big cat research in Sussex


Hastings big cat talk

Posted on December 8, 2012 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

There will be a big cat talk next wednesday at Fairlight near Hastings,RSPCA Mallydams.The speakers will be the acclaimed big cat book author Rick Minter as well as Gloucestershires own Frank Tunbridge and after there will be full oppurtunity for everyone to add to the debate in the form of an open floor.Discussion led it will outline the national position of the wild big cats however the Sussex big cats will be on the agenda.The advance weather forecast is looking a bit icy but I can be reached via Twitter or Facebook (bigcatdetective or Charlie Bones res.)if there is any change of plan but it does look as though East Sussex will escape the worse of the snow and so it certainly looks like full steam ahead for the night....

Patcham couple tell of seeing big cat

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 6:40 PM Comments comments (0)

2 newspaper readers told how they thought they saw a labrador sized big cat crossing Patcham High schools playing fields last monday(Argus story-couple spot `the Panther of Patcham`).Although on the edge of town bordering the A27 bypass with the downs beyond, at first glance this may seem a strange place for a big cat to be wandering through and yet this suburban area has produced it,s fair slice of big cat sightings in the past along with it,s near neighbours Falmer.Hollingbury,Bevendean,Preston Park,West Dene even to the south at the Ditchling road area,all these in only the last 18 months or so but these are all suburban areas with a low housing density and large gardens all interlinked with the railway running through as well as the large public parks some so thick with undergrowth a herd of elephants could travel through unnoticed let alone a slinking big cat.....

Next big cat chat stall to be held at Heathfield agricultural show

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

This saturday 26th may will be the next venue for the big cat chat stall at Heathfield agricultural show run by the intrepid Ashdown Forest researcher.Following on from the success at last months big cat chat stall at the Ashdown poultry clubs show at Michelham Priory it will feature an exhibition display,photos of mystery big cats,plaster casts etc. and a chance to share sightings, have a chat as well as anyone wishing to contribute any knowedge on the Sussex big cats that they may have.Heathfield show is always an interesting event tucked away as it is in the High Weald and always reminds me of how shows use to be like in the "70,s,local,friendly and very real.Updates and any interesting sightings and general big cat "occurances" will be posted here where possible so long as they have not been in sensitive areas and personally i am hoping for more light to be shed on the Mayfield big cat that has been popping up quite a lot recently as well as any info on the lynx activity that may of been missed.....

Chat stall produces results

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The big cat chat stall held last weekend at Michelham priorys poultry show from the Ashdown forest poultry club was a great success.A fair few very interesting sightings and anecdotal evidence of big cat activity throughout East Sussex was presented the most notable of which,to me,were the pair of sightings from the Long man of Wilmington(long legs,small head,sandy brown) and Horam(long neck,legs,small head,sandy brown) both were around 18 months ago and the witnesses came on different days.The 2 places are 9 miles apart as the cat runs and the descriptions were identical and not of the more often "stocky but sleek legs the same height as the body"variety.Could well of been long legged cat descriptions and will certainly go down in my book as such however the relationship between the shorter and longer legged big cats could well be closer than previously thought.Cracking weather,top class venue,very friendly people and extremely well kept birds were all the ingredients needed for one of the best ways to while away a few hours in mid spring that i,ve come across in a long time.Plans were made to run a similar stall at the country fair held at Michelham priory in high summer so see you there!

Big cat chat stall at Michelham priory

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

There will be a big cat chat stall at the annual Ashdown forest poultry club show on the weekend of 21st and 22nd april from 10am onwards held at the 13th century Michelham priory which is 9 miles east of Lewes along the dreaded A27 and north a bit.Primarily the stall will focus on big cat issues etc. and all are welcomed to come along and have a chat,share their sightings,anything they have found, whatever.There should be several people on the stall spread over the weekend representing the wide spectrum of interest in the subject.I shall be there as a guest hopefully on the sunday and we are all taking little bits of evidence along that we have collected for public perusal.On it,s own Michelham priory is one of my favourite old houses to visit with a working forge,water mill and replica iron age round houses.I understand there is a poultry show on the saturday with a sale on the sunday and we can be found in the barn opposite the forge....along with the chickens....

