Author Topic: Subject: [strangeark] UK: Tynedale black cat  (Read 3111 times)

Offline catseyes

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Subject: [strangeark] UK: Tynedale black cat
« on: October 14, 2008, 10:44:01 AM »

Subject: [strangeark] UK: Tynedale black cat
     
Latest sighting fuels the black cat debate

Published on 09/05/2008

By GEMMA SOMERVILLE

NUMEROUS sightings of Tynedale's mysterious black cat in recent months suggest there is more than one on the prowl in the district.

And varying descriptions of how the creature looks raises the possibility of the existence of a new species, according to big cat enthusiasts.

There have been several sightings of the legendary beast in Tynedale over the past decade but no one has yet managed to take its picture or capture it on film.

One thing the sightings have managed to achieve, however, is a division in opinion over whether the wild black feline even exists.

North East-based member of the Big Cats in Britain research group, Chris Hall, said: "For quite a number of years now we have received reports of several thousand sightings of big cats across the country, as well as a number in Hexham and the surrounding area.

"The number of sightings of late could even suggest that there is more than one animal in the area, which would fit with the rural nature of Northumberland.

"The most common description people give of a black cat sighting in general is that of a lynx or a puma, but because the existence of a black puma is unconfirmed, these reports raise the possibility of a new species existing. But of course we need to collect evidence to back this up."

Seeing is believing for those who claim to have come across such an animal in Tynedale, with sightings leaving them in no doubt that this is certainly not a feline of the domestic variety.

The latest sighting has come from Stocksfield resident Katy Weatherhead, who saw the creature stalking deer in a field behind the Guessburn estate in the village last week.

She said: "I have a horse which is stabled behind the top end of Guessburn in Stocksfield and it was about 7.30 last Thursday morning when I saw it.

"There was no one else around, it was quite quiet and I looked across the fields and saw a deer. Then I noticed something behind the deer, stalking it.

"It was black with a long tail and was a lynx or large cat-type creature and had pointed ears.

"As I looked across it stood and stared at me for a few seconds before it slunk off into the distance and disappeared."

In no doubt about what she saw Katy, who lives at Ridley Mill, said she did not feel threatened by the animal.

"I was surprised more than anything, but I wouldn't say I was scared. It was quite close, I would say about 150 yards away," she explained.

"I've spent eight months in Africa and I've been on safari in the past, so Iím quite sure about what I saw. Thereís definitely something out there."

Not alone in her belief, Katy's is the third such sighting in the Stocksfield area in the past month.

Joy Sanders, from Newlands, reported seeing a jet black animal, the size of an Alsatian, with the face of a cat, heading across fields behind her garden.

And Whittonstall resident Andrew Waters also got a close-up view of the elusive feline when he was driving from Stocksfield towards Hindley.

There aren't many corners of the district where the black cat has not put in an appearance over the years. Previous sightings include Acomb, Bellingham, Haltwhistle, Riding Mill and even Hexham town centre.

Experts believe animals may have been released after the 1976 Dangerous Animals Act, brought in after it became fashionable in the 1960s to have exotic cats such as pumas and panthers as pets.

Owners are thought to have set their animals free rather than destroy them when the act came into effect and the British Big Cat Society estimates there could be up to 100 big cats roaming the country today.

But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has said there is "no conclusive evidence of breeding populations of big cats".

http://www.hexham-courant.co.uk/news/viewarticle.aspx?id=832675
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Offline Salt Breeze

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Re: Subject: [strangeark] UK: Tynedale black cat
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 04:43:34 PM »
Wow..... Katy's one sound like a lynx, as she says, with the pointed ears, but Joy Sanders one sound much bigger, more like a black panther.

Interesting read.  Thanks CE.

Offline Alien88

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Re: Subject: [strangeark] UK: Tynedale black cat
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 09:17:39 PM »
Quote
Owners are thought to have set their animals free rather than destroy them when the act came into effect and the British Big Cat Society estimates there could be up to 100 big cats roaming the country today.

But the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has said there is "no conclusive evidence of breeding populations of big cats".

All you need is one breeding pair; a decent sized ecosystem, add food & water and away you go towards a healthy population.
Light, Love and wisdom

 


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