Countrymans Diary

Readers big cats

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A round up of stories from our readers.

 


I lived in a small town called Doolittle, and spent most my time in the woods but it happened to be a time I wasn’t expecting to see any wildlife that I see one most unexpected. My friends and I had piled into their car to go to a bbq party in the woods but they had to get dolled up first so we stopped off at their place. The sun had just set and the night was coming in fast as we pulled into their dirt drive in front of their chicken coops. Their dogs were going crazy like they usually do when strangers arrive and I chose to wait for the others while listening to music in the car. Like girls usually do they took too long for my liking so I got out of the car to speed them along. I noticed the dogs have still not settled which was odd. The cars running lights were still on as I stood between the beams and looked towards where all the dog’s attention was pointed. A pair of glowing yellow eyes stared back at me. As my eyes adjusted to the form I realized it was huge and sitting by a
tree in the chicken enclosure. The outline of a muscular black cat took shape when my friends came to the door whispering loudly to me to run into the house. There was no way I was going to make it if the cat decided to have a bit of fun so I decided to walk slowly backwards to get into the car. I’ve never felt my feet so heavy. After I got into the car I hit the horn and the cat sauntered off. It happens that there was a man that kept exotic cats a few miles away. I know this because I visited his place with my dad a few months previous and held a lion cub. Hopefully he hasn’t lost more than that cat.

 


Clive Wingrave, Wrote:

I believe they are out there and I believe I have seen one around here (Brighton) about 5 years ago. My son was playing golf on the local course with the wife walking around with him and i was shooting down in the valley of the course as it was 21.00 on a summer’s night. I was sitting on the hill watching for rabbits to pop out when out of the corner of my right eye I saw something big and black come out at the bottom of the hill about 75yds away and it took 3 or 4 bounds and crossed the fairway and into the maze crops on the opposite side of the course about 80 yards across. My heart was thumping and when I met up with the boy and wife about 10 minutes later they said I looked like I’d seen a ghost as I was very pale in colour!! I told them, “I think I need a bigger ‘gun'” then, what I ‘saw’ and we came home. About a month later, I was chatting with a Police dog handler who exercised his dog over there and he asked me if I’d seen anything ‘strange’ recently. I told
him that I wasn’t 100% sure of what I saw as it happened too quickly but he then told me another officer that did some shooting a few miles over from where I was claimed he’d seen something similar!! Now over the years I’ve seen a deformed fox that we saw regularly on our outings but until we were able to get close enough (less than 50 yards) it looked exactly like a Hyena!! It had rounded ears instead of the pointed usual ones and it was very dark in colour. Whether it had been born deformed with smaller front legs or it had some other thing wrong with it but for a good 3 months we regularly saw it and were convinced it was a Hyena until we did get close enough to disprove our theory!! We saw another large dog fox 3 times which looked like a Kangaroo as it sat on its hind legs upright and the tail seemed longer and thicker than normal………………

 

 


Back in 1996-97 a panther had turned man eater in Udaipur district of Rajasthan. The area it was active was Kewaray (Screw Pine) Ki Naal famous for its pink marble. As I had to go there on regular bases because my earth moving equipment working there I started to carry my 12 gauge with me just in case our paths cross. One night I was coming back from another town where a cement factory was under construction. It started to rain and the old Suzuki Santana I was driving started to leak from the steering column. It did that every time it rained so I continued to drive on. The man eater was the only thing in my mind. There were some people moving around in the rain and some dead snakes on the road, road kills I should say. As I said it was the man eater that had occupied my thoughts so in the dark rainy night everything looked like a panther. As I negotiated a bend the headlights fell on a large animal and I thought here is the man eater. I had goose bumps all over and adrenal was
 Pumping like crazy. The gun was forgotten momentarily as I tried to identify the animal. Lucky for me it was not a panther but a big dog that played havoc with my imagination. Then I realised I was still 40 kilometres away from the area where he was active and no cat would like to roam around in a cold rainy night. He was probably sheltered in some hollow and here I was driving all tensed up expecting to meet him at every bend. By the time I finished the 185 K.M journey I had a few more encounters with the man eater thanks to my imagination running wild.