Fur found at Seaford was domestic cat

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

The fur found at the Seaford "big cat" sighting last month was microscopically analysed and proved to be domestic cat(Felis catus) in origin.Although this sort of analysis is by no means conclusive we have to respect the findings by a trusted scientific source.Of course DNA testing would of been better and more undeniable but the differences between the fur of Felix the cat and that of a black leopard (what would of been wanted by some)is rather striking and easily noticed under the most basic of microscope kit.I had nothing to do with the investigation or either the evidence collection nor the analysis.I have not been informed of the results directly but knowing human nature silence is golden when embarrassment occurs but i have been told that is the word on the big cat research grapevine.We are now left with 3 likely possible theories of the type of cat that was in that house.The first is that the culprit was indeed a large house cat that was very scared and lost.I agree that this is the most likely given the evidence made available,why on earth would a wild big cat venture indoors with all the danger that that incurs,why also was the creature so hiding quietly in the house for many hours when human activity went on all around it.Very hard to believe(i didn,t know this when i first published the news on this website)The 2nd is that it was a feral cat albeit very large but still Felis catus that had taken a wrong turn in it,s search for food in that very cold spell at the time and this would account for the very scaredy cat nature of it,s actions.Now the third and i know this is very hard to believe but that this cat that was there was truly a big cat in size with 5.5cm wide paw prints as left in the snow outside.Yes ,snow prints are very hazy to determine but the Telscombe big cat as we call it has paws this size,she,if it,s a she, is also around 20"tall (the size of a labrador) is stocky with an extra long,bushy tail and has green eyes.Admittedly ,apart from the extreme size of this big cat the other more noticeable feature is the length and bushyness of it,s tail and this wasn,t mentioned by the witnesses in the house at the time.I have found that if witnesses do not mention these peculiarities of the tail when reporting their sightings then other outstanding facets describing a big cat would have to be included to give credibility to their statements,so obvious is this feature which sets apart British big cats from misidentification with other species.Anyhow,the evidence is undeniable,the cat in the house was domestic cat in origin but what if a lot of the varying in type big cats that roam about quite literally sometimes among us are actually over sized and naturalised domestic cats that have adapted to living in Britain,are of a size that enables them to better survive the rigours that come with it and have formed,over many,many generations a far longer tail that is more suitable to their requirements.This fascinating topic has been the subject of many blog articles of mine in the past and is way overdue in being updated as is my presentation of past evidence gathered to support this outlandish theory of mine however for now i have to go with the science and the most likely theory of exactly what type of species the Seaford cat was and that was Felis catus,someones poor,scared house cat that simply had got lost and in the witnesses understandeable fright made it out to be far larger than it actually was.To prove this reasonably conclusively to me though i would like 24carot sightings backed up with hard evidence in the form of good quality paw prints or whatever that gave the Telscombe big cat proof that it was somewhere else at the time.....


Big cat inside house at Seaford

Posted on February 8, 2012 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (1)

A big cat entered through the front door of a house in the outskirts Seaford,East Sussex last sunday night.Black,around the size of a labrador with piercing green eyes it ran indoors along the corridor and was then confronted by the householder,both froze then the large cat ran back the way it came straight outside.Some cat-like paw prints around 5cm wide were seen in the snow.Other neighbours had seen a similar big cat previously....When i saw this story on Meridian Tonight i thought it was a bit far fetched however the paw prints do look the same size and similar to the Telscombe big cat plaster cast that i have(pics on evidence page no.s 37) and they don,t have the appearance of being faked.Although snow prints are notorious for being hard to identify the Seaford ones could well be of the same cat.In addition to this the Telscombe big cat unlike any other in Sussex has had a habit of frequenting peoples gardens in the past couple of years such as at Telscombe Tye,Kingston,Ovingdean,Falmer,Brighton the list goes on.All witnesses describe this very curious big cat as being of around the size of a small labrador,black,extra long tail curled up at the end.In all cases it has ran away from all dogs and people  it came across and even,despite being 4 times the size,backed off from a tame cat that stood it,s ground....

UPDATE: i have posted the background as to why i think this big cat could of had cause to enter a dwelling on the blog ,see link on the home page...

Big cats on BBC

Posted on June 17, 2011 at 10:37 AM Comments comments (0)

Big cats are in the media spotlight again (are they ever out of it?)in episode 15 of Real rescues series 7 30 minutes into the programme here is the link for BBC Iplayer (, a wildlife crime officer for Thames valley police presents a classic 10cm wide paw print gleaned from under a tree that 2 deer stalkers were up,presumably in a high seat in a Surrey woodland somewhere and found the prints when they came down.They saw neither hair nor hide of the big cat.SOCO police officers found a 300yard stretch of prints.It is" absolutely certain" they(big cats)exist ,he said.The paw prints have been verified by a home office expert,presumably from the Natural History Musuem,as being "of puma size" and the animal would had to of been "like a puma".This infers that they had some doubt on the actual identity/species of the cat in question and by looking at the plaster cast there is a somewhat greater in size negative space between the rear pad and toes than what there would if an actual puma had left the print.My theories and opinions on the paw print differences will be covered in an article i,m currently doing for