EP:64 Panthère noir – the French big cat mystery

In the first of two episodes featuring big cat reports of France, Michael describes watching a black panther creeping through summer pasture at the edge of his village in the Pas de Calais in 2020. We discuss why France has panther and puma reports and whether such cats could be breeding, or are released pets finding their feet in the French landscape.

Words of the week:  bêtes éphémères

27 November 2021

EP:63 Schoolboys & the patrolling puma

Frances explains what happened when she noticed a puma following 3 schoolboys in southern Lanarkshire, Scotland. She then cautiously asked around her village and learnt that big cat reports were nothing new.

Word of the week:   solipsism

12 November 2021

EP:62 The Wirral’s liminal leopards

Black panthers, assumed to be black leopards, have been reported in the Wirral in Cheshire for over 20 years – our 2 guests describe some of these past sightings and explain their own encounters. 

Ben met a black leopard in woods in the Wirral peninsula in 2021 – he explains how it changed his outlook on the nearby countryside, while Matt witnessed a similar large cat in a close-by location 18 years ago. Now, as more reports emerge from the Wirral, Ben and Matt try to understand the routes of any black leopards in the area.

Words of the week:   occupancy survey   

22 October 2021

EP:61 The body of Bannockburn – big questions from a cat carcass

Paul MacDonald describes the discovery and lab testing of a large cat’s carcass near Bannockburn in 2020, and then discusses how the mapping of witness reports in south Scotland has identified key places to investigate. We then discuss the recent night-time cat footage in Larkhall, Scotland, with the houseowner Derek, asking whether it was a puma on the pathway, or a domestic cat on the fence, and how it influenced his family and neighbours.

Word of the week:   riparian  

8 October 2021

EP:60 Celtic-fringe cat & the panther of the peat bog

Author Nick Albert wrote about sensing and then seeing a black panther near his family’s West of Ireland home in his series of books Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds – we delve into those incidents with Nick in this episode, and we also hear from Dave, who had a black panther cross the road in front of him near peat cuttings in County Kilkenny in August 2021, coincidentally on his way to collect fresh eggs!

Word of the week:   aclaíocht

24 September 2021

EP:59 Panther chat in the pub – making sense of British big cats

Three guests chat through their big cat sightings at a Herefordshire pub – Dave D watched a panther jump a gate back in 1996, Sam saw a panther on the edge of the Brecon Beacons in 2018, and he may have snapped a grainy trail-cam photo of a lynx, while Dave Starkey updates us on his big cat novel Tonmawr and a possible sequel, following his south Wales sighting.  They discuss how they strive to understand more about the animals they encountered… 

Words of the week:   spectral sensitivity

10  September 2021

EP:58 The dawn panther – window shopping in Stroud

Tom re-lives his close encounter with a black leopard like cat near Stroud town centre in 2015, and his sighting of a similar looking cat which stopped the traffic when he was driving up a Cotswold hill in 2016. Rick and Tom also discuss some of the notable big cat reports in Gloucestershire during 2021.

Word of the week:   Corinium

28 August 2021

EP:57 Wexford’s summer surprise – the beast at the bottom of the garden

On 1st August near Wexford, Ireland, Lar filmed a large black animal wandering past his house in the neighbouring field – still raw with emotion speaking on the podcast, he explains how he quickly sensed it was a large black panther, how he feels as a father of young kids, and how the Ireland big cats Facebook group has helped him assess the whole experience. Lar also explains why he thinks this could have been a recently escaped big cat.

Word of the week:   beithioch   

13 August 2021

EP:56 Panthers east & panthers west

Mark a Suffolk taxi driver explains his close up sighting of a black panther one evening, and how he now gets reports from customers about the topic, while Jo, a town councillor from Dolgellau, recounts her two sightings of a black panther in mid-north Wales. Both guests relay other snippets on local big cats they’ve heard from friends and contacts.  

Word of the week:   Eryri   

1 August 2021

EP:55 Shropshire stakeout – big cats and nature’s night world

James guides us through the forest environment at night in deepest Shropshire, keeping watch for the eye shine, movement and vibes of a big cat…

Word of the week:   habitat  

17 July 2021