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Thursday, August 30, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: Essex Lion, Gloucestershire and lots more

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper-column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.

It takes a long time to do and is a fairly tedious task so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD

And we start off in Gloucestershire, which has been one of the hotspots for British Big Cat activity this year.

Driver swerves to avoid big black cat 'Beast' of Cleeve Hill
This is Gloucestershire
The 30-year-old is convinced he saw the mysterious big cat, believed to be stalking the county, looming large in his headlights as he made his way home in the early hours. ​. Big Cat report: Kieran Bourne said he saw a large black cat, like the one ...

Daily Mail
Big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge believes this image gives further credence to his belief that the animals roam Britain - after a lion was allegedly seen by holidaymakers at a caravan park near Clacton in Essex. Following reports of a wild animal on the ...

Is this the beast of Woodchester - footage captures what appears to be a big ...
Stroud News and Journal
NEW footage of what could be a jet-black big cat skulking through woodland in Nailsworth has fuelled fresh fears a predatory feline remains at large in the Five Valleys. The image was taken using a trip camera and big cat expert Frank Tunbridge ...

Spotted: 'big cat' in Gloucestershire
ITV News
There were armed police, there were helicopters, but this was not a man-hunt, it was a lion hunt.. in rural Essex. One, which was quickly stood down when it turned out to be a large moggy which had caused all the fuss. But claims that big cats roam the ...

Big cat sightings in Gloucestershire in 2012
This is Gloucestershire
In May, mum-of-two Julie Marlow reported seeing a dark fawn coloured big cat in a field from her bedroom window in Podsmead. In April, Keith Baker, of Winchcombe, said he had seen a big cat near the town "at least 10 times". In March, terrified dog ...

Readers pounce on big cat picture
This is Gloucestershire
Some questioned the scale of the animal which set off a trip camera in February, but county big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge has visited the site and used the wooden steps, bench and a picture of a Roe deer taken at the same site to scale the

"I'm from Essex, in case you couldn't tell. My given name is Dickie, I come from Billericay, and I'm doing rather well'

The most amusing big cat related story of recent days is the saga of the 'lion' in Essex, which turned out to be nothing of the sort. Check out these accounts...

Research by university on 'silly season' origins
BBC News
"Lion on the loose" and "Big cat still out there" are just some headlines which splashed across the front page of newspapers following the sighting of a mystery cat in Essex. However, media stories like this are not that unusual for this time of year ...

Essex lion hunt called off as police search finds no evidence of big cat
The Independent
Officers have spent almost 24 hours combing the countryside around Clacton-on-Sea after a group of residents yesterday claimed to have seen the king of the jungle near Earls Hall Drive in St Osyth. But after search teams found no evidence of the big ...

Big Cat Sightings: From The Beast Of Bodmin To Coulport Cougar, Five Other ...
Huffington Post UK
Thermal imaging devices were deployed on Monday to find the predator and helicopters whirred over the countryside, while reports also emerged of a big cat sighting in the Cotswolds. The search for the Essex lion has now been called off, but it's not ...

Lion in Essex: Other big cat sightings in the UK
WalesOnline
THE sighting of a lion in St Osyth is by no means the first time a big cat has been reportedly seen in the wild. There have been a flurry of recorded sightings after the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act was passed, making it illegal to keep untamed pets.

Essex Lion Couple Warn 'Whatever It Is, It's Still Out There' (PHOTO)
Huffington Post UK
Mrs Atkin told BBC Essex: "The Mirror [newspaper] has made a bit of a farce of it this morning, saying it was a cat called Tom, but no, I don't think it was a domestic cat.” ... It was a tan colour with a big mane, it was fully grown, it was definitely ...
See all stories on this topic »

What lion? I'm just a cat called Teddy
Gazette
THE big cat that sparked a police hunt in St Osyth was exactly that....a big cat. Ginny Murphy believes her pet, a large ginger Maine Coon cat called Ted, was the “lion” holidaymakers reported seeing. She said Ted, who is 25ins long and often hunts ...

