Big Cat – Devon ‘Beast’ (Update)

Following on from our recent post concerning discovery of a non-native specimen found hidden away in a Bristol museum that was shot in 1903, the piece has since been reported on the BBC News website with visual footage, rather than just audio.

BBC News – ‘Big cat’ Canadian lynx was on the loose in UK in 1903

The piece provides evidence of large cats being able to exist in the English countryside – and certainly pre-dates the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act that is often cited as being a key event associated with the presence/existence (or not?) of such animals.

The discovery of the specimen lead to the publication of an article in the journal ‘Historical Biology‘ by Max Blake et al.

On a related matter, SNH have recently published a report concerning their monitoring of Britain’s endangered Scottish Wildcat. Tracking and obtaining credible evidence is frequently raised as being a particular issue with regard to any non-native ‘beasts’. This report details methods and also raises issues concerning health, hybridisation and fragmentation of the species.

It also mentions that “no cat carcasses were found” – something that many sceptics highlight as a particular issue – despite there being an recognised population.