Do Big Wild Cats Britain?
Over the years many people have reported seeing big wild cats roaming about in the British countryside. Whilst it is entirely possible that a puma or leopard could survive in Britain, nobody has managed to provide conclusive proof of their existence. The discovery of a big cat is infinitely more likely than stumbling across the Loch Ness Monster. But if such a creature exists it does seem odd that no footage has yet emerged.
The Beast of Bodmin
Since the 1970’s there have been several sightings of big wild cats in the vicinity of Bodmin Moor. The mystery animals have been blamed for killing livestock in the area. However, the only photographs to emerge have been shown to be nothing more threatening than domestic moggies. Some people are convinced that there is at least one big cat at large in the area whilst others are sure that the Beast of Bodmin is a myth.
But now Benjamin Mee, the owner of Dartmoor Zoo, has added to the intrigue by claiming that three pumas were released into the wild in the 1970s.
Three Beasts of Bodmin
Mee has said that five pumas were on their way to the zoo in 1978 after Plymouth Zoo was forced to close down. But when the shipment arrived at Dartmoor zoo there were only two pumas in the cage. Mee has said that he doesn’t know what happened to the other three animals but that there were rumours that their owner, Mary Chipperfield, had released them deliberately. Mee only purchased Dartmoor Zoo in 2006 and so was not in charge at the time of the incident.
“I have no knowledge of the circumstances. But at the time there were three pumas that should have been here at Dartmoor Zoo that were not.” He commented.
Released or Escaped?
Mee says that the former owner of Dartmoor Zoo had claimed that Mary Chipperfield had said that she had broken down whilst transporting the cats and that three had escaped. She didn’t have to report the loss because the releasing of exotic species wasn’t illegal at the time.
Mary Chipperfield died in 2014 but her husband has dismissed the story and has said that the couple had never had any dealings with Dartmoor Zoo. The mystery continues!
The Beast of Bedfordshire
Meanwhile a dog walker has reported seeing a big cat in Bedfordshire. He has described the animal as being black and the size of a Labrador. The creature crossed the path in front of him. Checks have been made to see if there are any missing animals in the area but none have been reported. The police are unable to do anything about the incident unless the cat is seen again. Will the Beast of Bedfordshire prove to be as elusive as his West Country cousin?
With so many reported sightings of big cats it is hard to believe that all of the witnesses were mistaken. On the other hand, you would think that some evidence would have emerged by now if these animals really existed. The plot thickens.