Thursday, 15 January 2009

Big cats in Forest of Dean

The Forestry Commission has revealed recently that there have been two reliable and confirmed sightings of large cats in the Forest of Dean. The information relates to sightings back in 2002 and 2005 and has only been revealed under the Freedom of Information Act.

Rangers using thermal imaging equipment saw large cats during deer census work and Deputy surveyor Rob Guest has said that they are reliable sightings. But Mr Guest said there was no sign of large cats during the most recent deer census in March 2008.

Despite lack of conclusive photographic evidence of big cats in the county, Gloucestershire police believe there are pairs living in the Forest of Dean and around the Cirencester area. The force has a wildlife and environmental crime officer, Mark Robson, who has been documenting sightings since 2002. He said the Forestry Commission sightings were credible.

I find this stuff really interesting and would love to see one for myself - then there would be a chance to track it! I live in hope of one day seeing the Exmoor Beast.

Let me know if any of you have seen large cats here in the UK or in places, you think they shouldn't be, elsewhere in the world.


Mungo Says Bah! said...

What sort of large cats? I know they wouldn't be big old tigers or anything... but I know there have been reports of Cougars/Pumas in Ontario where I live.

Jon said...

Generally, here in the UK, people believe that most of the sightings have been of Panther/Puma. There has been confirmed sightings and at least one kill for Lynx too.

Smaller, non native cats include caracal, where there has been good circumstantial evidence of their existence here.

Recently, there was a cheetah roaming around for a short while but that had escaped from a zoo!

I would dearly love to see one for myself and get some decent tracks. One day, eh!

Cheers Mungo

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


Have you heard Robert Bucknell being interviewed about big cats in the UK? It son james blog

sorry i cant remember which of the pod casts it is, but they're all good listening