Experts are carrying out DNA tests on the remains of a roe deer found at the trust’s Woodchester Park, near Stroud.
A walker came upon the carcass and thought injuries to the deer’s neck and the way the body had been consumed suggested it had been killed by a big predator.
There have long been whispers of big cats at large in Gloucestershire, but the fact the National Trust is taking this discovery seriously adds to the credibility of the stories.
Robin Allaby, associate professor at the school of life sciences at the University of Warwick, has visited the kill site to examine the evidence and take DNA samples from the wounds of the deer. The results of his tests are expected at the end of January.
Tip: Fortean Times
Very interesting. I’ll be eager to hear the results. If positive for a big cat, this lends additional credence to a long held idea that alien big cats are roaming and breeding in the U.K. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_big_cats Many sightings of large cats have been reported in the U.K., not all sightings can be even considered legitimate, being misidentification of perhaps overly large “moggies”, but the physical evidence is pretty good. See this post by zoologist Darren Naish.
UPDATE: 19-Jan-2012 There is a second carcass to be tested.