‘Harmless’ big cats ‘scavenging for food like foxes’ in UK countryside

Reports of sightings of ground predators continue across the British countryside (Photo: SWNS)

One expert has claimed that more people may be encountering ‘harmless’ big cats in the British countryside as they appear to be getting bolder after lockdown.

Scenes of predators are still reported across the country, with cats said to forage for food “like foxes”.

A man recently described his unusual encounter with a “large sand-colored cat with black stripes and black-headed ears” during a short trip in Devon.

But he’s not the only one – a number of large felines have been seen across Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Frank Tunbridge, who studies big cats, told Gloucestershire Live that they are ‘often seen near towns and villages’ and that the huge deer populations in the Southwest are the main source of their prey.

The 74-year-old has received dozens of emails and calls to report sightings of large cats throughout Gloucestershire and beyond. He believes the animals are now part of a “diverse, exotic wildlife”.

“For the majority of the British public,” he said, “the idea of ​​large predatory cats similar in their description to a black leopard or a puma stalking through our forests and fields is incredible.”

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However, for a witness who has observed one of these elusive and hidden creatures in close quarters, the experience is unforgettable and lives on with them forever.

The topic of ‘big cats’ living and thriving within the UK has been going on for decades now without satisfactory outcome, although the evidence for their existence is overwhelming.

“Facts like confirmed DNA, deer were killed and consumed in a certain way and signs of big cat claws.”

But Tunbridge stressed that “there can be no doubt” that over the years these animals have ended up in the wild after being released or escaping from private groups.

A mother of three captured stunning footage of a large cat lurking on farmland near homes in Rutland (Image: SWNS)

A mother of three captured footage of a ‘big cat’ on farmland near homes in Rutland (Image: SWNS)

Last year, sightings of a large cat in north London led police to launch a search to try to track it down.

Although they are not native to England, the expert said they intermarried and spread secretly to become naturalized.

Tanbridge added that Somerset, along with two other counties, has become a hotspot for reported sightings.

“Many of these big cats are hybrids that are now breeding correctly,” he said.

“Up to 70% of the reports I have received refer to this fact in their description of the cat.”

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