Devon ABC|jon_downes|jon@cfz.org.uk|06/15/05 at 15:48:24|jon_downes|xx|0|80.225.118.47|http://farshores.org/abc250.htm

BRITISH CAT TALES :.    DEVON PANTHER ON THE RUN
Posted June 14.05 (Original Headline: The cat came back )

A black panther, capable of covering an estimated 25 kilometres in a
night, is believed to be at large in the South Hams.

Danny Bamping, from the British Big Cats Society, is convinced that a
fast-moving feline is responsible for a shocking attack on a Jersey cow,
which suffered mouth and face injuries, at Langage Farm in Plympton. And
the same animal could be the gigantic black cat spotted at various
locations throughout the South Hams in recent weeks, according to
Plymouth-based Mr Bamping.

Kim Lock, from Ringmore, is one of several readers who have contacted
South Hams Newspapers this week to report her own big cat sighting. Ms Lock said: 'I was driving home from work, and as I approached Seven
Stones' Corner near St Ann's Chapel, a large black cat jumped out of the
hedge into the road in front of me. 'As I got closer to it, I could see it was like a panther and, as I
slowed down, it stood and stared at me for about 30 seconds. 'It then jumped back in the hedge. I was more amazed than scared as you
hear about big cats but don't really think you will see them.' Mr Bamping wants anyone who has spotted something similar to contact
him.

'It could be the same one, if you look at the recent sightings and
plotted a map,' he said. 'A black cat, which we believe is a panther due to its size and colour,
has been seen from Tamerton Foliot in Plymouth right up to Wrangaton. If
it's a panther, it would be capable of travelling huge distances
overnight, up to 25 kilometres.' But he insisted that that animals do
not pose a danger to the public unless they are threatened.

However, the big cat expert's assurances may not appease animal owners
or farmers in the wake of the Langage Farm attack and another startling
suspected big cat mauling in the South Hams nearly two years ago. As
reported by South Hams Newspapers in August 2003, a three-year-old horse
suffered horrific bite marks and claw wounds at South Brent.
Nevertheless, Mr Bamping's 12-year-old group which is based at
Dartmoor Wildlife Park in Sparkwell does not want to see big cats
killed and is keen to glean more information about the mystery
creatures.

For more information on the British Big Cats Society, or to report a big
cat incident, visit www.britishbigcats.org or call Mr Bamping on 01752
226535.

Have you spotted a big cat? Call Euan Reedie on 01752 893255 or email
him at ppinews@internet-today.co.uk

.:Story originally published by:. Dartmouth Today Cornwall / England - June 10.05


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