Shadow Cats on Bodmin Moor

From: Dom Twist (thazar@globalnet.co.uk)
Date: Sun 12 Mar 2000 - 00:59:02 EET


Alex Commenting on the Cats debate:-
>Trotsky and Richard Develyn:
> > That's why I said 'population'. A *single* cat released from a zoo
or
> >something, yes, fair enough.

>True, but it carries strong connotations of 'more than one', and perhaps
>of 'breeding population'.

>Is that 'a population of big cats' in the sense of 'at least half a
>dozen panthers'?

We're probably talking Puma rather than Black Leopards.....

>If they did exist, there would certainly be issues with the population
>density, and hence the likelihood of them bumping into each other at
>'appropriate' times, due to the relative rarity of herds of wildebeest
>on british muirs.

Well Bodmin Moor is most certainly my neck of the woods. I've walked over
most of it and neigbouring Dartmoor and Exmoor also.
I've also worked on nature photo shoots with 'native' Cats professionaly.
(trying to photograph WildCats in Scotland).

First off Hunting Cats live by stealth and as such are DAMN hard to locate,
the only TV documentrys filming Scottish Wildcats I'm aware off 'cheated',
the Cat's involved having been raised from birth by the film maker. True he
lived with them out in the middle of nowhere for years to make the film but
they came to him for food etc.

Second. The only largish scale realease of 'big' cats in the UK was over two
decades ago when expensive liscenses were introduced on their ownership in
the UK. The lifespan of these Cats isnt huge, and the number of sightings is
on the increase. In time their GenePool will probably do them in but
currently population numbers would seem to be on the way up....

Third. The RANGE of these Cats is huge. A hunting range of a few hundred
miles isnt out of the question. Which means that yon beastie on Ex-moor,
Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor is allmost certainly one and the same. Not to

mention sightings in Mid Cornwall and the far West. All these areas are
moorland or woodland dense and are linked by wide belts of sparse Human
Habitation.

Fourth. Food. Rabbits, Mice, Voles, Pheasants, etc. If the Canadian Timber
Wolf lives large chunks of its season on Lemmings then a Cat could certainly
live on what it could hunt localy. Hell I could live well on what I could

hunt localy if I werent a Vegetarian. Some of the carcess that local farmers
turn up from time to time certainly show all the classic signs of Cat
predation, and very few farmers are trying for compensation over it (The
Goverment WONT pay so whats the point in trying) and just dispose of them
localy.

As to the 'Beast of Bodmin' being a shadow cat.....well the best footage
I've seen...shot by a Local Council Planning commite out videoing a building
site.....certainly fits the description. And its certainly able to disapear

whenever it needs too!

DomT

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