Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Did 'big cat' eat domestic cat ?


Left, one of several photo's taken by Sara Hill of eaten domestic cat.


SYDENHAM: Panther could be to blame for 'savage' death of pet cat
3:50pm Monday 28th September 2009
By Dan Keel

A PANTHER is feared to be on the loose after a mother-of-three stumbled across a pet cat which had been "savaged" and eaten.
Sara Hill, 32, made the grim discovery on Saturday during her daily walk around Sydenham's Southend Park with her two dogs and eight-month-old son, Archie.
A cat, still wearing its collar, was lying in the middle of a footpath and had been stripped of its fur, skin and flesh. Only its head and feet remained untouched.
The horse groomer who lives in Bellingham, said: "As I walked up to it I thought it was an old jumper - but then as I got closer I suddenly realised what it was.
"It's one of the most horrific things I've seen. I am a country girl and have seen a lot of dead animals and have plucked chickens - but I wasn't prepared for this.
"The poor thing had been completely savaged. There is no way a dog did it, as it would have been ripped apart. And a fox would have taken it away."
Miss Hill sent News Shopper some photos of the body which can be seen by clicking on the link below.
We passed them to full-time big cat researcher Neil Arnold, who has been studying cat sightings in the area for more than 20 years.
He said: "It looks very much like a large cat would carry out this type of kill, especially when comparing it to other kills I've examined over the years.
"The main animal seen around Sydenham, Penge, Norwood and Bromley is a black leopard - or panther.
"I've seen a black leopard three times locally, and have evidence such as livestock kills, faeces and paw-prints. But kills of animals are the best evidence."
He added: "When a leopard kills, it kills only to eat, to survive, and will rasp away fur with a sandpaper like tongue leaving a very clean kill.
"Domestic cats are on the menu although preferred prey is pigeon, pheasant, rabbit, rats, mice, and also larger prey such as deer and sheep.
"A black leopard mainly hunts at night and a cat seen around Sydenham could also travel to Sidcup, Welling, Dartford, via Orpington, Sidcup, Crayford, Hayes - all areas where a black leopard has been seen."
Mr Arnold also said black leopards are no threat to humans unless cornered, provoked or injured.

2 comments:

Andrew D. Gable said...

Wow. That is really quite a vile thing to just stumble upon. Rather like blundering into a place where Jack the Ripper had had his fun.

Lesley said...

It is hard for me to look at that photo, but I must comment. A couple months ago my cat was killed by what we call a bobcat. They are normally around 30 - 40 lbs, so not as big as say a cougar. The remains of my cat were very much like what is in the photo, the top part of the body pretty much untouched. Anyhow, judging by that experience I would say that cat in the photo was attacked by a larger cat of some sort -- certainly not a domestic cat.