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5931 Big Cat UK Sightings

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 17th, 2006

Mon 18 Sep 2006

It’s a jungle out there as exotic beast sightings in UK soar
AMANDA BROWN

MORE than 10,000 sightings of wild and exotic animals have been reported in the UK since 2000, and the figure is set to grow, according to a new study.

Some 5,931 sightings of big cats, 332 of wild boars and 3,389 of sharks have been reported.

The British Big Cat Society has reported a dramatic increase in sightings of the creatures in recent years, with 2004-5 figures already up 3.5 per cent on the previous year’s study.

Animal sightings since 2000 also include 51 wallabies, 43 snakes, 15 owls, 13 dangerous spiders – including a tarantula and a Black Widow – 13 racoons, ten crocodiles, seven wolves, four eagles, three pandas, two scorpions and one penguin.

Chris Mullins, founder and co-ordinator of Beastwatch UK, who compiled the data, said: “Since the start of our organisation [in 2001], the number of reports has increased at a rapid rate, including monkeys stolen from zoos and private collections to colonies of wallabies and wild boar – and more unusual reports such as a chinchilla found in a post box, to a piranha in the Thames.

“It is clear that the UK contains far more exotic wild animals than the British public could ever imagine.”

Exotic animal sightings have increased as a result of climate change, zoo thefts and animal escapes.

The south-west of England is the big-cat hotspot, while wild inhabitants of Leicestershire include numerous racoons. And in Oban, several monkeys have been sighted in the area.

http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=1376922006

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


9 Responses to “5931 Big Cat UK Sightings”

  1. Lyndon responds:

    Sharks? I’m a bit confused there. Sharks are part of our ‘natural’ fauna.

    Still, the almost 6,000 big cat sightings makes for an impressive statistic.

  2. MrInspector responds:

    “also include 51 wallabies, 43 snakes, 15 owls, 13 dangerous spiders – including a tarantula and a Black Widow – 13 racoons, ten crocodiles, seven wolves, four eagles, three pandas, two scorpions and one penguin.” …and a partridge in a pear tree.. I can see some of these animals set loose or escaped, some accidental imports, but a panda? That’s not like a bees nest, or spider egg sheath, or hardwood lumber with ants or scorpions in it. It’s a freaking panda! Three no less! Does anyone know if that’s three pandas or three sightings of the same panda?

  3. dhricenak responds:

    Also were they giant or red pandas?

  4. bongothemonkey responds:

    red panda sightings due to this fella.
    :)

  5. Sky King responds:

    Whoa! Just a minute here. What is exotic, exactly, about sharks and wild boars? You wouldn’t expect or enjoy either in your back yard, but they’re both well-known critters.

    That’s a sizeable number of big cats. I wish they’d broken down the number of melanistic panther sightings from the main category.

  6. sausage1 responds:

    I’ve twice seen a big cat in Norfolk, and considered myself lucky. But I pale into insignificance to the lucky sorts who saw a PENGUIN! I mean to say, a penguin??

    A penguin??????

    And who did they tell?

  7. Lyndon responds:

    “”But I pale into insignificance to the lucky sorts who saw a PENGUIN! I mean to say, a penguin??

    A penguin??????

    And who did they tell?””

    The penguin police???

  8. UKCryptid responds:

    Before the usual ‘why do people get excited by big cats etc in Britain’ comments begin, remember that our largest living predators here are foxes and badgers basically. We wiped out cats like the Lynx some time ago (‘probably’) and wolves etc. I’m a big cat and wild boar witness myself, two different species of cat for certain and I love hearing about all this stuff. The boar was the largest animal I’ve ever seen outside of a zoo. I’m in the kent area of south east england where sightings of various animals come in quite regularly, not as much as the west country though. Thanks for posting this!

  9. brineblank responds:

    Interesting stats…since the exotic pet trade is booming (both legally and illegally) I’m surprised that there aren’t even more reports of strange creatures popping up…Considering the large areas of unpopulated/mildly populated regions, they have lots of place to go and reproduce and build up some reserves before spreading out (providing the ability to survive the climate changes). I was shocked to hear about the species that have run wild in Florida. Here in central Ohio there were reports for several months about a lion on the loose (not sure if anything made it to this site or not).



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