Following on from our recent post concerning discovery of a non-native specimen found hidden away in a Bristol museum that was shot in 1903, the piece has since been reported on the BBC News website with visual footage, rather than just audio.
The piece provides evidence of large cats being able to exist in the English countryside – and certainly pre-dates the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act that is often cited as being a key event associated with the presence/existence (or not?) of such animals.
The discovery of the specimen lead to the publication of an article in the journal ‘Historical Biology‘ by Max Blake et al.
On a related matter, SNH have recently published a report concerning their monitoring of Britain’s endangered Scottish Wildcat. Tracking and obtaining credible evidence is frequently raised as being a particular issue with regard to any non-native ‘beasts’. This report details methods and also raises issues concerning health, hybridisation and fragmentation of the species.
It also mentions that “no cat carcasses were found” – something that many sceptics highlight as a particular issue – despite there being an recognised population.