Essex lion 'definitely still out there, not a cat called Tom', says eyewitness
Metro
Police yesterday called off a search after finding no trace of the big cat - despite utilising 25 officers, including those with firearms; two helicopters, one with thermal imaging equipment; and Colchester Zoo experts with tranquilisers. Essex police ...

Essex 'lion' is my cat, says Maine Coon owner
BBC News
Police have advised people to get back to normal after the hunt for the lion was called off. Two police helicopters were scrambled over St Osyth over the weekend but no trace of a big cat was found. Maine Coons, or American Longhairs, are much larger ...

UK's Loose Lion Really a Cat Named 'Teddy Bear?'
Newser
Maine Coon cats are probably the largest cat or at least as large as a Norwegian Forest Cat but a lion, c'mon. How many people in Essex have seen lions anyway. I think that they would have noticed some missing pets or children by now had it been a lion.

wild beast more of a pussy cat
Sydney Morning Herald
The big cat hunt had developed into a circus. The man from the Mirror tabloid was dressed up in a safari outfit and wielded a tin of cat food. Online the public embraced the classic bank holiday story. Twitter accounts were set up purporting to ...

Lion on the loose! Police hunt for mystery big cat in Essex
FRANCE 24
Police said Monday that they've found no evidence to support locals' claims that they'd spotted a big cat prowling the countryside near the idyllic village of St. Osyth, in the southeastern English county of Essex. Sunday's reported sightings alarmed ...

'Lion' In Essex: Police Call Off Search For Big Cat
Huffington Post UK
After spending almost 24 hours looking for sightings of the cat near Clacton-on-Sea, police said on Monday they had found no evidence of the big cat, the force this afternoon decided to stop looking. Essex Police had enlisted the help of experts from ...

British police call off search for supposed lion
Salt Lake Tribune
The creature spotted Sunday night may have been a large domestic cat or a wildcat, she added. So does that mean there never was any lion? The official demurred, noting that the people interviewed by police were convinced they'd spotted a lion. That ...

Was Essex 'Lion' A Pet Cat Called Teddy Bear?
Orange UK News
Now it appears the giant man-eater was no more than a large domestic cat, with amused locals already compiling a list of possible suspects. In the frame is the innocuous-sounding Teddy Bear, a sandy-coloured three-year-old Maine Coon. He often stalks ...

Couple who claim to have seen the Essex lion insist the beast is still at large
The Independent
Gill and Steve Atkin, who are holidaying at a caravan park near the Essex resort, rejected newspaper claims that they had seen a large domestic cat called Teddy Bear belonging to a local woman. “Whatever it was, it's definitely still out there,” said ...

British police call off hunt for Essex 'lion,' probably just a large house cat
GlobalPost (blog)
Police in Essex county, near London, had warned residents to stay indoors after receiving reports of a lion in a field in the village of St. Osyth. But they wrapped up the lion hunt today after finding no trace of a big cat — except, possibly, a fat ...

Essex 'lion' joins list of phantom British beasts
The Guardian
The Beast of Bodmin is still be the most famous 'big cat' in British history. After years of reported sightings – and the killing of livestock on Cornish moorland – it was declared a phantom in 1995 after an investigation by the Ministry of Agriculture ...

Essex Lion Was Just A Big Cat, Says Police
The Inquisitr
Officials in Great Britain spent the last 24-hours searching for a lion that was spotted in a field near St Osyth. Helicopters, animal experts, and marksmen searched the area for the lion but didn't find any traces of a big cat. Today, the search for ...

'Massive Lioness' Hunted In Essex Countryside
Sky News
Police urged residents in the village, near Clacton, to remain inside their homes as the search for the big cat continued. David and Susan Wright say they photographed the lioness from their back garden after spotting it in the field. Mrs Wright told ...

Police have called off a search for a lion reportedly on the loose in Essex.
Key 103 Manchester
Police urged residents in the village to remain inside their homes as the search for the big cat continued. But on Monday an Essex Police spokesman said: "We believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wildcat ...

Posted On Monday, August 27, 2012 at 10:11:26 PM
Bangalore Mirror
London: Police in Britain have deployed firearms officers, helicopters, and tranquilliser-armed experts from the local zoo in a hunt for a lion, following reports of a big

UK police call off search for Essex lion
CNN
(CNN) -- The search for a lion in Essex, near London, has been called off -- even as the big cat's fame grows on Twitter. According to a police spokesman, the sighting of a lion Sunday night was most likely a "large domestic cat or a wildcat." The ...