One night me and my brother was out doing a bit of Lamping with the dogs it’s got to be about possibly 18 years ago i was about 14 at the time I took my old border collie (Shep) I never went anywhere without him if I could help it and my brother had his whippet (Meg) we slipped the whippet on a rabbit which was alongside a hedge row meg started to run this rabbit up the hedge then all of a sudden something jumped out the hedge row and grabbed the whippet round the throat flung her up in the air while striking her it then made of into the hedge row and shep my collie decided to go after it i managed to call him back thank god lucky enough Meg the whippet escaped without no serious injury but she had puncher wounds to her neck and some scratch marks on her side now all of this happened about 15 yards in front of me and i could see as clean as day that it was a big cat i crapped myself I didn’t know what to think or whether it would come after us, lol. but then I was only 14 any way that night i ended up walking up to the by-pass and walking the long way round back to the car, ha ha but as I used to see it after now and again I learn t that if I had my lamp it wouldn’t come to close and would just run away I got quite used to it as I saw it/them quite a few times I wasn’t sure what to tell some people as I know that they wouldn’t have believed me but at the end of the day I knew I had seen it with my own eyes and I did continue to see it a few other times after the first incident but I haven’t seen nothing there now for around the last ten years, now but that night I will never forget only seems like yesterday too. I did have another encounter after that at a place called Bewdley my uncle had a caravan there the site was actually called the riverside caravan park any way I decided to take his dog for a walk I was walking up this track looked up and just in front of me was a big black cat and it was just looking at me then all of a sudden it run of never seen it since as I say me personally haven’t seen anything for a few years now but me and my cousin Mark went to the local wood I had my son and daughter Jordan and Leland and mark took his son Jack well while walking through the wood we found a print of what I believe to be a foot print of a cat I even went on Google and it does look to be the print of a big cat we actually went to the wood as Mark found the remains of a deer a few days previous and we went back for the antlers there was still blood in the rib cavity and running from inside skull if you was to just look at pic of carcass you would think it’s just been there long time and rotted but like i say that wasn’t the case at all there was still blood ill see if I can post a pic of the dear carcass it’s just funny as the track we found was just by where the remains of the deer was now I’m not saying it was a cat that did it I’m just saying it is a possibility hew noes could be anything at the end of the day any way hope I haven’t bored you too much ha ha look forward to reading some stories of others.


 

John wrote:

I have seen a couple of big cats over the years and found plenty of signs that they have passed by. I will never forget the first one me and my mate were going camping in north wales we were driving down the a5 just the other side of Llanglollen if any of you guys know that area you will know it is mountains woodland and fields anyway its about 5.30 in the morning when suddenly not more than 30 yards in front of us this huge cat bounded across the road from the trees on the left in two strides it was over the road and had jumped over a dry stone wall it looked like an American mountain lion same sandy colour with a long thick tail .my mate and I just looked at each other and said nothing we both knew what we had seen but couldn’t believe our eyes that was over 20 years ago but the hairs still stand up on the back of my neck when I tell the story o feel privileged to have seen one I have seen a few more since then but never one that colour.

 

 


About three years ago, I was at Chew Valley Lake, shortly before dawn, tackling up for a day’s fishing just into the trees on Woodford Bank, when I became suddenly aware of being watched. Normally, this wouldn’t have worried me, but on looking along the bank (wearing a head torch) I spotted in the light a pair of large glowing green eyes, exactly like the ones in your picture, and could just about make out a large body shape behind them. As I looked, the creature lowered itself into a crouching position and I have to admit, I became scared! Fortunately, just at that point, two more anglers arrived, making a fair bit of noise, and I glanced in their direction. Returning my gaze to where the creature had been, it had vanished, without making any sound at all. Quite what would’ve happened without the arrival of the other anglers, I don’t know and I’m glad I never found out! An inspection of where it had been in daylight provided no trace of anything having been there. How it vanished without a sound remains a mystery, as where it was standing, less than 20 yards from me, has substantial bush cover and lots of scattered twigs, brambles etc. I remain convinced that I had a very close encounter with a big cat that day, and it’s an experience I don’t wish to relive! Anyway, that’s my close encounter story and I hope it’s of interest to you. Regards. John.


Ron, talking about big cats, about 25 years back on the outskirts of Bristol; I saw an animal walking across a school playing field, which I took at first sight to be a Great Dane. Something made me stop the lorry I was driving and look a bit harder, because there wasn’t any sign of a dog owner and I’d noticed that its head was held way down in a way a dog can’t manage! I realised it was a big cat when it reached the fence, crouched and cleared it easily! From what I remember it was a sort of tawny greyish colour. Don’t know exactly what it could’ve been…puma possibly, but it was big ! That happened in Warmley, the playing field by the Tenniscourt pub. Another sighting I know of was at Bradney on the King’s Sedgemoor, when a couple of mates going fishing saw a large blackish coloured animal run across in front of their car, leap over the fence and run off along the bank. When they went to climb over the fence, they spotted a huge paw print in the mud which they photographed using a cigarette packet for scale. Hope those two stories are of interest mate. I’ve got another big cat close encounter story of my own as well but I’ll tell you that one another day, I’ll just say it happened at Chew Valley and really scared me !

 

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