Wednesday 11 July 2007

High Wycombe Leopard

For the record, such an article is a good example at how inadequate reporters can be when covering 'big cat' stories. There has always been confusion for the press when identifying cat species, yet it's not a difficult task to undertakle when we consider that only three species of large cat are commonly sighted throughout the UK, the black leopard, the puma and the lynx, none of these resembling one another.

The mysterious Beast of Bucks has been spotted again by a couple near Hazlemere.
A large cat-like animal was seen by Suzanne Young, 19, of Quarrendon Road, Amersham, and her partner Matthew Tucker, 19, of Orchard Lane, Amersham, as they were driving back along Amersham Road from a night out in High Wycombe.
Suzanne, a secretary for Balfour Beatty in Manchester, said: "All of a sudden a very big cat trotted out in front of our car from one side of the road. We'd slowed down for a bend and saw a black blob on one side of the road.
"At first we thought it was a fox until our headlamps hit it. Once this happened it sprinted the rest of the way to the other side of the road. When we saw it in the light we realised it was far too big to be a fox, or even a dog. We weren't drunk as we were driving."
The couple went back to the scene of their sighting, just before the turning for Gravelly Way, on Sunday, and found some large paw prints in Common Wood, near Tylers Green.
"It was more for the sake of our sanity than anything else," Suzanne added.
"When we saw it in the light we realised it was far too big to be a fox, or even a dog."
Suzanne told the South Bucks Star that the creature she saw was about 3ft to 4ft tall, jet black, with a long tail.
She believes it to be the infamous "Beast of Bucks" although added that other people's accounts of it have sometimes differed.
She said: "A few older people I know have claimed to have seen it, like my grandad.
"This was definitely more like a puma than a panther."
Six years ago animal specialist Trevor Smith was called to help police after they took plaster casts of paw prints found on Wycombe Heights Golf Course, in Rayners Avenue, Loudwater. Experts confirmed that the tracks belonged to a young puma.
In February last year café owner Heather Brown told the Star how she spotted the giant feline while walking in the Chequers estate, near Princes Risborough. And a dog walker said he saw it on The Rye, High Wycombe, earlier this year.
Zoologists believe many exotic cats were released into the wild when the Dangerous Wild Animals Act was passed in 1976 and owners could no longer keep them as pets.
2:00am Friday 6th July 2007 (This Is Local London)

A deadly Scorpion

Escape of the snake