Search for Essex lion called off
The Press Association
Police have called off a widespread search for a lion reportedly on the loose and suggested the animal was more likely a large domestic cat or wildcat. Officers

British police call off search for 'lion'
Herald Sun
Police in the county of Essex, eastern England, said in a statement they believed the animal seen sitting in grassland in the village of St Osyth on Sunday was "either a large domestic cat or wild cat". The statement said officers ended the search at ...

Were they lyin'? Essex lion hunt called off
New Zealand Herald
Essex police advised people in the village, a popular seaside summer destination, to stay indoors, while Colchester Zoo experts were shown a photograph taken by a member of the public and believed the loose big cat was a lion. However at 2pm Monday ...
Essex lion 'probably big pet cat'
U.TV
With police confirming some of the big cat pictures circulating on Twitter were fakes and the hunt called off, the mystery over exactly what - if anything - the holidaymakers saw still remains. There is a lion on the loose in Essex as if we need any ...

Essex 'lion': Police call off St Osyth animal search
BBC News
"We believe we saw a large cat looking at a tree... it just sat there looking at us," said Mr Martin. Another holidaymaker, Stephen Atkin, 52, from Louth, Lincolnshire, who was staying at Earls Hall Farm caravan site, said he had also spotted the ...

Search for Essex lion called off « This Is Jersey
By PA
Police have called off a widespread search for a lion reportedly on the loose and suggested the animal was more likely a large domestic cat or wildcat.

Police Call Off Search For Essex Lion : Flavafm | The Heart & Soul of ...
By Hope
But after search teams found no evidence of the big cat, the force this afternoon decided to stop looking. Witnesses ... Police urged residents in the village to remain inside their homes as the search for the big cat continued. But on Monday an ...

I went huntin for a cat. And found. A fox the fox was cool so let him ...
By donnieblackqwert
The Big Cat is still on the loose, wandering the streets of London. Here, kitty kitty..come here…c'mon lil kitty. How will this story end? No one knows yet, tune in tomorrow…. Log in to Reply. donnieblackqwert 8:08 pm on August 27th, 2012 ...

Big cat Britain: the sightings
By theweirdbit
Big cat Britain: the sightings. Tuesday, 28th August 2012 - 08:58. A roaming "lion" which caused an extensive police operation after being spotted in a field in Essex is now believed to be a pet cat, with suspects including a ginger cat called ...

British police call off search for 'lion' — TalkVietnam
By tuoitrenews
British police said Monday they had called off their search for a suspected "big cat" after reports of a lion being spotted in a field near a seaside town. ...

Lion on the loose! Police advise residents to stay inside after large cat is ...
Daily Mail
A police spokesman said: 'The large cat, believed to be a lion, was seen in fields off Earls Hall Drive in St Oysth, near Clacton, just before 7pm on Sunday. Police are trying to establish where the lion may have come from. Anyone who sees the lion is ...

UPDATED: Police search for pawprints after Lion spotted in St Osyth
Echo
The big cat was seen in fields off Earls Hall Drive (pictured is the entrance to Earls Hall Drive) in the village just before 7pm yesterday. Residents were told to stay indoors as search teams worked throughout the night to track down the large cat ...

The only roar is Essex: Escaped lion is on the loose near Clacton
Mirror.co.uk
The large cat, believed to be a lion, was seen in fields off Earls Hall Drive in St Oysth, near Clacton, Essex, just before 7pm, police said. Officers from Essex Police have been working with experts from Colchester Zoo who believe the reports to be ...

Big cat sightings in the UK
ITV News
The 'Beast of Burnham Thorpe' was spotted in Norfolk near the Queen's Sandringham home in 2009. Many said it looked more like a large tabby. There were at least two reports of a large panther-like cat on the edge of Banff, Aberdeenshire in 2007.

