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Dog-walkers spot "big cat's green eyes" in park

By The Citizen  |  Posted: December 18, 2012

SHOCKED:    Scott Parker, left, with his dog Bo, and his mate Viraj Chawda with his Staffie.

SHOCKED: Scott Parker, left, with his dog Bo, and his mate Viraj Chawda with his Staffie.

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TWO dog-walkers couldn't believe it when a pair of large green eyes tracked them across a playing field in the dark.

Viraj Chawda and Scott Parker feared the eyes – the size of 2p pieces – belonged to a big cat.

"We were in Whiteshill park and it was dark and we heard something in the undergrowth," said Viraj, who was walking his Staffordshire bull terrier with Scott and his American bulldog.

"We noticed something seemed to be facing us, about 10 metres away. Then we saw two massive green eyes were looking straight at us. We thought it was a dog initially but when we saw its body, it was much bigger than Scott's dog, which is more than 3ft tall. It wasn't scared, and we stood still for a while and when we started walking off it went off the other way."

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He reported the sighting to Gloucester big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge, who told The Citizen last week of a suspected sighting of a big cat in the Chalford Valley.

"If it was a big cat, it would have been just tracking the dogs, to make sure they didn't encroach on its space," said Mr Tunbridge.

Viraj said he plans to head back up to the spot where they saw the animal, which they believe was a big cat, with a camera.

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  • Zindafud  |  December 19 2012, 1:38PM

    Sorry chaps. It was me on my hands and knees, going home after a few hours on the GL! Cider always does that to my eyes, I hope Mr Tunbridge didn't think I was anything other than a big PR@T! ;-)

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  • Dr_Hfrrrrr  |  December 19 2012, 10:58AM

    'I hope you get a picture and if you do, be sure to get it on line here. Some of us would genuinely be interested to see the pic' - Interested? Quite frankly if these two fantasists or Mad Frank ever get a picture of a real live big cat I would be flabbbergasted. However seeing as Frank couldn't even find rabbits on a small roundabout crawling with rabbits that everyone else can see and is known locally as the 'Rabbit Roundabout' then I won't hold my breath.

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  • cheesetester  |  December 19 2012, 12:25AM

    I hope you guys do get a picture of the big cat,but I'm afraid that even if you do there will be people denying it's credebility. As for the person commenting re. the size of the dog. Up to 28" is only the 'breed standard' size for the breed, dogs can be smaller or larger than this. Also, even if the dog was only within the top end of the breed standard at 28", that measurement is taken from the withers (top of the shoulder), it does not include the height made up from the neck & head. The dog in the pic looks like it could be up to/more than 8" taller than the height at it's withers, making it at least 36" tall (if it's only the top end of the breed standard, it could be bigger than breed standard). Another poster commented on cats running away. My dog is 90kg and 32" at the shoulder, most common moggies we meet do not run away or crouch down, some saunter out of our path and othesr stand stock still refusing to move off the path, I can't imagine why a large, wild cat that is big enough to take out the dogs, feeling the need to leg it. Not all dogs are highly prey-driven, some may well be interested in spotting a squirell or any other things that move, other dogs don't. Neither of the dogs in the report are breeds that are developed for thier prey-drive. I would expect the reaction from them towards a large cat to be the same as the reaction from my dog - at most, mild interest (unless they were firghtened, then they may act up). Agian guys, I hope you get a picture and if you do, be sure to get it on line here. Some of us would genuinely be interested to see the pic.

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  • PengiPete  |  December 18 2012, 10:55PM

    "the dogs didnt even sense or see the Big Cat, it was so stealthy" Presumably, it was also smothered in perfume banana milkshake and creosote to mask its scent cos walking on tippy-toes is not generally accepted as a way to achieve that. Face it, my dog can "sense" a squirrel at a thousand yards - when Tufty is up a tree - in the snow - wearing slippers - so I'm damned sure she'd notice a cat the size of a mini metro at 30 metres - even without it's headlights on full beam. The chances of either of those dogs not spotting or smelling Tiddles is pretty remote - the chances of BOTH dogs looking the other way whilst wearing an ipod and taking snuff is approximately nil. When you realise that the bigger dog is muzzled and the other looks like it's straining at the leash, it's fair to suggest that both of those dogs are "lively" and it is ridiculous to pretend that they could completely miss a big, stinky cat at that distance. Still - let's pretend they did - let's say that these blokes just happen to own the most useless dogs on the planet - how about Tiddles himself? Is it possible that not only did those bricks-on-a-lead not spot Tiddles - he apparently didn't spot them - he just stood there - not running away or doing what any cat would do if it saw a threat - it didn't crouch down - we know that because the owners of the zombie dogs say it was standing. Not only that but it stayed standing there whilst two men - with dogs (that still couldn't see him) - got a good look. And as if to compensate for their docile mutts not being able to see, hear or smell a giant cat - the owners were still able to see Tiddles and watch what he did next - whilst they were walking away. Mind you - they could tell the size of the Tiddles' eyes at 30 metres - in the dark and they apparently weren't scared at coming face to face with a lion - so perhaps they have super powers. Mmmm - seems legit :) PS - if we go by all of the variations in the descriptions of height and build we get from Frank's Freaks - either Tiddles has an eating disorder or there are entire herds of giant kitties wandering around Gloucestershire.

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  • Lord_Gaga_  |  December 18 2012, 9:05PM

    Viraj said he plans to head back up to the spot where they saw the animal, which they believe was a big cat, with a camera. the cat had a camera? its a pity they didn't have one

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  • BigCat  |  December 18 2012, 8:38PM

    Well we know what we saw, regardless if you believe it or not we reported it to Frank to raise awareness.... the question with the dogs, the dogs didnt even sense or see the Big Cat, it was so stealthy and to be honest we were protecting the dogs, I had the torch on the big cats eyes for about 10 full seconds, my mate thought it was a dog so i shined the torch on its back, then we both realised it was a big cat for sure no doubt about it. The reason I was frightened was for my dog, there have been loads of reported deer kills, foxes too. And if a big cat wanted to I don't think it would have much trouble with a dog whatever its size. There have been no reports of a big cat attacking a human so thats why I choose to go on my own, because it would be nice to have some photgraphic or video evidence to prove to small minded that these cats do exist. FACT: The owner of Rodborough Fort used to own big cats and other wild animals, she got evicted and guessing she let the cats go. FACT: The rich owned Big Cats and other animals and they were released when the law changed. FACT: There are 25 reportings of big cats a week in the UK. QUESTION: IS IT REALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR BIG CATS TO LIVE IN THE WILD IN THE UK?? IF SO WHY? IS THERE NOT ENOUGH FOOD???? FACT: During the stylish 1960's and 70's it was very fashionable and perfectly legal in the UK to keep exotic animals as household pets, these ranged from leopards, pumas and panthers to crocodiles and poisonous snakes. In 1976 the Government introduced the Dangerous Wild Animals Act to protect the public and ensure the animals we're looked after properly. Why is THIS so hard to believe?? http://tinyurl.com/dy5ylm4

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  • FreeRadical1  |  December 18 2012, 4:45PM

    It could have been a roe deer. Stop imagining anything more unlikely.

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  • Dr_Hfrrrrr  |  December 18 2012, 12:54PM

    It wasn't a huge Were-Rabbit was it?

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  • 2ladybugs  |  December 18 2012, 11:50AM

    I must say I always enjoy these big cat stories, just for the comments. They really bring out the comedians in some of you. Sooooo funny.

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  • Mudbox  |  December 18 2012, 11:45AM

    It was probably Frank Tunbridge, waiting in the dark with his binoculars.

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