The Cullen Big Cat Corpse
Everyone wants to find a big cat body because its bones or DNA would prove whether big cats lived here !
In May last year, a dog walker called John Robertson found the body of a strange animal. The picture is a bit gross so you have to click on it to see it.
He said "We came across a horrible rotting smell which was this big cat. It looks like it's feasted on the seagulls and maybe it has fallen down the cliff nearby, injured itself and just lay there till it died. I'm sure we'll find out from the DNA tests what type of cat it is, but it certainly seems like one of the big cats." A lot of newspapers published the story and the pictures. (I got permission from the news agency SWNS for me to use the pictures, thanks SWNS !). Here's one of the mouth:
But there is one thing this animal could not have been, and that is a big cat. That is because this mystery animal has at least four cheek teeth on each jaw (cheek teeth are pre-molar or molar teeth which are the teeth at the back of the mouth after the big canine teeth). All cats, whether pussy cats or lions, just have three cheek teeth.
The Faslane Big Cat
The Cotswolds Big Cat
I didn't think this had been killed by a big cat, but had it been ? It was from a wood just a few miles from my house.
Anyway, the bodies of the animals were tested, and the only extra DNA found was from a fox. So while big cats might strip out the body and bite the snout, foxes sometimes do it too.
The Beast of Bodmin Moor
Alan Stewart, the Wildlife Crime Officer
Where I live there used to be a famous policeman called Alan Stewart who was in charge of the Wildlife Crimes Unit at Tayside Police for ages. He wrote a few books which I have. In his first book "Wildlife Detective", in 2007, in a chapter called "The Myth of The Big Cat" he wrote:
"I have never visited the location of a sighting where I have smelt anything that may indicate the presence of a big cat, or heard anything that resembled any sound made by a big cat, or even seen any mark that could have without doubt have been made by a big cat."
"In Wildlife Detective I devoted a chapter entitled "The Myth of the Big Cat" - to my extreme doubt that there are leopards, puma and lynx wandering the Tayside hills and glens. I have been sceptical of alleged sightings, and while I believe the reports are genuine I think they are mistaken. Until now !"
(You can buy copies of Mr Stewart's books here. They're really good)
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