U.K. residents convinced snarling panther exists

Winchcombe ‘panther’ spotted prowling and snarling

It has been spotted prowling through fields in Winchcombe and has even snarled at residents who have dared to try and get close.

Now people in a small street in the town say they believe a panther-like beast is living among them.

Keith Baker said: “I have seen it at least 10 times.

“It is a panther, there are no two ways about it, it is far too big to be a normal cat. I have seen it walking around the first hedge near our street.

“I went up to get a picture and it started snarling at me, which was a bit frightening.”

He said: “It looked straight at me and there is no way it is a domestic cat. I would say there is more than one as well. We saw one that was similar but smaller, which I think is a cub.”

Tip: Fortean Times

Well, these stories of big cat sightings are always interesting. They rarely resolve into something that is actually as interesting. I’m not clear that the big and small one were seen at the same time. Could the small one been seen up close and the big one from far away, thus the same animal people have intepreted as two different ones? People tend to frequently mess up size and distance especially if they have an idea in their head of what they think they are seeing.

I was intrigued by the mention of big paw prints. They could be dogs or something else. Mentioned is that a big cat tracker is taking a look. However, correct me if I’m mistaken here, it is not a wildlife expert? He is a hobbyist? That’s not reliable since people experienced with big cats would know better what to look for if they were actually there. None of the evidence recently appears to be supporting that this is a genuine big cat. Better photos or a body, even a VERY clear print, would be far more convincing.

  6 comments for “U.K. residents convinced snarling panther exists

  1. daran
    April 11, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I always read that people are mistaken about size and accepted it without thinking, then I tested it.
    I observed house cats from a distance and there is no mistake, the human brain has no trouble registering the correct size.
    Test it for your self.

  2. Chew
    April 12, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    But you knew you were looking at house cats so it’s not an valid test. To test your accuracy of judging size at a distance you must not know what the size of the object is in the first place.

  3. daran
    April 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    You didn`t test it did you. I never knew the size before observing them.
    No matter how far away you are, as soon as you see a domestic cat, you know how small it is.
    Chew, go outside and look around.

  4. April 12, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    It’s totally not the same. WHEN TESTED under surprise or low light conditions, ESPECIALLY when people are prompted to see some monster, they often fall this test and claim to see something unusual.

    And, in this case, they can be seeing rather large but otherwise normal domestic cats.

  5. Chew
    April 13, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    If I knew it was a domestic cat, yes I could guess it size! You completely missed the point. You knew what it was so it’s not a valid test.

  6. Massachusetts
    April 16, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Also, are you viewing the house cat in front of a house or known background, or in the woods or an open field with few if any familiar landmarks. That would probably make a big difference in judging distance.

    Yes, I see cats all the time in suburban and city neighborhoods, and they certainly look like cats. Opossums look like Opossums and rabbits look like rabbits under familiar conditions. This would be an interesting study to perform under more controlled conditions.

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