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Still Waters

'Closest sighting yet' of big cat in UK

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A former police officer has described his close encounter with what he believes is a puma or panther roaming wild in Pembrokeshire.

Michael Disney said the animal passed just in front of his car near the village of Treffgarne on Wednesday.

He said he was "100% certain" it was a "puma or panther-like animal."

The council called it "the closest anyone has been to a big cat" and "further proof" that they are roaming the county.

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I wonder if it was because he said he was five metres away from the cat or the fact he was an ex- cop which made his account more believable than others before him. :rolleyes:

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Unfortunate surname, could be a fairytale...

So he had this in full view for 5-6 seconds at a close distance of 5m yet the best he could do was to observe that is was "a puma or panther-like animal"? I've had a puma bound across the road in front of my car at around the same distance, and I could tell it was a puma, not this continuous ridiculous witness and/or media reporting of "puma-like" or "panther-like" animals.

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Very elusive. Id say theres a big cat out there all right. They should trap it before it goes after a child.

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Disney? Sounds a bit of a Mickey Mouse story to me.

Ho.

But seriously, this is one of the phenomena that always please me. There's undeniably Something, and it always amuses me to see those who always want to find a prosaic explanation for everything always searching through their usual repertoire of Rational Explanations; "it's an Escaped Exotic Pet" is a favourite; "it's a misidentification of a well-fed domestic moggy" is another, "no, it's a misidentification of a Black Labrador". :rolleyes:

Or maybe it's plasma.

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Unfortunate surname, could be a fairytale...

So he had this in full view for 5-6 seconds at a close distance of 5m yet the best he could do was to observe that is was "a puma or panther-like animal"? I've had a puma bound across the road in front of my car at around the same distance, and I could tell it was a puma, not this continuous ridiculous witness and/or media reporting of "puma-like" or "panther-like" animals.

But that's what I mean, if it was easy enough to identify it as something prosaic, then surely people would. (Particularly someone who was a police officer (and i'm not trying the "appeal to authority", surely a police officer is trained to remember details of something that they only catch a glimpse of)). Doesn't that suggest that there is something curious about it?

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Yeah he descibed it as plain as day.

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here kitty kitty kitty!!!

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Disney? Sounds a bit of a Mickey Mouse story to me.

Ho.

But seriously, this is one of the phenomena that always please me. There's undeniably Something, and it always amuses me to see those who always want to find a prosaic explanation for everything always searching through their usual repertoire of Rational Explanations; "it's an Escaped Exotic Pet" is a favourite; "it's a misidentification of a well-fed domestic moggy" is another, "no, it's a misidentification of a Black Labrador". :rolleyes:

Or maybe it's plasma.

Why are you opposed a rational explanation? Dont you think an escaped exotic is more likely then a species of large predator that frequents populated areas yet has so far escaped positve identification? The most parsimonious answer isnt dictated by our desire of the fantastic.

Do you want to know what it really was regardless of the answer? Or are you only interested if it is something new and unknown? Will it disappoint you if it is just an escaped pet of some sort?

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Why are you opposed a rational explanation? Dont you think an escaped exotic is more likely then a species of large predator that frequents populated areas yet has so far escaped positve identification? The most parsimonious answer isnt dictated by our desire of the fantastic.

Do you want to know what it really was regardless of the answer? Or are you only interested if it is something new and unknown? Will it disappoint you if it is just an escaped pet of some sort?

I think that the rational explanation has to be looked at just as critically as the esoteric suggestions. It's exactly the same as with UFOs, where the rational explanations sometimes leave as many holes as the ideas that they're so desperate to refute. Where do all thes supposed escaped exotic pets come from? Why do they escape so frequently? How do they survive? They'd have to cause enormous depradations in the local livestock population to have any hope of survival, particularly in winter. And why are they almost always black? Black big cats are naturally very, very unusual. And where do the supposed owners from whom they supposedly escape get them from in the first place, black panthers being so unusual?

All these are equally (the questions of food and why they're always black) just as much arguments against colonies of, or lone, big black cats roaming the English and Welsh countryside. As with UFOs, I don't think that the rational explanations really answer these questions very well; there's certainly something, but neither the escaped pets or the creatures living wild theories seem entirely satisfactory. So I do suspect that there may something more mysterious behind it. What, i could not say, but i don't think the prosaic offers entirely satisfactory answers.

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I think that the rational explanation has to be looked at just as critically as the esoteric suggestions. It's exactly the same as with UFOs, where the rational explanations sometimes leave as many holes as the ideas that they're so desperate to refute. Where do all thes supposed escaped exotic pets come from? Why do they escape so frequently? How do they survive? They'd have to cause enormous depradations in the local livestock population to have any hope of survival, particularly in winter. And why are they almost always black? Black big cats are naturally very, very unusual. And where do the supposed owners from whom they supposedly escape get them from in the first place, black panthers being so unusual?

All these are equally (the questions of food and why they're always black) just as much arguments against colonies of, or lone, big black cats roaming the English and Welsh countryside. As with UFOs, I don't think that the rational explanations really answer these questions very well; there's certainly something, but neither the escaped pets or the creatures living wild theories seem entirely satisfactory. So I do suspect that there may something more mysterious behind it. What, i could not say, but i don't think the prosaic offers entirely satisfactory answers.

