Critiquing Latest Gloucestershire Report – Forest of Dean.

Thursday 23rd September 2021

Critiquing latest Gloucestershire report – Forest of Dean.

Check out the original story HERE

The animal seen by Mrs Tracy Brown and her husband while driving along New Road in the Forest of Dean on September 17th, may have been a big cat, but their report, unfortunately, doesn’t contain enough detail to be anything more than suggestive. The animal was black in colour, and therefore extremely unlikely (perhaps even impossible) to be a puma. Melanistic pumas are unproven to exist, therefore the chances of the above animal being one is not worth considering given the limited data we have.

It is far more likely, if it was indeed a big cat, to be a melanistic leopard, commonly known as the “black panther”. Like many reports in the UK of large unidentified cats, this observation was very brief (a couple of seconds while driving), and not enough time to observe the animal clearly. It was, however, long enough to make Mrs Brown take a second look before the animal disappeared. This second view was approximately only two seconds. It should also be noted that almost all reports of big cats in the UK describe the animal’s tail as “curved up at the end” or some such description. This feature has therefore become too well known in and of itself to be considered as compelling evidence for a big cat observation, in fact it is now somewhat misleading. This report, unfortunately, belongs in the ‘maybe, maybe not’ file.

That being said, the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire is a highly likely area, given the amount of evidence we now have, to sustain (if only temporarily) and conceal at least one species of large unidentified Felid.

Original post HERE

More CFZ mystery cat reports HERE

Carl P Marshall
Carl is the Assistant Director of the CFZ and a regular contributor to OTT. He has done expeditions to Belize and Borneo, Mexico and North Africa as well as in-depth research in the UK, most recently with leading the Forest of Dean Project, and he was one of the stars of "Cat Hunters". It was him who first christened Louis "Computer Boy"