Lion on the loose in Essex: hunt on for big cat seen near British seaside town
WA today
Police have warned residents in Essex to stay indoors after reports of a lion on the loose. Essex Police said they were working with Colchester Zoo experts after viewing what they believed was a genuine photograph of the lion, which was seen in fields ...

Liberal England: The Shooters Hill Cheetah of 1963
By Jonathan
It is an extract from the book Mystery Big Cats by Merrily Harpur, published by the Heart of Albion Press (which appears to have migrated from Market Harborough to Avebury recently: The most famous labour-intensive hunt was for an animal ...

Lion On The Loose In England And Police Can't Find It - Business ...
By Sam Ro and Adam Taylor
A man started running towards us yelling 'It's a f------ ;lion!'"

British Big Cat Hunt: Lion Reportedly Running Loose in the Fields of ...
By Vicki McClure Davidson
British police and animal experts are on a big cat hunt — a lion has been reported running loose in the countryside of Essex. From The Guardian, Lion reported to be on the loose in Essex: Police have warned residents to stay indoors after ...

A Large Cat—Maybe A Lion—Is On The Loose In England And ...
By urgeotraeuropa
There's a bizarre story coming out of England today. From Sky News: The large cat, believed to be a lion, was seen in fields off Earls Hall Drive in St Oysth, near Clacton, Essex, just before 7pm, police said. … However, police said the lion had ...
Urge Otra Europa - Changing To...


Lion reported to be on the loose near Clacton
The Guardian
Officers from Essex police contacted experts from Colchester Zoo, who believe the reports to be genuine after being shown a photograph from a member of the public. However, police said the animal had not escaped from the zoo, as all its big cats


British police deploy in force after lion sighting
Albany Democrat Herald
Police in the English county of Essex say they've deployed armed officers, heat-seeking helicopters, and tranquilizer-armed experts from the local zoo a hunt for a lion after a member of the public reported spotting a big cat ambling through a field ...

Police hunting for lion in Essex
The Press Association
Residents were told to stay indoors as search teams worked throughout the night to track down the large cat, which was spotted in a field by a member of the public on Sunday night. Essex Police have enlisted the help of experts from Colchester Zoo who ...

Essex lion search: Resident heard 'loud roar'
BBC News
Firearms officers and a police helicopter in Essex are searching for a lion, after reports that a big cat was seen in a field. Staff at Colchester Zoo believe the reports to be genuine after being shown a photograph from a member of the public. Che ...
It's a fair cub
The Sun
The county's force later said the only big cat they found was a DOMESTIC one — just like a monster moggie now blamed for the first panic. But the builder who spotted it at 8am remained unconvinced. Graham Bowers, 61, insisted: “It was the colour of a ...
This is Grimsby
But after search teams found no evidence of the big cat, the force decided to stop looking, suggesting the sighting was more likely to be a large domestic cat or wildcat. The hunt got under way after holidaymakers contacted the police to say they had ...

Essex Lion Search: British Police Call Off Hunt For Supposed Cat On The Loose
Huffington Post
The best-known mystery big cat in Britain was the "Beast of Bodmin," a panther that was allegedly spotted so many times that it prompted a government probe into the matter. The 1995 investigation concluded there was no evidence of exotic large cats ...

Big cat ... Teddy Bear
The Sun
Like a lion, but tamer. Teddy Bear. Big cat ... Teddy Bear. Lee Thompson. Published: 6 hrs ago. THIS is the pet moggie that sparked the lion frenzy in Essex. Teddy Bear, three — a 3ft long American Longhair breed — was mistaken for a lion by ...

Essex 'lion': Spotters adamant big cat still at large
BBC News
A couple who claimed to have seen an animal which looked like a lion in an Essex field say they believe the creature is still at large. A search for the "very large animal" seen near Earl Hall Drive in St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea, at about 19:00 BST ...

'Essex lion was my pet cat Teddy Bear' - owner
BBC News
A woman has claimed sightings of a "lion"- which sparked an extensive search by Essex Police - were of her large pet cat, Teddy Bear. A search for the "very large animal" seen in St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea, on Sunday was called off on Monday.

