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Forget the Essex lion - big cat pictured in Gloucestershire

By The Citizen  |  Posted: August 28, 2012

  • Big cat close-up

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Never mind the lion of Essex - could this be the elusive Five Valleys big cat?

The furry black figure sprinting through woodland in Nailsworth appears to have been spooked by a walker – then set off a trip camera.

Big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge believes this image gives further credence to his belief that big cats roam Gloucestershire and beyond.

"I knew it was a big cat straight away," said Mr Tunbridge, whose video camera was used to capture footage of a similar-looking animal not far from the site where this picture was taken.

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"I don't know what sort of cat it is, but we have used the wooden steps in the photograph to scale it, and we believe it is around 42 inches long.

"You can see that it's not a Labrador – it has a cat's profile. There have been so many other sightings in that area."

A video of a suspected big cat in the area was revealed earlier this year, after a media frenzy around deer carcasses which were suspected to have been stripped of meat by a big cat.

DNA tests showed only fox DNA but sightings of big cats continued.

This photograph was taken not far from where deer carcasses and sightings were reported in Woodchester and Nailsworth.

Mr Tunbridge believes a walker, may have accidentally disturbed the creature.

The landowner, who does not wish to be identified, installed the camera after seeing what he believed to be a big black cat near his home.

"I saw it in the lane near where I live," he said. "That's why I put the camera up. It was a bit of a surprise to see this when I checked the camera.

"I have set up a video camera too now, but not had anything on it yet."

It follows an apparent close encounter with a "panther-like creature" reported on Cleeve Hill.

Kieran Bourne, 30, believed he saw the animal in his headlights as he travelled to Cheltenham in the early hours of last Tuesday.

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  • Beekeeper  |  August 29 2012, 12:06PM

    Very convincing. It's either a cat or a black plastic bag.

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  • interociter  |  August 28 2012, 8:36PM

    Shock! Horror! Probe! Massive killer Panda on the rampage in Gloucestershire... driver and part time student of the paranormal... swerves to avoid a Demon Panda! I can just see the headlines!

  • bonzaharris1  |  August 28 2012, 7:50PM

    Perhaps I should keep my large black and white cat it, before someone reports seeing a Panda on the loose !!

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  • interociter  |  August 28 2012, 5:47PM

    OMG! I have been wrong after all, my sincerest apologies folks. A new sighting of the big lion has in fact been catalogued here: http://tinyurl.com/9jen3kh

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  • interociter  |  August 28 2012, 5:43PM

    This previous ridiculous big cat farce cost the tax payers £25,000. The believers in the big cat myth, and supporters of the myth on these pages should contribute out of their own pockets, the brunt of the cost should be met by the couple who started this nonsense.

  • interociter  |  August 28 2012, 5:23PM

    Groan... another space filling article based on wishful thinking and fantasy. A slow shutter speed, note the distance from the bench, a casual glance gives the impression of a largish cat, but take the perspective into account and it ends up being another domestic moggy. an you see the ghostly figures of Elvis & Hendrix as well?

  • Internezzo  |  August 28 2012, 4:55PM

    The first person to take a clear picture of a big cat's going to be very very rich.

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  • Kay_Powell  |  August 28 2012, 4:19PM

    The article says that the photograph was taken by the landowner of the woodland, so that explains why he used the wrong exposure length, but it doesn't explain why it wasn't shown to anyone for months after it was taken. I agree that it was odd to point the camera at the bench, but it does give a good indication of the size of the animal, which looks like a labrador retreiver or similar black dog to me. I think that the photograph is genuine, but it isn't even evidence of a big black cat, let alone proof. The headline on the front page of today's Citizen was "THE BEAST WITHIN". What the heck is that supposed to mean?

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  • 2ladybugs  |  August 28 2012, 3:17PM

    @Alfredo..........I stand corrected. :((( Re-hashed.......Why is the camera directed at the seat and not into a clearing in the woodland This would then concentrate the camera on any passing animal. This rather gives the impression of snooping on courting couples??

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  • glosresident  |  August 28 2012, 3:05PM

    ive got a cat he is 6.5 kg hes just a big cat not fat ...watching him in the field he looks even bigger ...just saying .

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