WELCOME TO THE CFZ BLOG NETWORK: COME AND JOIN THE FUN

Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

A Special Offer

A Special Offer

New CFZ Titles at a bargain Price

        

Search This Blog

Loading...

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 ...

BIG CAT NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Whilst the focus of the CFZ Mystery Cat study group is predominantly the search for proof of the British big cats, it would be unrealistic to forget that this is only part of a global mystery-cat phenomenon.

Here are a selection of mystery cat related stories from around the world.

I distrust politicians as a matter of form, and when politicians start to get involved in a Fortean zoological subject I get deeply suspicious. But that is exactly what is happening in Australia.

Baillieu govt sinks claws into big cat mystery
The Age
Decades of shadowy sightings, grisly livestock kills and mysterious paw prints are being scrutinised as scientists sink their claws into verifying the existence of Victorian big cats. But rather than scouring bushland for the fearsome beasts armed with ...

This big cat was photographed near Lara, 15km northeast of Geelong in Victoria ...
NEWS.com.au
Just weeks after it shelved plans to solve the decades-long mystery, the Victorian Government now wants to put the matter to rest once and for all. Witness sightings have been recorded, over at least 60 years, of cougars, panthers or pumas in a wide ...

Website 'erosion' worries insiders
Sydney Morning Herald
THE Victorian government may be happy to use taxpayers' money to search for a mythical big cat, but apparently it wants to limit information to the public on endangered animals and plants. The Department of Sustainability and Environment is set to ...

Big cat stories to be investigated by DSE
ABC Online
Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh has confirmed the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) will investigate stories of big cats roaming the Victorian bush. At the last election, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan promised to investigate ...

Big cat myth should stay a mystery
Herald Sun
They have climbed back up the ladder of government priorities after a mid-season rejection. That is, the Victorian Government has launched an investigation into whether the mythical big cats exist. It's an issue that arouses much excitement in country ...

Southern Otway Landcare eNews August 28 2012 Southern Otway ...
By SOLN
Big Cats appear will be rearing their heads again following a Government commitment to spend money on a big cat research project. Sightings of big cats have been reported across Victoria over many decades, with the Geelong Otway region ...

Victoria's big cat rumours to be investigated
ABC Online
The Bailleau government this week announced that it would honour its election promise and begin an investigation into whether or not big cats, similar to panthers or pumas, exist in Victoria. Speaking on ABC Goulburn Murray mornings, agriculture ...

No cash in catching big cats
Weekly Times Now
The Victorian Government has been taken aback by the huge public interest in its big cat hunt since it was first reported in The Weekly Times last week. Thousands of people have taken part in media polls and many hundreds more have offered reports of ...

Vic govt sinks claws into big cat mystery
The Daily Telegraph
DECADES of shadowy sightings, grisly livestock kills and mysterious paw prints are being scrutinised as scientists sink their claws into verifying the existence of Victorian big cats. But rather than scouring bushland for the fearsome beasts armed with ...

Hunt on for hills cats
Ranges Trader Mail
THE mystery surrounding the Dandenongs' big cat sightings could soon be solved, with the State Government last week revealing an investigation was under way. Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh confirmed the study had started last month, honouring a ...

Premier says wild dog controls still a priority
ABC Online
The Victorian Government says investigations into the existence of big cats will not undermine efforts to combat wild dogs across the state. The Government has set up what it calls a "desk top" investigation to examine reports dating back to World War ...

Big cats hunters vindicated
Weekly Times Now
Pictures: Mark Griffin. BIG cat believers are no longer considered 'nutters' but people worth listening to, writes CHRIS McLENNAN. Simon Townsend has been vindicated. His obsession with mysterious big cats is no longer considered as weird as it once was.

This mystery large black cat was photographed near Casterton forest several ...
Herald Sun
This mystery large black cat was photographed near Casterton forest several years ago. Picture: Bob McPherson Source: News Limited. A WILDLIFE keeper has become the latest person to claim a panther sighting in Victoria. The Wild Action zoo keeper said ...

