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brownmane

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General question. Why do people in UK think it is cougars (pumas) they are seeing? Those are heavily muscled and fairly large cats. To me, lynxes/bobcats might be more likely as they are smaller and have more of a domestic cat look.
 

marhawkman

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The "tail" looks long until you enlarge the pic and the bottom half is either a shadow or discolouration on the wall. Not a good shot to identify anything.
Oh, when you zoom in you can see a metallic glint separating the tail from the brick facing.
honestly... this doesn't look THAt big to me... It's possible the shape is most of the body of the cat, and looking closely, I think it is.
0_Puma-Chester-City-CentreC.png

I suspect those facing blocks are about a foot long(and six inches high), and if so... that'd make this ... a housecat.
'Puma' spotted on roof near Cheshire market by drinker on night out.
Link is bad (empty). Here's a news story with the same title:

'Puma' spotted on roof near Cheshire market by drinker on night out.


MEN. (C) '22.

Nice 1st comment. :thought:
I only saw one comment:
"jake194513 HRS AGO
Was it chasing the pink elephant ????"
General question. Why do people in UK think it is cougars (pumas) they are seeing? Those are heavily muscled and fairly large cats. To me, lynxes/bobcats might be more likely as they are smaller and have more of a domestic cat look.
At some point someone did an analysis of cougar/mountain lion/catamount/Puma/like 50 other names behaviors and prey habits, and concluded that if you DID release on in the semi-wilderness areas of Britain that it'd be like "I guess I live here now"... then start eating the local dogs... and actual wildlife probably.
 

Coal

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At some point someone did an analysis of cougar/mountain lion/catamount/Puma/like 50 other names behaviors and prey habits, and concluded that if you DID release on in the semi-wilderness areas of Britain that it'd be like "I guess I live here now"... then start eating the local dogs... and actual wildlife probably.
You might expect (in the UK) a sudden drop in the local deer population.
 

marhawkman

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You might expect (in the UK) a sudden drop in the local deer population.
Well they DO eat deer, but... they cache kills and might go a week or more between kills, and have been known to hunt prey as small as rabbits... as adults... Sure, a rabbit is barely gonna sate the beast's hunger for half a day, but they have been known to do it.
 

RaM

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Our works moggy used to catch and eat rabbits, it was well fed but
it would go through a few rabbits a week, all that was left were the
ears held together by a bit of skin from the head, nothing else, all
you had to do was count pairs of ears.
 
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Min Bannister

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General question. Why do people in UK think it is cougars (pumas) they are seeing? Those are heavily muscled and fairly large cats. To me, lynxes/bobcats might be more likely as they are smaller and have more of a domestic cat look.
I am less charitable than @marhawkman and suspect that it is because people don't really have any idea that what they are looking at is just a cat and so come out with things like "panther" and "puma" because they sound cool and it is what other people say. Tigers and Lions are much more easily identifiable and so never get a mention.
 

hunck

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A blurry/distant/partial photo of a domestic mog won’t get you in the news unless you claim it’s a puma. Would you click on a ‘man takes out-of-focus photo of cat’ story? This man did & you won’t believe what happened next..
 

marhawkman

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I am less charitable than @marhawkman and suspect that it is because people don't really have any idea that what they are looking at is just a cat and so come out with things like "panther" and "puma" because they sound cool and it is what other people say. Tigers and Lions are much more easily identifiable and so never get a mention.
This is true. But it's been encouraged, probably wrongly, by people who've made rather long discussion of how it's plausible.. even if the whole logic is pure conjecture.

It's also notable that people keep claiming to see "Black" Pumas...... There is no photograph anywhere in the world of an animal actually definitively known to be a black Puma. It's NOT part of their natural color range. and good luck finding a black hybrid since Pumas are seemingly a bit "distant" genetically speaking.

Sure, there are other species of cats known to be black.. but.. those are either much smaller cats (like housecats), or Panthera species.

Also... the phrase "black panther"... (at least when applied to cats)... is either a Leopard or a Jaguar... not a Puma. Which is why "panther" is in modern times not treated as a species name and more of a category of cat.... But some people in Britain DID in fact have "Black Panthers" in private zoos, and some were allegedly released into the wild.

But... that means people would be seeing either leopard or Jaguars, not Pumas.
 

brownmane

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And funny enough, sometimes there are reports of someone here, possibly spying a cougar in areas that they are not typically known. Cougars are pretty solitary and not generally known to be in heavily populated (using southwestern Ontario as the reference) areas and keep their distance from people. We see black bears (in a city) more often than we'd ever see cougars (possible sightings only ever reported in rural fields, not around people).

The fact that the UK news sources seem to report about them so much more than where I live and with very poor pics as proof is just unusual to me.
 

marhawkman

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And funny enough, sometimes there are reports of someone here, possibly spying a cougar in areas that they are not typically known. Cougars are pretty solitary and not generally known to be in heavily populated (using southwestern Ontario as the reference) areas and keep their distance from people. We see black bears (in a city) more often than we'd ever see cougars (possible sightings only ever reported in rural fields, not around people).

The fact that the UK news sources seem to report about them so much more than where I live and with very poor pics as proof is just unusual to me.
Cougars migrate a LOT. It's why you can never be 100% sure of whether they live in an area. It might be in a different county next week, then comeback two months from now.
 

catseye

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Plus a lot of people believe 'housecats' to be a smallish sized moggy. Many are. But I've had absolutely HUGE ordinary domestic shorthaired cats and nowadays with the rise of the 'designer' housecat, there are many more Maine Coon and Serval crossbreed cats out there, which are bigger than the eye is perhaps expecting. And we aren't so far evolved from people who could be killed by a large cat, so maybe our brains are warped to 'see' cats out in the wild as being bigger than they actually are?

