Beasts of Badcox, Cirencester and Brisworthy spotted


Blackleaf
#1



Hunt is on for the Beast of Badcox
The hunt is on for a mysterious large black cat that was spotted roaming at night in Frome Victoria Park.

The Badcox Beast, as it has been dubbed, was seen on two consecutive evenings by two park patrol staff.

It was first glimpsed at about 9pm on Thursday and again on Friday night at about the same time.

The animal is described as being three to four foot tall, six foot in length, with a dark black coat and a long tail.

Big cat experts say the eye-witness accounts suggested a panther may have been spotted.

The sightings follow a string of similar reports in which a panther-like creature was seen prowling in fields on the outskirts of Frome.

Since the suspected big cat was seen in the park, patrol staff have discovered a number of pigeon carcasses.

Simon Voyle, 18, one of the patrol men, said: "The first time I saw it I was walking through the park with a friend in the pitch dark with my torch after chaining up the gates.

"It was the length of large filing cabinet and had a curled up tail.

"We thought it was our imaginations, but the next night we saw it again.
"Its eyes were bright yellow.

"The second time we were scared because we were stood in the middle of the park by the miniature golf green which wasn't a clever place to stand."

PC Adam Brown, of Frome Police Station, who took the reports of the sightings, said he was "concerned" that the mysterious animal may have moved into an urban area after sightings on the edge of Frome.

Sue Wilthew is clerk to Frome Town Council, the authority which maintains the park.

She said the public should not be frightened as the unidentified beast is probably more scared of them than they are of it.

"This is not just another sighting of a fox," said Mrs Wilthew.

"We will certainly be keeping an eye out and remaining vigilant.

"I don't think there is any chance of anyone being mauled in the park. But obviously we don't want the public to be exposed to any chewed pigeons.

"However, for now, I think the public is safe."

Robin Godbeer, of the British Big Cat Society (BBCS), said the Dangerous Animal Act of 1976 caused owners of exotic cats to either donate them to zoos or simply release them into the countryside.

He confirmed it is possible that a panther could roam into Frome from the town's surrounding countryside.


"This is clearly a unique sighting and worth investigating," said Mr Godbeer.

"People should not panic as it wouldn't attack a human unless it was cornered or if its cubs were being threatened.

"We would like to hear from anyone who finds paw prints.

"They are between three and four inches and are circular, with four toes in a semi circle at the front, and pads behind.

"There would be no claw marks as they are retracted when walking.

"There could, however, be scratch marks on trees where it has marked its territory."

Frome & Somerset Standard (Somerset): 7th September 2006
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Cat Sightings Again in Cirencester
By Jenni Silver

AN ELUSIVE big cat believed to be stalking the Cirencester area has been spotted again, just yards from where a similar creature was caught on CCTV cameras.

Local teacher Rob Charmichael spotted the creature as he cycled back from Kemble late last Tuesday night.

As he came into to Cirencester off the hospital roundabout he took the wrong route and went down Sheep Street. When he stopped to turn around he saw the cat.

The science teacher, who has recently started at Deer Park School, said: "I heard something in the bushes, turned around and it just looked at me. It was big, I thought it was an escaped lion.

"It didn't run away, it just stood there looking at me."

Rob described the animal as "definitely feline", as big as an alsatian and lion-coloured. He said it had no markings but a distinctive almost bushy tail.

After watching the cat for a few moments Rob cycled off leaving the beast to disappear in the direction of Cirencester.

The latest sighting near Waitrose is not far from previous big cat sightings. Last year the Standard published a CCTV picture of a large black feline taken not far from Rob's sighting.

Other sightings have placed it close to Siddington and Chesterton.

Danny Bamping, of the British Big Cats Society, said there have been more then 30 sightings in the area in the past six months, while Gloucestershire police confirmed they had also received some calls.

He said: "This sighting is very interesting for several reasons.

Lion-coloured is sandy brown which is also the colour of a puma and they are alsatian sized cats.

"This could be a puma but it does not coincide with the video CCTV footage taken nearby as that was a black cat, and you don't get black pumas.

"We have had just a couple of sightings of 'big cats' sighted near or around the town centre of Cirencester - one of a black cat and one of a brown one."

Gloucestershire police confirmed three reported big cat sightings in the north Cotswolds in the past two months, two near Broadway and one near Chipping Campden.

Wiltshire & Gloustershire Standard: 17th September 2006
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Friends Ran in Fear After Seeing Big Cat

Two friends out walking in the Westcountry said they had to run for their lives after a big cat headed towards them. Mel Roach, 28, from Plymouth was out for an evening stroll on Dartmoor with her friend Ali James, from Okehampton, when they saw the animal on Legis Tor, near Brisworthy. They said they watched from about a quarter of a mile away as it stalked grazing sheep.

As the sheep moved away the cat turned back down the hill towards the walkers. Fearing it might attack them, they rushed back to their car.

Miss Roach and Miss James said they had never seen anything like this before. Miss Roach said she believed it was a large black panther, adding: "I have always believed there was something there but this sighting confirms my belief. We observed the creature for 15 to 20 minutes. It appeared to be stalking some sheep grazing on top of the tor. Although we were some distance away we could ascertain that it was long, more than twice the length of a sheep and several inches to a foot taller. It was completely jet black."

There have been several reports of large cats within two to three miles of this area in recent months.

This is Devon: 11th August 2006


Britishbigcats.co.uk
 
nathalierozard
#2
I was riding in Cirencester Park after all the rain we had and was deep into the park where nobody walks dogs. I saw large prints in the mud that I followed and they tailed off into the woods. I was miles from a road and I just can't see that they were dog prints. There was no claw marks as you would expect to see with a dog. Does anyone know if a big cat has been seen recently in the Park. I keep horses nearby and they frequently come in from the field slightly on edge for no apparent reason.
I wonder!
 

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