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'Alien big cat' roamed UK over 100 years ago

Posted on Saturday, 27 April, 2013 | Comment icon 22 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 2.0 Art G.

Evidence has surfaced that suggests the British 'alien big cats' phenomenon is not a recent one.

Sightings of large predatory cats have been reported for years all over the UK and remain the subject of controversy and debate among experts. One theory to explain their presence is that when the 1976 Wild Animals Act was introduced, many owners of exotic pet cats decided to release them in to the wild. An analysis of the remains of a Canadian lynx dating back more than a century however is now helping to shed new light on the phenomenon.

"There have been enough sightings of exotic big cats which substantially pre-date 1976 to cast doubt on the idea that one piece of legislation made in 1976 explains all releases of these animals in the UK," said study co-author Dr Darren Naish. "It seems more likely that escapes and releases have occurred throughout history, and that this continual presence of aliens explains the 'British big cat' phenomenon."

"A new study has proved the carnivorous Canadian lynx roamed here at the turn of the 19th century after the beast's remains were unearthed in the vaults of a museum."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (22)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by ealdwita on 28 April, 2013, 19:53
Many wild animals (including big cats) were brought to the British Isles by the Romans. There's been quite a few sightings in the countryside where I live and I can remember at least two 'strange' livestock killings.
Comment icon #14 Posted by freetoroam on 28 April, 2013, 19:57
Exactly, it seems the team of scientists from four leading British universities have missed this.
Comment icon #15 Posted by ealdwita on 28 April, 2013, 20:03
Maybe they didn't miss it, but kept schtum in case they didn't qualify for more research grant money!
Comment icon #16 Posted by Lava_Lady on 1 May, 2013, 3:38
What's a moggie?
Comment icon #17 Posted by ealdwita on 1 May, 2013, 12:39
A common or mixed-breed cat. It seems to be from Maggie, the affectionate short form of Margaret. In the eighteenth century, this was applied as a name for a cow or calf. In the nineteenth century it could refer to an untidily dressed woman or slattern. It was only in the twentieth century that it became a pet name for a cat. How or why the sense shifted in this way is not understood.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 1 May, 2013, 20:44
i like the name alien big cat plus it looks really awesome and cool as well.anyway they are fascinating animals to look at from the looks of it has anybody captured one yet to study it safely and not harming it or changing its dna because i know there some scientist that mess and alter nature which is wrong and not ethical.but i figure the best way to truly know any wild animal is not by putting it in c age or etc but by seeing in its natural habitat and see how it truly lives you know.
Comment icon #19 Posted by freetoroam on 2 May, 2013, 20:57
Many sightings have been made in Dorset, they call them ABC for short.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Sundew on 11 May, 2013, 23:25
I wonder if the Romans brought wild animals to Briton during their conquest and released them upon leaving? It is unlikely any would have survived to the modern era.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Ad hoc on 29 May, 2013, 16:04
Hmm. Escapees sure, but I doubt that they have been breeding all these years. If that was the case, In a place like the England, with little woodland and limited prey, they'd be pushing up against humans and their livestock in no time, and attacks would be regular. I think if there was an established breeding population, there would be no doubt about their presence.
Comment icon #22 Posted by freetoroam on 29 May, 2013, 16:32
Most sightings are in Dorset and there is plenty of woodland and wildlife round there. But I would image many are a case of people letting loose their exotic pets and in some case of sightings is not a big cat at all.

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