ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Forest of Dean Big Cats

Updated on May 19, 2013

Is The Forest of Dean A Big Cat Hideout?

If you live in the Forest of Dean area, the next time you open your back door to call out for Tiddles, there is just the small possibility that a cat much larger than your domestic moggy, may respond to you instead! This is because it is now becoming more and more widely believed that there are large cats stalking the area. Sightings of these elusive felines are increasing in numbers and Gloucestershire Police are now thought to be recording around 100 sightings every year.

To be honest, cards on the table, this hub was inspired by my partner and I seeing a big cat yesterday from our living room window. And not one of the ones owned by the lady opposite, either. This was a BIG cat. About 1.5 times the size of our chunky Border Collie. So I started to take a closer look at the local rumours.

Do Cats Dream of Being Bigger?

(c) pisces 40 at Flickr.com
(c) pisces 40 at Flickr.com

Do The Authorities Know More Than They Let On About Forest of Dean Big Cats?

There is concern that the authorities are attempting to cover up a lot of this information at present. Both the Police and DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) are accused of covering up more conclusive evidence that would establish the fact that the Forest is populated by big cats. If this is the case, incidents in the past, such as a man being attacked by a big cat in his front garden a couple of years ago and parents subsequently keeping their children off schools for days after, may have something to do with it.


Some new information has recently been discovered, however. It was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and it relates to two official sightings through the Forestry Commission. Both sightings occurred during deer censuses, the first in February 2002 and the other in March 2005. The sightings involved quite definite encounters with large cats, which were picked up through the visual equipment that was used during the hours of darkness each time. Both incidents occurred in two separate parts of the Forest of Dean.

Bigger than this... way, way bigger than this

Where Would The Big Cats Have Come From?

The short answer to this question is that nobody knows where the big cats would have come from, if indeed, they do exist. Theories are only ever speculative and one idea is that they may be relics from the time when Eurasian Lynxes were known to have existed in the country. Perhaps the big cats have managed to cling on to their survival in a clever and very undercover existence? There are many theories about British Big Cats.

Another theory is that they have been purposefully released into the wild. When you consider the fact that there are some animal rights organisations which openly admit to keeping lynxes to be released into the wilds of our country, this is not such a bizarre concept. Animals that may have been released many years ago may have their numbers topped-up by further continual releases.

When you look at how the Forest of Dean wild boar has managed to re-establish itself back into the Forest, this places this idea into some context. When considering this and the fact that all felines are naturally elusive, this certainly starts to make some sense.

A "Tomorrow's World" UK TV programme decades ago went out and did some fieldwork. They found out that some of the big black cats are hybrids between wildcats and domestic cats: they caught one and did a DNA analysis on it. The hybrids are bigger than either species. They postulated that these big cats originated when all the young men who would have become gamekeepers went off to fight in the World War I and never came back again. Wildcats proliferated and interbred with domestic moggies. The funny thing is that not many of the stories I have read subsequently of big cat sightings ever mention this discovery. Now why is that?

Image (c) Masons News Service
Image (c) Masons News Service

Recent Big Cat Sightings in the Forest of Dean

Sightings are becoming more common in and around the Forest of Deanarea and some of them appear to be encroaching closer and closer to more urban areas. In August 2008, for example, a person out walking in the Cinderford area spotted a big cat chasing a deer.

There was also another sighting by two school boys, around the same area, who have claimed that they came across a big cat near to some undergrowth, which led to them both fleeing for their lives in fear.

On 29 January 09 my partner and I watched a VERY large black cat on the edge of the treeline moseying back and forth on the edge of a field of Llamas (oh yes we have it all here in the Forest, you wouldn't believe the wildlife around here!). Binoculars were swiftly retrieved from the spare room and what can I say, it was a VERY large cat. Compared to one of our border collies had they been the same distance away in the edge of the treeline, I'd say it was 1.5 times the size of them. That's WAY too big to be a domestic cat no matter how overfed he was.

British Alien Big Cats

Whatever your beliefs on this matter, you may want to bear in mind that not everyone who has claimed to see one of these big cats, can be wrong (I know what WE saw). The sightings are not restricted to the Forest of Dean area either. There are even more sightings recorded annually in the Yorkshire and Devon areas, for example, and these have been reported for many decades now. With the introduction of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976, there seemed to be a marked increase in the number of big cats reported after this law came into force.

We already know that wild cats exist in Scotland and that lynxes definitely roamed through the Forest in the past. Who is to say that they have not managed to find some opportunistic niche back into our wilds? After all, it’s happened with the wild boar in the Forest of Dean.

So, with all of this in mind, it might make you think twice about letting little Tiddles out for his nocturnal rummage in the garden tonight.

This one is in Detroit Zoo!

(c) SubuRex at Flickr.com
(c) SubuRex at Flickr.com

This hub brought to you...

by Julie-Ann Amos, professional writer, and owner of international writing agency www.ExquisiteWriting.com

Why not create your own HubPages? It's fun and you can make revenue from Adsense and other revenue streams on your pages. JOIN HUBPAGES NOW - SIMPLY CLICK HERE...  (or contact me to write one for you!)

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to CreativeCommons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California94105, USA.

 

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)