Owner claims her "Teddy Bear" was mystery lion
ITV News
Three year old Teddy Bear is a _Maine Coon, _a large breed of cat but in this setting, an unlikely candidate to be mistaken for a lion. But when his owner heard about a dangerous predator on the loose in a field just metres from her home, she had her ...

Essex Lion: Ginger Tom Latest Suspect In 'Large Cat' Mystery
Huffington Post UK
But after search teams found no evidence of the big cat, the force decided to stop looking. An Essex Police spokesman said: "We believe what was seen on Sunday evening was either a large domestic cat or a wildcat. "Extensive searches have been carried ...

Is Teddy the giant tom cat REALLY the mystery lion of Essex?
Daily Mail
For this is Teddy Bear, the domestic cat who was last night at the centre of speculation that he had inadvertently triggered Britain's biggest safari hunt in living memory by being mistaken for a lion. The three-year-old pet – a Maine Coon which can ...

Lion hunt: Essex police call off hunt for mystery big cat
Telegraph.co.uk
Lion hunt: Essex police call off hunt for mystery big cat. Essex police have called off their search for a lion believed to be on the loose near a caravan park in Essex after scrambling two helicopters and armed officers. Image 1 of 2. The caravan site ...

Lion hunt: Essex police hunt big cat as holidaymakers tell of fear
Telegraph.co.uk
Whilst mystery continues to surround where it might have come from, police said the possible sighting should not put people off being out and about today. But people living and staying in the area have spoken of their fear, with one saying he had seen ...

Paul Taylor: Essex Lion provides the mane attraction for silly season
Manchester Evening News (blog)
Why else would we still treasure the idea of a Loch Ness monster, and cherish The Hound of the Baskervilles above all Sherlock Holmes's adventures. It is because we live in such a safe nation that we love such drama. We may, if we are very unlucky ...

Silly season goes out with a roar, but the Essex lion frenzy proves to be just ...
The Independent
Not only was our beast an ABC, which is how Alien Big Cats are referred to by cryptozoologists, those amateur animal hunters convinced that the Yeti, the Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster are all out there. It was the biggest ABC of all, carrying the ...

UK Cops End Huge Search for 'Large Domestic Cat'
Newser
(Newser) – Today, in the Bigfoot-esque Department: A reported lion spotting in Essex, England, last night had police pulling out all the stops. Two helicopters equipped with thermal imaging were dispatched, and as many as 25 armed officers set out in ...

The weird history of the Essex Lion and his relatives - Mail Online ...
By Michael Hanlon
Our primeval (and sensible) fear of large carnivores can cause our sensory apparatus to switch to overload. The Clacton Lion is not of course a one-off. Back in the late 1950s and 1960s we had the 'Surrey Puma', the first British Phantom Cat ...

The worst press release you will ever see - The Media Blog
By Will Sturgeon
With the sightings of a Big Cat in Essex hitting the headlines, Illicit Encounters has offered up its own explanation of the large cat sighting, claiming that it may have actually been a Cougar. They are of course referring to the slang term of a ...

BBC News - Could big cats be roaming the British countryside?
On Monday police were called out to hunt for a lion reported to be on the loose in Essex. The ...

Essex 'lion': Spotter adamant 'big cat is out there'
BBC News
A search for the "very large animal" seen near Earl Hall Drive in St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea, at about 19:00 BST on Sunday was called off on Monday. Gill Atkin, on holiday in St Osyth with her husband Steve, said: "I still don't think it was a ...

'Lion' in Essex: The latest big cat sighting
This is Total Essex
Officers decided to call off the search yesterday after no trace of a big cat was found. The Daily Mirror has reported the alert was sparked by a large domestic cat – a 12-year-old ginger tomcat, Tom. The incident is the latest in a long line of big ...

Essex lion: Charting the big cats of Britain
BBC News
But sightings and evidence of big cats are not always a hoax. In Wales there have been a number of reports of big cats sighted in rural areas close to the scene of animal attacks on sheep. Dogs or foxes may be behind the attacks but some remain ...

Essex lion: 'big cat' seen near St Osyth 'probably a dog', says zoologist
The Guardian
Forsyth, who police are keeping on standby for any further sightings, said they found no droppings or footprints to indicate the presence of a big cat. Asked whether she thought the police operation had been necessary, she said: "I think they kind of ...

