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Big cat DNA tests reveal it's a domestic moggie

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 08, 2012

Dr Robin Allaby

Dr Robin Allaby

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DNA analysis of suspected big cat fur in the county reveals it's from a domestic moggie.

University of Warwick,conducted a further test on hair taken from an empty building where a suspected big cat was sighted near Dursley.

This is after its experts found evidence only of foxes on two deer carcasses found near Dursley and Woodchester.

Dr Robin Allaby of the School of Life Sciences said yesterday: "Our analysis of a sample of a pinch of fur taken from a site near Dursley shows that it had the genotype of a domestic cat."

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Meanwhile a skeleton believed to be of a big cat found in Cornwall has been identified as a badger by Gloucester big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge.

Video captures big cat in Gloucestershire

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  • New_Forester  |  March 23 2012, 7:25PM

    Robert, I do believe that the article is correct albeit that BigScot1 added the editors comments from page 3. The context though misplaced, whither in error or not, it still is however pointing out what is in truth that such big cat sightings hold not real guts. Having read the BBC Wildlife magazine in full and listened to the podcast from http://tinyurl.com/8axge6c I feel that I must agree with BigScot1. Environment editor James Fair listened to all sides of the argument, he even went out at night, seeing a wallaby of all things. Talking to Rick Minter was interesting though he seems misguided by his own belief, he says that he has seen such a big cat but he is all for scientists speaking to him to put their view across, contradicting himself on some issues which James Fair then picks up on with Dr Andrew Kitchener, who is at the top of his game regarding such cats. Kitchener dismissed many points raised by Minter and even found Minter to be very vague and wrong. Frank Tunbridge comes across thus far as a 65 year old man who has his belief but who then strangles everyone with it, convincing he is not, and when you listen to Tunbridge on the Radio or on TV he is a little odd. BigScot1 has made some vaild points as you have but you both need to meet in the middle, agree to disagree, that way the continued rebuff I am sure will continue.

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  • Cats_R_Us  |  March 23 2012, 11:23AM

    Dear BigScot. I honestly haven't got a clue what you are on about now" Join the club.

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  • RobertDonner  |  March 22 2012, 10:28AM

    Dear BigScot. I honestly haven't got a clue what you are on about now - you clearly have completely missed the point, seemingly take yourself far too seriously and read too deeply into things looking to create conflict and have absolutely no sense of humour.Sorry, but please try to keep it light.

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  • RobertDonner  |  March 22 2012, 8:14AM

    Like I said it your paragraph 2 was not in the article, but in the editors comment and as such misplaced in the context of your comments regarding el lince. Alas you seem to be suffering from a sense of humour failure.

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  • RobertDonner  |  March 21 2012, 11:46PM

    Big Scot, Does your tiny population of forty lynxes to be maintained following their [future] reintroduction to Scotland include the six you were going to lay your hands on last week? Notwithstanding this it's surely far too of a conservative figure for Alex Salmond. Assuming forty lynxes would be able to sustain a viable and healthy long-term population over such a massive area, how will you know when they exceeded the magic number, or would number forty-one be set to self-destruct? Unfortunately your second paragraph is misplaced here as it does not appear in the BBC Wildlife article. Rob Roy

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  • BigScot1  |  March 21 2012, 11:41PM

    Listening to the BBC Wildlife Magazine pod cast on the subject, Dr. Kitchener does not agree that such big cats exist nor does he find that the sightings or carcass finds amount to anything thus far.

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  • BigScot1  |  March 20 2012, 8:44PM

    This month's BBC Wildlife Magazine has on it's front page and on page 44 an article on rewilding with lynx in the UK. Here is some of what was written: "BBC Wildlife's own Professor Steve Harris was called to verify the clip, but could determine nothing more than that it was a largish cat. "It's not a leopard or a puma, but a big domestic cat," he concluded. "I would not make much more of it than that." "This is a super-shy, super-sensed forest cat" [lynx], explains David Hetherington, wildcat project manager for the Cairngorms National Park Authority, who studied the feasibility of reintroducing lynx to Britain. "It moves like a ghost and is rarely seen." He calculates that the Scottish Highlands could support 400 of the cats [2008] study. In Norway 6000 sheep are lost to lynx, but this is out of a population of 2.5 million and Hetherington argues that it would not be replicated here. Norwegian roe deer densities are low, and sheep are an alternative food source, grazing not in pasture but in forests stalked by lynx." "Rick Minter, author of Big Cats: Facing Britain's Wild Predators, says that there is evidence of lynx in Wales, the Mendips, Gloucestershire and Derbyshire. Big cats are significantly under-reported, he continues, because people fear ridicule and don't want to "betray" the animals. But mammal experts such as Harris generally have little time for such claims. "After 50 years, we might reasonably expect to have more hard evidence," he says. "These alien species are never shot, never found dead, never run over and never caught in snares. So where are they all hiding?" [BBC Wildlife Magazine, April 2012, vol. 30 no. 4] I agree with Harris in many areas as I do with Hetherington. However, The 2008 paper was a release of a 2002 paper stating the same and many zoologists, zoos and staff alike did not agree with 400 lynx being able to be held within Scotland, and a more healthy figure of 40 was submitted by the zoo world. Again, I disagree with Harris regarding that no cats have been shot or found etc. Yes, there has been the small exotic and cross bred types but no big cats as such. The article is well balanced and even on both sides of the argument for rewilding of lynx. It is now seen as the more favourable to rewild lynx as compared to wolf, as the wolf has a far greater chance of going awry .

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  • BigScot1  |  March 19 2012, 3:30PM

    The BCIB cam is very short in length and in subject matter. However, the ear that is in shot would suggest deer, the whiskers could be that of deer or even a fox reaching high. Undecided as to what at this present time, but given that deer will subject their suborbital gland to anything that sicks out, then at a guess may be it is, still not sure.

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  • BigScot1  |  March 19 2012, 3:17PM

    Read Mee's book, not my thing really but sad that his dear wife had such misery with her illness, in ways she was the driving force behind him. I still disagree with Mee and many have disputed his claim about his encounter, having had the misfortune of dealing with Ellis, he told the same story as Mee's account, while in court dealing with his tiger issue, court minutes do describe such as do those in employment court minutes.

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  • RobertDonner  |  March 19 2012, 2:40PM

    Big Scot, thank you for your responses - you make some valid points. Please can you tell me what you think the animal on the BCIB video is if it is not a large cat? The chap says his camera is set at 75cm above ground. I myself am stumped as it is clearly not any glove puppet, native mammal or dog. Having closely observed some [captive] leopards with the video to hand recently the whisker pattern does appear to be remarkably similar. In point of fact the Benjamin Mee feral puma sighting was his own - check it out in his book, We Bought A Zoo, Harper Collins 2008 pages 79-82.

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