Is this the beast of Woodchester - footage captures what appears to be a big cat in the woods

Is this the beast of Woodchester - footage captures what appears to be a big cat in the woods

Is this the beast of Woodchester - footage captures what appears to be a big cat in the woods

First published in News by , Reporter

NEW footage of what could be a jet-black big cat skulking through woodland in Nailsworth has fuelled fresh fears a predatory feline remains at large in the Five Valleys.


The image was taken using a trip camera and big cat expert Frank Tunbridge believes it shows a creature on a scale with a small leopard, about 42 inches in length.

His estimate was made in comparison with a photograph of a sizeable roe deer captured in the same spot a few nights later - clearly showing the animal to be larger than a domestic moggy.

"Adult roe deer are on average 70cm at the shoulder in height and the wooden steps down to the bench are 42 inches wide, which makes the cat pretty big," said Frank, who this week offered his expertise to several national newspapers after reports that a 'lion' was spotted in an Essex field.

"It is on a scale with a small leopard. They are one of the cat species with the largest range of sizes, from about 60lbs, or about as big as a Labrador, to ones in Africa hunting big game prey that can weigh up to 180lbs.


"I think this is a really good photo. Unfortunately it was moving so fast it is slightly blurred."

I believe there are a pair of big cats resident in Woodchester Park

Frank Tunbridge

The image was taken near to where the mutilated remains of a half-eaten deer was discovered just outside Woodchester Park at the start of the year - fuelling suggestions a big cat was on the prowl.


DNA tests on the carcass found only fox saliva but dozens of sightings continued to roll in from across Nailsworth and Woodchester, including a bizarre report of a 'pure white'  big cat in Chestnut Close in Nailsworth.

"Why people just cannot get there their head around it I do not know," added Frank, who said he still receives two to three reports of sightings in Gloucestershire each week. 

"These animals are wild and they are elusive - they stay out of sight.


"I had a report only a couple of weeks ago from a guy in Aston Down who said he saw a puma-type animal casually walking across a field - he could not believe it.


"I believe there are a pair of big cats resident in Woodchester Park. It is a massive area and there are woodlands and food and water in there."
 

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2:06pm Fri 31 Aug 12

valleys4life says...

Dear Frank, did you go back to this spot the next day and search for tracks left by this possible sighting of a big cat? If so, did you find any conclusive evidence? Also with so many sightings surely droppings could be found which could determine the breed? I'm no expert but aren't these the first things to look for when hunters or trackers search for animals?

Has anyone actually tried luring one of these beasts to some bait? They may be elusive, but I'm pretty sure tasty food will draw them out!

I don't want to criticise these stories too much as if there is a big cat out there, people ought to be aware of the latest sightings, but if we can't find any evidence we really should stop banging on about it. These stories have been running for years without any real evidence.
Dear Frank, did you go back to this spot the next day and search for tracks left by this possible sighting of a big cat? If so, did you find any conclusive evidence? Also with so many sightings surely droppings could be found which could determine the breed? I'm no expert but aren't these the first things to look for when hunters or trackers search for animals? Has anyone actually tried luring one of these beasts to some bait? They may be elusive, but I'm pretty sure tasty food will draw them out! I don't want to criticise these stories too much as if there is a big cat out there, people ought to be aware of the latest sightings, but if we can't find any evidence we really should stop banging on about it. These stories have been running for years without any real evidence. valleys4life
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