Big cat mystery deepens as zoo keeper claims a new panther sighting in Mt ...
NEWS.com.au
Big cat mystery deepens as zoo keeper claims a new panther sighting in Mt Macedon. by: Angus Thompson; From: Herald Sun; August 30, 2012 3:29PM. Increase Text Size · Decrease Text Size · Print · Email · Share · Add to Digg · Add to del.icio.us · Add to ...

Big cats out of the bag
The Age
DECADES of shadowy sightings, grisly livestock kills and mysterious paw prints are being scrutinised as scientists sink their claws into verifying the existence of Victorian big cats. But rather than scouring bushland for the beasts, they'll be working ...

Baillieu Government has defended its decision to pour time and money into ...
Herald Sun
Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh yesterday said government staff previously working on wild dog programs would be re-diverted to study potential sightings of cougars, pumas and panthers in regional and rural Victoria at a time public sector jobs were ...

Mystery deepens over big cats in Victoria as locals at Wombat State Forest ...
NEWS.com.au
The smells are intensely fresh, our senses sharp. There is a start as someone steps in a pile of still-steaming fresh droppings and says: "Cat scat." We are waiting for the death that stalks the darkness, for one of the big cats prowling silently on ...
Vic sinks claws into big cat mystery
Sky News Australia
Vic sinks claws into big cat mystery. Updated: 13:39, Wednesday August 22, 2012. Decades of unconfirmed sightings, grisly livestock killings and mysterious pawprints are being examined by Victorian scientists. But rather than scouring bushland for the ...

In the entire of Victoria, is there a puma, a cougar or a panther?
3AW (blog)
John Burns said the only person he had ever heard to have spotted an alleged 'big cat' was a real estate agent who had told of the sighting in Christmas Hills to his friend, known as 'Gavin Gnome'. ”Peter Ryan is clearly wasting government money ...

Government-sponsored big cat study to go forward in Victoria ...
By idoubtit
Hunt for big cats, including cougars, panthers or pumas, in Victoria begins after decades of reported sightings Just weeks after it shelved plans to solve the.

Vic govt spurred into Black Cat action
Crikey
Some heartening news for Victorians concerned that Ted Baillieu had junked his commitment to his notorious “big cat” search. The front page of yesterday's Weekly Times confirms that the premier has resuscitated his pledge, floated at the last two ...

Mystery deepens over big cats in Victoria as locals at Wombat State Forest ...
Herald Sun
The smells are intensely fresh, our senses sharp. There is a start as someone steps in a pile of still-steaming fresh droppings and says: "Cat scat." We are waiting for the death that stalks the darkness, for one of the big cats prowling silently on ...

Australian state gov't to review big cat sightings - snopes.com
Decades of shadowy sightings, grisly livestock kills and mysterious paw prints are being scrutinised as scientists sink their claws into verifying the existence of ...

And now to America where pumas seem to be expanding their range at a rate of knots. Forgive my political scepticism, but I find it peculiar that all this has happened a year after the American Government declared the Eastern Puma to be extinct. It is interesting to see that the American newspaper reports are almost equally divided between demonising these creatures and calling for their protection

Horse Attacked By Big Cat Near Aitkin
Northland's NewsCenter
Aitkin, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- A horse owner in rural Aitkin is warning other livestock owners of a large wild cat that may be on the loose in the area. According to the Brainerd Dispatch, Lori Hart's 900 pound horse Molly was mauled by a big cat.

Aitkin County horse owner warns others of big cat attack
The Republic
A horse owner whose 900-pound mare was attacked by a mountain lion or cougar wants other animal owners in Aitkin County to be on the lookout for the big cats. Lori Hart's quarter horse Molly was mauled last week on her property north of Aitkin. Hart ...

Large, wild cat attacks horse in Aitkin Co. - BringMeTheNews.com
Last week 900-pound quarter horse, Molly, belonging to Lori Hart of rural Aitkin County was mauled by a cat that a veterinarian confirmed was either a mountain lion or a cougar. Molly is recovering although the attack left the horse with a nasty ...

