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
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
Zoologist Darren Naish explores the traits of larger cats in Britain and Europe from the Pleistocene times, and considers lessons for rewilding and the adaptations of any large cats in Britain now, whatever their origins.
Twitter link for our guest Darren Naish: https://twitter.com/TetZoo
On the Prowl book discussed in the episode: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/on-the-prowl/9780231184502
Word of the week: tetrapod
3 July 2021
Our three guests have each witnessed big cats north of London in and around Hertfordshire and Essex – Matt encountered a black leopard on land where he is a deerstalker, while Andrew was awoken from his hammock in the night by his dog sensing a big cat, and Simon viewed a black panther when walking his dogs in Epping Forest. And Simon’s wife was a sceptic until they chanced upon something important when travelling in Scotland…
Words of the week: wicked problem
19 June 2021
British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas explains his techniques for filming wild animals up close, including his specially designed Beetlecam, and he re-lives the process of photographing a male black leopard in Kenya with his custom-built camera traps.
We also talk about his recent black leopard book and the highlights amongst other wildlife he has captured on camera. Black leopard book website: https://www.blackleopardbook.com/
Words of the week: shadow spots
6 June 2021
Our guest Anne ran a stud farm on Anglesey where a black panther frequented her land for over a decade – she had detailed sightings of the cat stalking, experienced close encounters at night, and had armed vigilantes on her land in search of the animal.
Anne explains the main events and describes her mix of emotions when living alongside a North Wales panther.
We also consider an unusual type of wild prey that any big cats on Anglesey could be taking.
Words of the week: diet analysis
23 May 2021
In our extended 50th edition, Gareth Patterson from South Africa offers highlights from his experience living with lions, tracking elusive elephants in the Knysna forest, and experiencing local leopards.
Also, Gareth discusses how the Fynbos ecosystem of Knysna still keeps some deeper secrets.
Website for our guest Gareth Patterson, containing links to his books and documentary clips on lions and elephants: www.garethpatterson.com
Word of the week: Otang
8 May 2021
Andy roams the creeks of mid Cornwall and fishes local lakes – in two of his three sightings he had close calls with a panther at night, and now he follows up reports of both black and brown big cats. Our second guest Mark was secretly hoping to snap a big cat on a trail camera in North Cornwall – we hear how he got on…
Big Cat Mystery outro music by special permission from Drive.
Word of the week: boilies
23 April 2021
Janet noticed the neon eyes and the shadow spots on a black leopard, highlighted in the sun, as it leapt away from her and her dogs in County Leitrim, while Donal watched a black panther lit in his headlights as he stopped in shock when driving in the Wicklow mountains.
Word of the week: drumlin
9 April 2021
We hear from Rod who saw a big cat in 1986 during his former police work in Kent, but it wasn’t until Clare Balding’s testimony on BBC’s Ramblings in 2021 that he felt vindicated – our second guest Laura in Kent had a black panther arrive next to her in the garden at night in March 2021. She’s been advised to call 999 if it comes again…
Words of the week: Iain Hunter tribute
25 March 2021