A number of people have written into the Gazette in regards to various big cat sightings which have happened over the years.
The interest with big cat sightings has reached a new milestone as podcast, “Big Cat Conversations”, celebrated its 100th episode. The podcast, which features guests from the county, delves into personal encounters with these elusive creatures in Britain.
Marking the centenary episode, a special gathering was held at the Royal Oak pub in Much Marcle, Herefordshire, where witnesses and guests convened for a live recording.
Rick Minter, the podcast’s host, shared, “All these cats predominantly prey on deer and rabbits, leading a stress-free life undercover in Britain.” He emphasised the importance of witness accounts, stating, “Hearing from people on the podcast is a helpful start - we can learn about the behaviour of these animals from detailed accounts.”
Reports on the podcast have been diverse and intriguing. They include sightings of a panther cornering a fox, a giant black cat feasting on young grey squirrels up a tree, panthers crossing roads, black leopard-like cats seen with presumed cubs, tan-coloured pumas hunting, and cats resembling the Eurasian lynx, Britain’s former native large cat.
Rick added, “Some witnesses are so close to the cat, there’s no doubt about what they saw. In a quarter of the cases, a spooked dog or horse accompanies the witness, indicating that it’s not just humans who react to these big cats.”
Local episodes have featured a former gamekeeper and a horse owner who discussed marks on their horse, which a vet confirmed were likely from a big cat. Rick reassured, “Cases of big cats causing hassle are rare. Most people respect the cats for living their secret lives, adapting well to the British landscape.”
For those intrigued by these mysterious creatures, episodes can be found at bigcatconversations.com/episodes.
BBC presenter Clare Balding had reported an “enormous” predator sighting while recording her BBC Radio 4 programme “Ramblings” near Ross-on-Wye. This revelation adds to the growing list of big cat sightings across Britain, a phenomenon that has intrigued the nation for decades.