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Thoughts on the UK Lion

Posted by: Nick Redfern on August 27th, 2012

As you’ll see, Loren has already done a post alerting people to the “Lion” sighting in Essex, England. I don’t doubt, at all, that there are large, exotic cats roaming the UK. But a lion? Really?

Since sightings of big, exotic, and out of place cats have been reported in the UK for decades (maybe even longer), this suggests they are breeding. That is, unless each and every one represents a stand-alone escapee/release from a private zoo, etc., which I don’t believe in the slightest.

So, if they are breeding, why aren’t people reporting lions, specifically, more often? Yes, many people in the UK have reported sightings of larger than normal cats, but very often they are of what sound like cougars, lynx, and, as they have become known, “black panthers.”

That these animals have been seen for decades, is a strong possibility/probability that they are breeding.

But a strictly one-off encounter with a lion – and with no other long-term, extensive sightings of other lions in the UK on file, the very occasional one aside – suggests either an escapee, or that the witnesses saw something legitimate, but perhaps a cougar – which would fit the bill of many of the UK cases.

If this turns out to be a real lion, and 100 percent evidence for its existence surfaces, I’ll eat my MIB Fedora hat!

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


5 Responses to “Thoughts on the UK Lion”

  1. Goodfoot responds:

    Unless there is a paranormal aspect to the sightings, that is…

  2. graybear responds:

    In the rush to identify the ‘lions’ that are being seen as cougars, panthers and other big (but not lion sized) cats has anyone given any thought to just how much like a really hefty domestic cat or a smaller ‘big cat’ a lion cub or lion juvenile looks?

  3. Goodfoot responds:

    You mean big cats that are not seen as “lions”? ‘Cause a domestic cat with a mane would be a scary thing to see….

  4. Terrell H King responds:

    This is the phenomenon of ignorant (not intended in a perjorative sense) eye witnesses/long-distance observers comparing a cryptid to the closest animal, monster or mythical creature within the scope of their knowledge.

    I think it is pretty clear from the available photograph and descriptions that this was a Eurasian lynx. They have been reported and even shot before in the British Isles, yet experts from a local zoo could not draw this simple conclusion – this only fuels cover-up stories related to big cats in the UK, which I think the government is well aware of but prefers the tabloids to turn into a media circus.

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    If the ear-witness is correct and the animal “roared,” that is an auditory behavior for a felid that is a lion. Not a lynx. Not a cougar/puma. Not a domestic cat.

    If photographic evidence demonstrates otherwise, I’d like to see the photo. Please email it to me at lcoleman [@] maine.rr.com Thank you.

    Lions are a lot more common as captives, escapees, and in the wild, I would conjecture, than fantasy cougars in the UK. If there are modern holdouts of Pleistocene Panthera atrox, surviving cave lions, or relict Eurasian lions in the UK, they would roar too.

    A breeding, escapee population of cougars/pumas/mountain lions (which scream, but do not roar) in the UK are the “new circus trains” of felid cryptid explanations.



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