Though some reports definatley seem like an animal was sighted, I think some of the sightings can be attributed to a person knowing of the big cat rumors and wishfull thinking. I agree with your predation point, either a wild cat or released exotic would need to eat. Im not sure how rare a black cat is but if it doesnt fit with the local surroundings then to me that indicates an animal that has been introduced rather than a native species.

Its surprises me that an effort to track the cats hasnt been done, or at least reported if it has. Im in BC and a couple of my friends have cougar hounds. Once they come across some tracks, depending on how new they are, they can usually track and tree the cougar. Does anyone know if any attempt has been made after a big cat sighting there?

Edited by vitruvian12

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That's the interesting thing, I think they have often tried to track them, using police dogs and expert trackers and what have you, but they never seem to get anywhere. They invariably seem to end up being, as experts so often seem to be, baffled. But if they were escaped pets, they'd probably not have much notion of survival in the wild - I'd have though they'd be relatively easy to track. So does that leave, either, misidentification (and that may well play a part, if, like you say, people hear rumours of exotic wild animals being around), colonies of animals living wild that have somehow managed to survive and avoid being tracked down so far, or.... something more mysterious? :unsure2:

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That's the interesting thing, I think they have often tried to track them, using police dogs and expert trackers and what have you, but they never seem to get anywhere. They invariably seem to end up being, as experts so often seem to be, baffled. But if they were escaped pets, they'd probably not have much notion of survival in the wild - I'd have though they'd be relatively easy to track. So does that leave, either, misidentification (and that may well play a part, if, like you say, people hear rumours of exotic wild animals being around), colonies of animals living wild that have somehow managed to survive and avoid being tracked down so far, or.... something more mysterious? :unsure2:

I think if you had the right dogs they should be able to track the cat, wild or domestic. It would be surprising if anyone actually had cougar hounds of any type ready to go there

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There have been a few efforts to track them and things like scratching posts and scat have been found. There are also usually "clumps" of sightings then nothing for a while which suggests to me a regular and easily accessible food supply which is occasionally cut off somehow hence the animal appearing regularly for a few days,probably hunting,and then disappearing again. I do think it is an escaped pet or one that was released because it got too big. The only problem i can see whit those theory is that it means someone knows they lost/released one. That someone's friends or family must surely know too, its pretty hard to hide a massive moggy id have thought, so its highly likely someone would have had a guilty conscience by now and talked. If it was from a zoo it would have been tracked and recaptured within hours like what happened at a zoo near me, ill try and find a link for it. But that's only likely not essential so i do think escaped pet is the answer.

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Or maybe it was smuggled into the country via the illegal animal trade then escaped or was just freed. The owners not wishing to have anything to do with it after that?

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But that's what I mean, if it was easy enough to identify it as something prosaic, then surely people would. (Particularly someone who was a police officer (and i'm not trying the "appeal to authority", surely a police officer is trained to remember details of something that they only catch a glimpse of)). Doesn't that suggest that there is something curious about it?

It certainly suggests the witness and/or media may be reporting the event badly. This was a narrow country road that a supposed big cat took 5-6 seconds to move across - was it moving in slow-mo? Or, it confirms that 'trained observers' are not as good as they are constantly given credit for.

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Beautiful

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No. Not beautiful. The witness said 5 or 6 seconds because thats how long it took. *refrains from laughter*

Edited by Evilution13

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Unfortunate surname, could be a fairytale...

So he had this in full view for 5-6 seconds at a close distance of 5m yet the best he could do was to observe that is was "a puma or panther-like animal"? I've had a puma bound across the road in front of my car at around the same distance, and I could tell it was a puma, not this continuous ridiculous witness and/or media reporting of "puma-like" or "panther-like" animals.

The officer was likely saying a panther like animal because he was afraid of ridicule and disbelief. Also if I'm not mistaken when these sightings first started occurring the army started trying to track them but was unsuccessful. It is likely an escaped pet but some of the points brought up do leave room for debate.

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Unfortunate surname, could be a fairytale...

So he had this in full view for 5-6 seconds at a close distance of 5m yet the best he could do was to observe that is was "a puma or panther-like animal"? I've had a puma bound across the road in front of my car at around the same distance, and I could tell it was a puma, not this continuous ridiculous witness and/or media reporting of "puma-like" or "panther-like" animals.

You're assuming that others would be knowlegable enough about big cats to know the difference.

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Very elusive. Id say theres a big cat out there all right. They should trap it before it goes after a child.

I totally agree, but it's a notoriously difficult task. They're very wary and will avoid a place if they 'smell a rat'.

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I totally agree, but it's a notoriously difficult task. They're very wary and will avoid a place if they 'smell a rat'.

Yeah I see. I havn't been following these cases so I wonder if there have been any alledged attacks on people over the years? I must google that up.

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Yeah I see. I havn't been following these cases so I wonder if there have been any alledged attacks on people over the years? I must google that up.

Yes, there's been one or two.

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it is a lot more believeable that there are big cats running loose in and around england and scotland than it is to believe in little green men is'nt it?

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You're assuming that others would be knowlegable enough about big cats to know the difference.

and that's a really BIG assumption. There are numerous hybrid over-size exotic cats like Savannah's and other Serval hybrids that seem like the simple, logical solution to this mystery.

savannah_cat_standing.jpg

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