Saturday 26 September 2009

The Beast of Bodmin Moor.

The Beast of Bodmin Moor is said to be a black panther like creature . It supposedly lives on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall and sightings have been recorded from 1971 to recent times. The creature or big cat is described as black panther like or a dark haired mountain lion, with large white-yellow eyes. The size varies from 3-5 feet long for the body, with a tail of roughly 18-24 inches. It makes hissing and growling sounds as you would expect of a cat , but is also said to make sounds like a woman screaming.(Foxes scream when they are mating and that is a weird noise so no reason other creatures shouldn’t do the same).

There have been around 60 reported sightings in the area since 1983. In the early 1990's, when farmers found their animals savaged, the national press fueled speculation as to whether a big cat, a panther or perhaps a leopard was living wild on the moor. Photographs had been produced over the years with what appeared to be a large catlike creature prowling the moor.Most are too fuzzy to make a definite identification.

The Ministry of Agriculture commissioned an investigation in 1995, which concluded that there was 'no verifiable evidence' that the beast existed. However the government report also stated that "the investigation could not prove that a 'big cat' is not present.".

There has been little physical evidence to support the sightings. A 14-year-old boy discovered a skull with large fangs, in the River Fowey on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. The skull was taken to the National Museum in London for analysis where it was discovered to be a leopard skull. It was also discovered that the animal did not die in Bodmin Moor, this leopard had been a rug in some one’s living room. A hoaxer or hoaxers had dropped it into a Bodmin river, where it was eventually found.

In October 1997, officials from Newquay Zoo identified paw prints left in mud to the south of Bodmin Moor as the tracks of a puma.

In August 1998 a 20-second video was released and some wild cat enthusiasts believed that it confirmed that big cats roam Bodmin Moor.

Then in November 1999 a squadron of Cornish RAF reserves spent a night on the moors trying to track the beast with the lastest hi-tech military night-vision equipment. Unfortunately bad weather hampered their operation and they had no luck.

So mystery beast or big cat? In the 1970’s in the UK laws were brought in that made it difficult and expensive to keep exotic cats as pets and as a result some were freed, illegally, into the wild by their owners. It is possible that some big cats adapted and bred and now the second generation is living out it’s lives on Bodmin Moor and many other places. Evolution teaches us that adaption is the normal way for survival , so it is a distinct possibility that this is what has happened.

Captured on video 1998:

Link to some news articles:

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