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Creatures, Myths & Legends

DNA test confirms presence of predatory big cats in the UK

By T.K. Randall
May 16, 2023 · Comment icon 42 comments

It seems that there really are large cats wild in the UK. Image Credit: YouTube / SWNS / Josh Williams
A strand of hair found on a fence following a sheep attack suggests that there are large predatory cats prowling the countryside.
It's a phenomenon that has endured in the British Isles for decades - sightings of large cats such as panthers and lynxes (sometimes referred to as "alien big cats") that have somehow ended up surviving in the wilds of a country in which they do not belong.

Sightings of such creatures have produced a number of local legends in parts of England, such as the famous 'Beast of Bodmin Moor' which gained notoriety after a spate of incidents in 1978.

Now researchers investigating a mystery sheep attack in Gloucestershire have seemingly confirmed that large predatory cats really are roaming the British countryside by conducting a DNA test on a strand of hair found on a fence near to the site.

The research is part of efforts to film a new documentary - Panthera Britannia Declassified - about the phenomenon.
"The DNA was from hairs caught on a barbwire fence where there had been some unusual predatory activity," said Matthew Everett of Dragonfly Films.

"It's taken five years for the production team to find such evidence and film its journey from collection to analysis. People in Gloucestershire and Britain have described what appear to be black leopards for decades. So, a leopard DNA result from a black hair sample is unsurprising."

"This is not the first such DNA result and is unlikely to be the last."

Exactly how many such animals are roaming wild, however, remains unclear.

Source: Lad Bible | Comments (42)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #33 Posted by Alchopwn 11 months ago
Less cryptozoology, more crappy zoo maintenance.
Comment icon #34 Posted by Hammerclaw 11 months ago
It's always a red flag when big black felines are reported for long lengths of time. Black big cats are sports, rare in the wild and they don't breed true.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
Acknowledge your post and appreciate your position on it. My question to you then is, why do you think the mods have seen fit to have these specific items binned here in this sub forum?
Comment icon #36 Posted by papageorge1 11 months ago
I do not understand the question. What was binned by mods?
Comment icon #37 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
My apologies, I'll rephrase.  Why do you think the mods keep all these stories about big cat sightings and associated threads in the Crypto sub forum?
Comment icon #38 Posted by papageorge1 11 months ago
Oh, there is a tradition of calling these big cats in Britain cryptids although I don't think the term 'cryptozoology' is technically correct. If I release a giant kangaroo in Michigan, I wouldn't call it a cryptid. Nor a black panther in Leeds. Maybe before it's identified as a known species some could suspect the possibility of a true cryptid. But I was only making a technical point and these things are still fun to talk about. People here got overly jumpy because it's the notorious papageorge. I'm actually 
Comment icon #39 Posted by Trelane 11 months ago
Ok thanks, I understand. Thanks for responding.
Comment icon #40 Posted by openozy 11 months ago
With all the hype in the UK about big cats I'd be surprised if someone didn't plant the hair on the fence. The pic barely looks like a cat at all.
Comment icon #41 Posted by Resume 11 months ago
I'd be interested in a detailed provenance and chain of custody for the sample as it made it's way to the "anonymous" lab.
Comment icon #42 Posted by Unusual Tournament 11 months ago
Considering the time frame of 40 plus years of sightings, as many as can reproduce since I doubt big cats are periodically dumped into local forests. I just wanna say the impression I get from the UK is overcrowded. Why aren’t there any attacks on humans?

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