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Thursday, May 17, 2012

CFZ MYSTERY CAT STUDY GROUP: Dan Holdsworth writes..


This was linked to from the Fortean Times Breaking News section.


The reason I'm drawing your attention to it is because the story doesn't seem to add up at all; this does not seem to be big-cat related at all. Firstly, there isn't a trace of this story in the local newspaper of that area, the Cambrian News. Not a great deal happens in that part of mid Wales, and what little that does occur gets reported in greatdetail, yet of this story, not a trace save in a few nationals.

Secondly, the story references places that span across twenty miles or more of countryside; it looks like someone has pulled out a map and quoted a selection of place-names from all over the place, and some being most unlikely haunts for a big cat. It can't all be one animalover all this spread of land.Thirdly, this doesn't look or sound like a hunting big cat at all;you'd expect a steady stream of sheep vanishing in ones and twos atmost, over a wide geographical area, but instead small flocks seem to have been massacred in discreet areas at once, and if the reports of the smell of dead sheep are accurate then the killers didn't eat much.

Finally, the Aberystwyth area is home to a gun-pack; effectively a group of farmers who use a few slowish foxhounds to flush foxes to beshot. If big cats were in the area, these good ole' boys would be ontoit and trying their hardest to nab the cat, which ought to garner at least some press attention.

No, I reckon this is caused by a few semi-feral farm dogs out huntingsheep for the hell of it, and I reckon the Cambrian News reporters knowthat and don't want to touch the story.

What do you think?-- Dan H.


Neil A said...

This is the usual media hokum. A predatory cat - even with young - would only take one or two sheep, and not massacre a flock. As you state Dan, a cat would pick of the flock over the course of months, even years. This sounds like dogs to me. I've examined several carcasses of sheep attacked by dogs then scavenged by foxes and in no way do they resemble a 'big cat' kill.Is there any mention of how the sheep were killed ?

Neil A said...

Looking at the photo on the newspaper site there's no evidence to suggest a cat did this. No throat bite, no stripped clean carcass, no ribs chewed low - just mess.