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Friday, August 11, 2017

Big Cat Sightings - Gloucestershire

The mystery big cat sightings coming from England are almost getting too numerous to keep track of, though I'm going to as best as I can.

So in this post, here are three new reports from Gloucestershire.

First, a report of a "growling big cat" reported on Gloucestershire Live on Aug. 4th. "It was pretty scary - and they all saw the creature, said a witness."

"Seven people were stalked by a 'growling' big cat for more than a mile - and they are all adamant about what they saw.
"The 'panther'-like creature followed the group from Woodchester Park boathouse to the car park, a distance of 1.3 miles, after they became lost.
"One of the group contacted Gloucestershire big cat tracker Frank Turnbridge after we ran a story last week of what appeared to be a big cat roaming near Stroud.
"'I have seen the big black panther - it was a panther, it was as clear as day,' she said.
"'Myself my partner and about five others were walking up Woodchester Park and we got lost in the woods and found ourselves back at the cars at 11pm.
"'On our way back up the drive we saw yellow eyes in the trees, like it was following us. There was a growl the closer we got to the cars at that point we got scared and ran to the cars and put the lights on - there it was right in front of us. It then jumped over the fence in to the long grass where it seemed to be stalking us, growling.


"'We were trying to get a picture but it was just too dark. This was only four weeks ago and again last week we saw the same eyes in the tree line, deeper in by the lakes. It was not a puma, as it was too small 0 it was black with yellow eyes and slinked like a moggy.
 "'It was a big cat - no other animal can move like it.'"

 The cat was first spotted when the people were in the boat house, and proceeded to follow them back to the car.

Mr. Turnbridge, the big cat tracker, said: "It was probably just seeing them off. It could have had cubs, who knows? They were there late at night and the cat would have laid low during the day."
Frank Turnbridge
(GloucestershireLive)
In July, a photograph was taken at Gloucestershire that may show the tail end of a big cat.

Gloucestershire Live said:

 "Cameras set up to catch an elusive big cat near Stroud have captured the moment an animal appears to return to the area a year later.
"Andy Rule and wife Claire set up the trip camera at a secret site near Stroud and caught several fleeting images of what could be the elusive massive moggy - and this week, it seems to have returned.
"'It is only the hind quarter but the typical hook tail is obvious,' said Andy. 'It's the same camera but this time at 4am.'
"The couple put up the cameras three-and-a-half years ago and in July last year captured three images at 10.30pm one evening.
"The contacted big cat tracker Frank Turnbridge after reading about an image he captured on a similar camera near Stroud.
"'It's quite a good picture,' said Mr Turnbridge, who has been tracking big cats across Gloucestershire and beyond for decades.
"'It does appear to be the same creature which was pictured last year and it has the tell-tale hooked 'hockey stick' tail.
"'The only dog which has that is a greyhound and this animal is too big for that.
"'It's most probably a hybrid, perhaps a cross of a leopard and a puma. I think it's a convincing still shot.
"'Put it like this - if it's not a cat, what is it?'
"He said fellow big cat tracker Rick Minter recorded 16 possible sightings from visitors to Stroud Country Show on Saturday.
"Hundreds of suspected big cat sightings have been reported to Mr Turnbridge over the years, including a black cat-like creature captured on video near Stround after deer kills nearby in Woodchester Park and Dursley.
"The remains were tested for DNA by Warwick University for the National Trust but academics said no cat DNA was found, just foxes'.
"Woodland near Taynton in the Forest of Dean between Cinderford and the Speech House are areas a suspected sightings.
"Anyone who believes they may have seen a big cat can contact Mr Turnbridge on 07711 476 715 or send an email to frankturnbridge@hotmail.co.uk."
Tail of a big cat?

An lastly, another sighting, in the same general area near the Forest of Dean, reported on Gloucestershire Live on August 9th:


Susan Pearl, witness
(GL)

"Care worker Susan Pearl claims she saw a black panther sunning itself in the undergrowth near a Gloucestershire visitor attraction.
The 65-year-old, from Churchtown, says she was shocked when she whistled at what she originally thought was a large black Labrador in a small area of trees and bushes and it turned its head to reveal the face of a big cat.
"She says she was so frightened that she ran down the path and into the cafe at Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean where a ranger in a 'Crocodile Dundee' style hat tried to calm her down and showed her images on the interned to try and identify what she had seen. 
"'I thought it was a black Labrador but when it turned round it had a flat face like a cat and a tail shaped like a hockey stick,' said Susan who was brought up on a farm near Hartpury.
"'It was about 200 yards away and I had whistled at it so I panicked and ran like hell down the path.
"'When I told people what it had happened, somebody in the cafe asked if I was sure it wasn't a boar, but I'm a farmer's daughter so I know what a pig looks like. I can tell a cat from a boar.
"'After looking into it, I'm 99 percent sure its as a panther. And before you ask, no, I'm not mad and the only thing I had drunk on that particular day was coffee.'
"After the stranger told her three had been many sightings in the Forest and it was probably an adolescent male panther forced from the park, she contacted big cat man Frank Turnbridge from Gloucester.
"'It's a very credible sighting but I don't think people visiting the caves have anything to panic about because they stay on the move,' he said of the sighting about two weeks ago. 'It has probably long gone by now.
"'There have been lots of sightings in the Forest over the years because it has all the prey, water and cover they need. Not many people see them because they are very elusive and silent. Those that do don't like to say anything in case they are mocked.
"'As far as I am concerned there is no doubt about it. There are big cats in the Forest of Dean and I understand that in 2003 rangers using thermal imaging for a deer census caught a big cat on camera.'
"Mr Turnbridge recently dealt with two sightings near Stroud and says he gets reports at least once every three months.
"He believes they are hybrids of the dangerous animals released into the wild decades ago following strict laws banning them from domestic settings and that the authors stay silent because they don't want to frighten the public.
"Only last year he had a report of a big cat chasing a dog near the Dilke Hospital at Cinderford and another of a sighting near a picnic spot.
"Jonathan Wright of Clearwell Caves said: 'We do have a feral black cat at the caves, but it's quite a small one. When they were clearing the barns out after foot and mouth seven cats came up here and those that could no be re-homed lived in our railway carriage for a time.
"'There's only one left now. He's called Sid. He's black but he's certainly not a panther or Lynx. However i accept people do see things in the Forest of Dean that cannot be explained and a lot of people say they have seen big cats in the past.
"'Who knows? However I don't think people should be worried because I'm around that area a lot and I've never seen one.'
"Susan said: 'It was very exciting exhilarating. The last time I saw something nearly so exciting was when I went to the Grand Canyon.'
"Anyone who believes they may have seen a big cat can contact Mr Turnbridge on 08811 476 715 or send an email to frankturnbridge@hotmail.co.uk."

It seems as though the big cat sightings in England show no sign of stopping anytime soon…


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