Quarter horse mare attacked by large wild cat - Brainerd Dispatch MN
YouTube
Last week her 900-pound quarter horse mare, Molly, was mauled by a cat that a Pierz veterinarian confirmed was either a mountain lion or a cougar. The cat, Hart said, took "a big old chunk out of her hindquarters." She said the veterinarian's office ...

Big Cat Attacks Horse In Aitkin « CBS Minnesota
A woman whose horse was attacked by a big cat wants to warn other animal owners in Minnesota. The attack happened north of the town of Aitkin last week ...

Horse Attacked By Big Cat Near Aitkin | Northland's NewsCenter ...
Aitkin, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- A horse owner near Aitkin, MN is warning other livestock owners of a big cat that may be lurking around the area.

Moving away from Aitkin, MN and Molly the Mare to other North American big cat news

Big Kitty in a Big City
MyHighPlains
Police and animal control officers swarmed the Harrah's Casino in Reno, Nevada Friday after a wayward mountain lion was spotted near the building. Officers were able to subdue the lion with a tranquilizer dart. They later returned the big cat to the wild.

Rangers Shoot 1 Cougar In Boulder, Chase Off Another
KMGH Denver
Churchill said rangers still hope to later catch that mountain lion and place a tracking device on the big cat. The second mountain lion was spotted later that night, near Mapleton Avenue and 26th Street, about five blocks from where the first cougar ...

BC woman recounts 'surreal' cougar attack in her house
CBC.ca
Prime had only seconds to throw up her arms and legs to shield her face before the big cat attacked. "I moved to try and block myself, and it kind of jumped up and I screamed." Despite the animal's poor condition, it was still far from an even match ...

BC woman credits dog with saving her from cougar attack
Examiner.com
According to Tuesday's publication of the Toronto Sun, the hungry cat's plans were waylaid by a dog named "Vicious." Vicious, a border collie, preempted the big cat's imminent attack by chasing it out of the house, and up a hill. Angie Prime, Vicious ...

Lynden, Wash., 'cougar' sightings turn out to be big house cat
The Republic
LYNDEN, Wash. — Police in Lynden, Wash., say the multiple reports they received of a "cougar" sighting near the fairgrounds turned out to be a very muscular orange-colored domestic cat. Police Chief Jack Foster tells the Bellingham Herald ...

No more sightings of big cats
The Chronicle Journal
It's been almost a week since the last report of a big cat, possibly a cougar, prowling the city of Thunder Bay. There have been no sightings since last Tuesday of the animal which had been reported wandering the wooded areas near Lakehead University ...

Police: Cougar sightings in Lynden were false alarm
Bellingham Herald
That time an officer was able to get within a few feet of the animal at 3 p.m. and discovered it was, in fact, a big cat - a big domestic cat. From a distance, Foster acknowledged, the large feline did look like a cougar because of "the way the fur is ...

Cougar attacks alarm Vancouver Island farmers
CBC.ca
Big cat fearless. But farm owner Nigel Bass said he has seen a big cat on his property, and is concerned about its apparent fearlessness. “This was much bigger than I thought it would be and not terribly afraid of me,” Bass said. “It's a little bit of ...

The Moutain Lions And The Mobile Home Park
PetsLady.com
One of the cats escaped the Colorado Parks and Wildlife rangers hunting the pair and is still on the loose. Mountain Lion (Photo by Malcolm/Creative Commons via Wikimedia). One of the big cats was spotted at around 8 p.m. in the area of a back yard hot ...

Whatever one might think of the reaction of the American authorities to the burgeoning numbers of pumas across the country, their policy towards the much rarer US jaguars seems praiseworthy.

Jaguars will have an area of critical habitat established for them in SW ...
The Wildlife News
This is a big thing for the big cat that is a rare inhabitant of the SW U.S. The trouble is jaguars may not even inhabit the United States on a continuing basis. There is no doubt that they do from time to time. Photos from “trail cameras,” and the ...

Fish and Wildlife Service eyes more than 800,000 acres for jaguar ...
By Natasha Khan
Cronkite News. Big cat habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has identified 838,233 acres in Arizona and New Mexico as potential habitat for the endangered jaguar. The areas are: - About 138,975 acres in the Baboquivari Mountains, Arizona ...

