Big cats in Britain - is this article accurate?

That is always a fair question. And it is equally fair for us to say we want some evidence. We have heaps of big cat reports here in Australia, too. I do follow ups on them. The most recent had a photo in the paper - looked mightly big - and the added evidence of an extraordinarily long tail which was sent for DNA analysis. Lots of news coverage. Big Cat Story

I was immediately suspicious that the DNA tests were being done overseas. Hey, we’re not that primitive! In the end, they were done here.

What didn’t get much coverage was the follow ups. I did the ABC radio interviews as the skeptic - always a lousy role to have to take - and insisted on the results of the DNA tests. The photo was an optical illusion - as was suggested by Dopers here - there was no reliable reference point. And the DNA was feral domestic cat. A very, very big moggie resulting from released pets.

We skeptics would LOVE to see a new species discovered or a genuine alien visitation. That would be great fun! All we ask for is evidence!


My first attempt at a link on the Straight Dope and I goofed. Try again:

Big Cat Story


I apologise for not reading the Wikipedia article in full.
I saw the article started by mentioning theories such as ‘Survivors from the prehistoric past’, ‘Supernatural or imaginary creatures’ and ‘A species unknown to science’ and assumed there was no physical evidence.
But I now see lower down that some cats have been captured.
(Admittedly some of these had escaped from from zoos or breeding facilities.)

And rabbits in Australia. :eek:

My point is that eye-witness accounts are not very accurate and should not be relied upon. I don’t think the police will prosecute in this country on eye-witness evidence alone, and the massive numbers of UFO sightings which later are proved mistaken is an excellent example of this.

I accpet the evidence shows there are a few big cats at large in the UK. But it’s the physical evidence that persuaded me of that, not the eye-witnesses.

What about the archeological evidence of lions up to Roman times? Does that count?