After all, those who saw cats as being big, dangerous, human-eaty machines, are those who lived to tell the tale. So maybe we've selectively bred to regard larger-than-average cats as bigger and more ferocious than they are in real life.
 

Tunn11

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Could some of the the various escapees and releases into the wild in GB have interbred to form some sort of stable hybrid, much like the Kellas cat? Cat genetics seem a bit complex to say the least so is some sort of hybrid of two or more species plausible?
 

marhawkman

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Could some of the the various escapees and releases into the wild in GB have interbred to form some sort of stable hybrid, much like the Kellas cat? Cat genetics seem a bit complex to say the least so is some sort of hybrid of two or more species plausible?
plausible? sure... but... asking if it's plausible... is nothing but speculation. Back when exotic wildlife was big business there were people intentionally breeding hybrids. Where'd those go? hard to say for sure. We don't even know exactly how many existed. further muddying that angle is knowing that some of what is public information... is actually either lies or misleading in some way. Like how some of the advertisements refer to hybrids of lions and "panthers"... doesn't mean Pumas. It's really Jaguars.

The real question is not if such animals COULD exist, where they are if they do.
 

Paul_Exeter

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Going back to the Exmoor sheep killings of the 70s and 80s. I have unfortunately seen sheep that have been attacked by a dog and there is a distinctive pattern to their injuries (attacked from the rear etc). Back then something large was killing considerable number s of sheep in a manner unlike a dog but, according to experts, that of a large cat species. What's more, the location of the killings moved over time, moving some 20 miles down from the high moor to the lower slopes which rules out an irresponsible dog owner.

The killings were on such a scale that the Royal Marines were called in to track the culprit/s. Officially nothing was found, but locally the rumours persist that this was not the case.

Whatever it or they were, you can forget a large house cat.
 

marhawkman

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Going back to the Exmoor sheep killings of the 70s and 80s. I have unfortunately seen sheep that have been attacked by a dog and there is a distinctive pattern to their injuries (attacked from the rear etc). Back then something large was killing considerable number s of sheep in a manner unlike a dog but, according to experts, that of a large cat species. What's more, the location of the killings moved over time, moving some 20 miles down from the high moor to the lower slopes which rules out an irresponsible dog owner.

The killings were on such a scale that the Royal Marines were called in to track the culprit/s. Officially nothing was found, but locally the rumours persist that this was not the case.

Whatever it or they were, you can forget a large house cat.
Mmm... yes, that though, suggests a single large escaped exotic cat, and not a stable population. And more importantly... it's not there anymore.
 

Paul_Exeter

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Mmm... yes, that though, suggests a single large escaped exotic cat, and not a stable population. And more importantly... it's not there anymore.
But they keep being seen and the poor old sheep keep getting killed.

In 2012, Lynda Napier-Burrows sighted a big cat in the vicinity of sheep whilst travelling on the North Devon link road (A361) near Swimbridge. How would she know it was a big cat? She grew up in Western Canada and had seen cougars in the wild. Pretty good witness in my book.
 

Paul_Exeter

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Sorry, edit to the above, I got called away:

So can they all be escapees? It does seem that escapees are quickly recognised and caught (eg Felicity the puma). How come we don't have other escaped public and private zoo animals roaming the countryside and just big cats?
 

brownmane

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Has this incident from 2018 of an escaped clouded leopard killing sheep in Cornwall ever been posted on this forum?

https://www.farminguk.com/news/shee...d-roaming-countryside-for-one-week_48351.html

A bit off topic, but why do these stories always involve a big cat owner who is already fought to keep exotic cats where they don't belong? From article "It has been reported that the leopard belongs to Todd Dalton, who won a legal battle to keep the animals, usually native to Nepal and China, in a south-east London garden 12 years ago."

The owners are always insistent that the cats are happy where they are and that the public is safe. And these people situate themselves in rural areas which have few resources to legally fight the issue. Ontario allows municipalities to make their own laws regarding exotic animal keeping, and these people know exactly where they can go that don't have laws in place. Then they are grandfathered into the new ones made because of their doing.

Close to where my mom lives (rural of course) a person had several tigers. Similar story - one of the tigers had been spotted lying in a ditch near its home and was reported. This didn't happen just once. Satisfactorily (to me) a couple of years later he was mauled to death by his cats.
 

Coal

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Sorry, edit to the above, I got called away:

So can they all be escapees? It does seem that escapees are quickly recognised and caught (eg Felicity the puma). How come we don't have other escaped public and private zoo animals roaming the countryside and just big cats?
Good question. Possibly the ego of those who would keep a big cat is a factor in that are more privately kept big cats. Keeping a spiny anteater or koala is not such a macho thing to do. The latter might be much easier to contain than a far heavier and better climber.

That said - maybe big cats are better at keeping out of sight - they're predators and generally move slowly and keep still, so perhaps people tend to notice them disproportionally less for their size?
 

catseye

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Good question. Possibly the ego of those who would keep a big cat is a factor in that are more privately kept big cats. Keeping a spiny anteater or koala is not such a macho thing to do. The latter might be much easier to contain than a far heavier and better climber.

That said - maybe big cats are better at keeping out of sight - they're predators and generally move slowly and keep still, so perhaps people tend to notice them disproportionally less for their size?
Then why aren't these people also keeping creatures like wolves? If they are all about the kudos that comes with keeping a large predator captive? Where are the escaped bears? There's the odd story of a 'wolf' sighting, but nothing like the number of big cats, and a wolf is far more likely to approach humans than an escaped cat, particularly if reared in captivity.
 
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