Police contacted about big cat sightings in Devon and Cornwall

Mid Devon Star: Panthers in Penryn and lions at Longdowns. Police contacted about big cat sightings in Devon and Cornwall Panthers in Penryn and lions at Longdowns. Police contacted about big cat sightings in Devon and Cornwall

People in Devon and Cornwall are convinced panthers, pumas, and even a tiger, are roaming the counties, if reports to police are to be believed, with one person from Helston saying a large cat knocked something over in their garden.

A Freedom of Information request to the force asked how many reports of ‘big cats’ have been made, and the details of these reports and what people claim to have seen.

The police searched their database for the October 2012 to October 2013 period and came up with 11 hits.

Apart from the mystery large cat knocking things over in a Helston garden, a caller from St Blazey said they had spotted a large cat, not a normal domesticated one in May 2013.

The majority of reports are from Devon, with one caller from Exmouth saying they had spotted a tiger. However there may be a less exciting reason for the sighting, with a note on the report that an officer had spoken to care home staff and that they would check on the caller.

In Efford near Plymouth last February a ‘hunting man’ reported what he was sure was a puma, saying it was definitely not a domestic cat or dog. Approximately 18 inches tall, it held its head high, and the tail curved upwards.

Another Plymouth report was a sighting of a bifg cat behind a Homebase store, with the grey animal described as large, about the size of a puma.

Read the full list below:

Nov 2012.Axminster Rural Devon. Two sheep killed - Have contacted caller who doesn’t think it is a dog but can’t rule it out. The sheep are all attacked by the throat and then ripped open. He did mention a big cat
Dec 2012. Torrington Rural Devon. Two sheep have been killed by a dog or big cat as there are claw marks on the back
Dec 2012. Buckfastleigh Devon. Ram found dead. Caller thinks the killing was by a big cat given circumstances
Jan 2013. Axminster Rural Devon. Two sheep killed. Caller still doesn't think it is a dog and suspects a large black cat that has also been seen in area by local residents. Advice given to contact DEFRA re possible big cat sightings.
Jan 2013. Exmouth Halsdon & Withycombe Devon. Seen a tiger. Spoken to care home - staff will go and check on caller
Feb 2013. Efford Plymouth. Caller sure it was a puma. Says he is a hunting man. Definitely not a domestic cat or dog. Approx 18 inches tall, head held high, tail curved upwards not particularly long
May 2013. St Blazey & Tywardreath Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. Caller states saw large looking cat. Not domesticated cat
May 2013. Helston Town Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. Appears large cat in premises has knocked something over
Jun 2013. Leigham & Mainstone Plymouth. About an hour and a half ago I saw a large animal to the rear of Homebase/Next. It was large - about the size of a puma - and grey
Sept 2013. Cowick & St Thomas Devon Caller reporting a wild beast in his house. Caller said the beast was locked inside a room

Comments (2)

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5:02pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

I saw a large cat a while ago crossing the Helston to Falmouth Road just before the speed camera, I saw little point in reporting this to police as by the time I would have been in a position to make a phone call the animal would have been long gone. Besides which, what exactly can one expect the police to do, even had I provided photographic evidence they could only really file it away under an administrative detection. I certainly do not want local police officers eaten by large cats, there is a shortage of visible neighbourhood policing already.
I saw a large cat a while ago crossing the Helston to Falmouth Road just before the speed camera, I saw little point in reporting this to police as by the time I would have been in a position to make a phone call the animal would have been long gone. Besides which, what exactly can one expect the police to do, even had I provided photographic evidence they could only really file it away under an administrative detection. I certainly do not want local police officers eaten by large cats, there is a shortage of visible neighbourhood policing already. Gillian Zella Martin 09

10:08am Tue 14 Jan 14

BevHelston says...

A couple of months ago while walking along the river between Lowertown and Helston we saw a large black cat in the field on the other side of the river. Definitely not a domestic cat, it was far too tall and had a very long tail. Stood watching it for some time until it became aware of us watching and disappeared into the hedge. Only wish we had a camera on us at the time
A couple of months ago while walking along the river between Lowertown and Helston we saw a large black cat in the field on the other side of the river. Definitely not a domestic cat, it was far too tall and had a very long tail. Stood watching it for some time until it became aware of us watching and disappeared into the hedge. Only wish we had a camera on us at the time BevHelston

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