EP:68 The panther, the huskies and the wolf moon

Jane and Ade are based at a chicken farm in Nottinghamshire – a black panther arrived on the scene in December 2021, witnessed several times so far, patrolling local fields and lanes. 

We hear from Jane and Ade about their encounters, the reactions of their huskies, and how Ade’s thermal camera helps survey the local fields at dawn and dusk. He explains how he has twice filmed what he believes to be the cat.  

Word of the week:   thermography  

2 February 2022

EP:67 Scotland, Somerset & Norfolk – 2021 investigators’ roundup

In part one David McEwan briefs us on key sightings from south Scotland in 2021, in part two Frank Tunbridge offers highlights from the 2021 big cat reports he received.

Both guests also reflect on Jim Corbett, the tracker, hunter and naturalist who wrote about man-eating tigers and leopards in north India in the middle of the 20th century, while Frank also discusses Kenneth Anderson’s experience of tigers and leopards in southern India in the same era.   

Word of the week:   ghooming

16 January 2021

EP:66 The goblin universe of big cat sightings

Our guests Annie Brazier and Shelly Coles discuss recent big cat encounters in Norfolk and in Ireland, as well as a shot cat from 2019 in Herefordshire. Annie and Shelly are both centrally involved in big cat sightings Facebook groups – they discuss the influence of Facebook on big cat reporting and they consider how the topic of big cats can affect people’s mental health.

All photos, illustrations and videos discussed in this edition are available on the Big Cat Conversations web site, on the refs and links page.

 Word of the week:   ocelli

1 January 2022

EP:65 Suffolk marshes – a wild goose-chase

Frazier watched a big black cat hunt for geese in marshland at the Suffolk coast in November 2021 – he describes the spectacle of the autumn arrival of geese on the marsh, complete with the lurking predator.

Words of the week:    macan kumbang  

11  December 2021

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