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EP:80 Kent’s large carnivores – a sleepy village life

Charlie watched a lynx sunning itself at the edge of his village in Kent, then two years later he had a close encounter with a puma on the other side of the village. 

Charlie compares the wild Kent puma with one he witnessed in Alberta, Canada, and one he studied at a big cat sanctuary. 

Charlie also discusses how he is naturally fearful of panthers due to the black colour, but he explains why the most dangerous local animal he’s encountered is a deer.   

Word of the week:   Klandagi       

8 August 2022

EP:79 Secret South Wales panthers

Kayleigh our first guest was driving when she and her dog both reacted to a large black panther in front of the car near forestry land in south west Wales in March 2022. Kayleigh feels that large black cats are now quietly accepted as part of the South Wales environment in some remote areas.  

Our second guest Adam was walking in the Rhonda area in south Wales with a friend in winter 2022 – they noticed a large black panther run down a track and make two attempts at sheep as it got disturbed. Although his friends scoff at the report, Adam is keen to understand more about the hidden big cats of South Wales.      

Word of the week:   phenomenon

19 July 2022

EP:78 Big cats amongst the treasure

Chris is a metal detectorist in North Wiltshire – he has had 3 big cat encounters including a puma descending a tree and warning him. We hear from an experienced detectorists as he explains highlights of his recent finds, including close views of three different big cats, and deer carcasses which have been examined for tooth pits…

Word of the week:    Cat-tecting

4 July 2022

EP:77 Too close for comfort?

Our first guest Martin describes seeing a black panther move towards his son who was cycling in front of him and unaware of the animal. In terms of public awareness, Martin is concerned at the fear that any big cat information signs could create.

Our second guest John had a lynx come close to him in a Surrey woodland – he explains how he remained calm and avoided a possible confrontation. Earlier this year, close to the first sighting location, he saw a smaller lynx which bounded off, keeping away. John compares the two cats’ different behaviours and in discussing his close encounter, he is keen to avoid any alarmism.   

Word of the week:   resilience

20 June 2022

EP:76 Panthera Celtica, Cougar Caledonia

Carole from Aberdeenshire was feeding farm feral cats in the 1990s when a sleek black panther turned up. In the following weeks she had four sightings of two different large black cats in the area, and took a photo which resulted in a distant blob. She has received many reports of similar cats in the region and has investigated carcasses of their suspected prey. She has also seen “Kellas cats” and thinks these could represent a mutant felis cat which roams parts of Britain.     

Word of the week:   ailurophilia

5 June 2022

EP:75 View from the train – the peripheral panther

Mark our first guest watched a large black cat on his train journey in Cheshire, while Billy, our second guest, got a good view of a black panther from the front of his freight train in Yorkshire – he found other drivers had also seen such animals. Our guests describe both the close-up and the changing views they got from a moving train.  

By coincidence, both guests are interested in the topic of sasquatch, so compare their experiences with the study of North America’s great mystery creature, and consider how big cats and sasquatch can challenge our comfort zone.      

Word of the week:   General Impression of Size and Shape (GISS), (see also episode 14)

22 May 2022

EP:74 Wild Sussex – panthers, pumas and mutant cats?

Charlie Bones is a long-term investigator covering East and West Sussex – he guides us through big cat reports from this area of South East England, starting with his own encounter in 2000. 

Charlie explains how he thinks the cats use the Sussex landscape through the seasons, based on the trend of reports he receives and his knowledge of the area’s terrain. He also discusses the quirks of the large black cats reported, suggesting there is more than one type of extra-large black feline … 

Word of the week:   the Weald

2 May 2022

EP:73 Dark secrets of the nature reserve

Jonathan is ex-special forces, retired from the police, and an expedition leader who has encountered large predators across different continents. In the first half of the episode he describes his experiences overseas in the wild and explains how to stay confident amongst large carnivores.  

In the second half he re-lives his confrontation with a black panther outside his house in south Derbyshire in 2013 – a big cat could have explained the strange behaviour of local wildlife and pets at the time, and the spooked reaction of dogs to an invisible presence on the nearby nature reserve.      

Word of the week:   ADVOKATE

17 April 2022

EP:72 Exmoor Beast – the untold stories

Craig encountered a black panther on Exmoor just before the main 1980s reports had begun in the area. He saw it when lamping foxes and later disturbed it in a sheep field eating a predated ewe. 15 years later he and his wife saw a similar big cat in the same area.  

Craig briefs us on farmers’ reactions to a big cat on Exmoor in the 1980s, and he reflects on the current big cat situation, from what he’s seen and heard about from his Herefordshire base today. 

Word of the week:   Shippon 

2 April 2022

EP:71 Nature’s deer cull

Amanda watched a black panther rush into position, then pursue a deer in Somerset in December 2021. She describes filming the final moments of the chase, and explains how she and her partner checked for large cat tooth pits on the eaten-out deer carcass found a few days later.  

We also speak to Will who watched a big cat close up, stalking deer in Gloucestershire in 2002 – Rick describes other reports in the same location that Will was unaware of.  

 Words of the week:   landscape of fear

20 March 2022