And in Israel, sand cats have bred in a local zoo

4 Rare (and Adorable) Sand Cat Kittens Born in Israeli Zoo (Video)
Care2.com (blog)
Native to deserts in northern Africa and southwest and central Asia, the sand cat has evolved to survive in such a harsh climte and, says the site ZooBorns, can thrive in far drier environments than any other feline. Like the Fennec Fox, Sand Cats have ...

Rare Sand Cat Kittens Born In Israel
Global Animal
Rotem was paired with Sela, a male cat from Poland, as part of a European breeding program for sand cats, a species listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Sand cats typically give birth to an average of three ...
See all stories on this topic »

In India, the authorities are far more pragmatic about their big cats

A tiger killed a tribal woman trapped by forest ... - Big Cat Rescue
By BCR
MYSORE: A day after a tiger, which supposedly killed a tribal woman, was trapped by forest department officials using an elephant in Heggadadevana Kote on Sunday. The big cat has been shifted to Mysore zoo to treat injury on a front limb.

Leopard rescued after becoming impaled on metal railings
By arbroath
The female big cat, aged around 4 years, seems to have got struck while jumping over a 7-ft compound of the BEML factory, some 12 kms away from Mysore city in Tamil Nadu. The incident came to light after security personnel alerted forest ...

Man-eating tiger rescued in Mysore
Times of India
The big cat has been shifted to Mysore zoo to treat injury on a front limb. However, its condition is stable. The cat is suffering from an injury on its left front leg and it also has two healed wounds marks on its back. Authorities will later take a ...

Tiger cub dies during zoo exam at Assiniboine ... - Big Cat Rescue
By BCR
A baby tiger at Assiniboine Park Zoo has died. Reka, an Amur tiger, had just celebrated his first birthday July 29. He and his sister Sarma were born in the zoo to parents Baikal and Kendra. The animals are also known as Siberian tigers.

Ailing white tiger at Bokaro park dies
Daily Pioneer
A white big cat who was stuck by paralysis died at Jawaharlal Nehru Biological Park (JNB) in Bokaro Steel City on Saturday, officials informed. Thousand of animal lovers socked with the death as it's the second death of big cat at Bokaro Zoo this year ...

Bhimbar: Villagers shoot a leopard dead
The News International
Azad Jammu & Kashmir is home to two of the world's big cats, the common leopard (Panthera pardus) and the snow leopard (Uncia uncia), a cat so secretive few have been privileged enough to get a glimpse of it in the wild. Reportedly, the killing to an ...

Illegal lion shows go on for Gir tourists
Economic Times
Tour operators in Gir offer live cattle as bait to lions in order to to show tourists how the big cats hunt, which is illegal. RAJKOT: Wildlife activists have demanded a ban on illegal lion shows in Amreli district on the outskirts of Gujarat's Gir ...

And finally a bit of feline teratology..

Rare two-faced cat lives 12 years, sets record
First Coast News
"It's funny because people walk up to him thinking it's a nice, fluffy white cat and they're walking up with a big smile on their face to pat him, like, 'Oh, what a beautiful cat' and I see a look of horror come over their faces when they actually see ...

Two-faced cat pics: Venus the chimera cat is not a Photoshop creation
Zap2it.com (blog)
Venus even posts on her own Facebook page, where she calls her owners "Mommy" and "Daddy," which might be a little annoying if she weren't just 3 years old -- and a cat. Her owner writes in ... She acts like a big baby in the way that she loves to be ...

Meet Venus the famous two-faced cat who's winning fans world-wide
Daily Mail
Venus' proud owner describes her lovingly as a 'gentle' and 'perfect' pet with a deceptively big appetite. 'As tiny as she is she likes to pick the giant pieces of food from the dog food bowl rather than eat her cat food,' the owner writes on Venus ...

Master of disguise! Check out amazing pics and video of the cat with TWO FACES
Mirror.co.uk
The chimera tabby has 22,000 Facebook fans after her proud owner created a page on the social networking site dedicated to her "gentle" and "perfect" pet with a deceptively big appetite. And a home video of this very special master of disguise has ...