Lion That Caused Panic in Britain is Probably a House Cat | Field ...
By Online Editors
The excitement now appears to have been caused by a large domestic cat, with amused locals already compiling a list of possible candidates for the beast which caused the scare. According to the story, "Teddy Bear" is the leading suspect, ...

A Lion on the loose in Essex, Teddy the tubby cat, and the interesting science ...
Daily Mail
Lions are large, dangerous animals, hard to miss, difficult to hide, especially in Essex which is an odd and colourful place in many ways but not THAT odd. If your lion had gone missing you would probably know about it. That is, if you had a lion to go ...

AOL.com Video - Lion On The Loose? Nope, Just a Big Cat
'Good Morning America' explained one snapshot claiming there was a lion on the loose in Essex started an unnecessary frenzy complete with 30 officers and 2 helicopters. It turns out it wasn't King of the Jungle. It was just a large cat!

Essex lion panic reaches Grays
Thurrock Gazette
A MOGGY sparked a police hunt in Grays yesterday, amid fears it was a lion cub. A police officer visited Thameside Junior and Infant school, in Manor Road, and informed bemused staff he was investigating a sighting of a big cat on the premises that ...

Essex lion: 'big cat' seen near St Osyth 'probably a dog', says ...
Expert consulted by Essex police over sighting of 'big cat' near Clacton says images taken by holidaymakers were inconclusive • Reality check: is there a lion ...

Essex lion hunt is off but search is still on for Scotland's mystery beasts
Scottish Daily Record
IT'S one of the last great old wives' tales and urban myths of modern times. But as the furore and excitement caused by the Essex Lion proved this week, the public interest in big cat scare stories is as vibrant as ever. This is by no means the first ...

Essex 'lion': Brief guide to tracking big cats
BBC News
The most likely explanation for the sighting now appears to be that the suspected big cat was Ginny Murphy's pet Teddy Bear, a three-year-old Maine Coon cat. The drama, which unfolded over the bank holiday, has amused those for whom tracking big cats ...
See all stories on this topic »


The indigenous British wildcat is by no means a 'big cat' but it is certainly mysterious, and this next slice of news is particularly welcome..

When is a wildcat really a wildcat?
BBC News
With claims big cats are stalking the countryside, researchers are developing a DNA test to identify Scotland's pure-bred wildcats. There have been questions whether sightings of "big cats" might be wildcats or feral domestic cats. But researchers at ...

But back to big cats, let's go to Staffordshire..

City would do a roaring trade with a big beast on the loose
This is Staffordshire
Many have long said that big cats roam the Staffordshire Moorlands. Who could forget BBC journalist Brian Hanrahan's memorable phrase "I counted them all out and I counted them all back" when reporting on an outing of Leek Ramblers' Association?

...and Leicestershire


Do you beleive there are big cats such as a panthers, leopards or lions
By mthompson22
“leopards, and panthers quite possibly as many were released (in similar areas) in 1976 by their owners rather than have them put down. They are shy, they have plenty of food and places to hide - like disused railways - trees, farms etc - and ...

Simon's Cat - Big Cat Sightings
A widely believed theory behind the possible existence of big cats in the UK suggests people illegally released their 'exotic pets' into the wild after the 1976 ...

And also in Rutland, and Bedfordshire..

'Big cat' spotted in Barnack
Rutland Times
Philip then called Nigel Spencer, of Rutland Panther Watch which tracks big cat sightings, to inform him of what he had seen. From Philip's description, Nigel believes that the creature was a black leopard. If you have seen any big cats you can report ...

Big cat enthusiast: There are pumas in Bucks
Bucks Free Press
Mr Nicolaides, who has been following sightings of big cats in Buckinghamshire for years, has stealth cameras positioned in different parts of the county, including Stokenchurch and Bledlow Ridge. Police launched a hunt for a 'lion' in Clacton at the ...

...and in the North

Big cat spotted in Bradwell
Matlock Today
The person called the police and reported coming within about 15 feet of a black cat, up to three feet long, which they believed to be a panther. The creature was then said to slink into the distance. Police are advising anyone who has seen a big cat ...

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