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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
I may accept there are animals the size of Caracals wild in the UK (they are only the size of my spaniel -12 to 18Kg) - they can survive on small game - but Puma or anything that size; the number of kills necessary to survive would make it fairly obvious I think.
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,622
1,147
Stourton,UK
It’s interesting to note that Ray Mears answers the question of there being big cats stalking our woods and moors with a resounding YES. And apparently he has seen a couple. So if someone of his reputation - who is very careful in how he represents himself in the media, puts his reputation on the line on this subject. Then I tend to think they are, or were out there.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,109
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Mid Wales
I would be pleased to be proven wrong to be honest - but with all the phone cameras and thousands of trail-cams out there, I am yet to be convinced. 'Experts' like Minter make their living out of their possible existence so he's not going to deny it is he.

Ray was quite adamant that he believes the cats he saw had been released relatively recently at the time he was quoted (2010 I think) which is a far cry from suggesting there's a population or that they are breeding.

However, I do accept that lack of evidence is not evidence of non-existence :)
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,256
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McBride, BC
Puma/cougar/mountain lion here never stash their kills in trees. Maybe partially buried with sticks/branches/dead leaves. The grizzly and black bears rarely enter the village so I guess the cats need do no more with their prey (local habituated deer.)

South in the Kettle River valley, the deer population defies description. Grows enough cats to be a real nuisance.
Here's a link. Scroll past my picture, down to the little picture of the client with the cat and click.
That opens a gallery of hunters and cats.

https://kettleriverguides.com/
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,851
1,068
64
Florida
@ JonathonD I’m kinda curious: cats pulling their kill into trees usually indicates a possibility of losing it to another predator higher up the food chain (I think you said something to that effect in your post) So my curiosity poses the question: just what in the UK wilds is higher up the food chain?
 

cipherdias

Settler
Jan 1, 2014
510
220
Wales
@ JonathonD I’m kinda curious: cats pulling their kill into trees usually indicates a possibility of losing it to another predator higher up the food chain (I think you said something to that effect in your post) So my curiosity poses the question: just what in the UK wilds is higher up the food chain?
That's kind of worrying!!
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,109
4,455
Mid Wales
Neh, I reckon it's the humans putting the carcasses in the trees to perpetuate the myths :)

I was under the impression that only leopards pulled their kill into trees; is that wrong;
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,622
1,147
Stourton,UK
Neh, I reckon it's the humans putting the carcasses in the trees to perpetuate the myths :)

I was under the impression that only leopards pulled their kill into trees; is that wrong;

That’s quite possible. But as there are or were definitely caracals in those woods, it must be for another purpose.
 
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JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,622
1,147
Stourton,UK
Ray was quite adamant that he believes the cats he saw had been released relatively recently at the time he was quoted (2010 I think) which is a far cry from suggesting there's a population or that they are breeding.

I never implied that Ray said they were breeding. The caracal skull that was found was a juvenile, while the pictures around the estate were of an adult. I know they’re not exactly ‘big cats’, but they’re not small either. I’ve not seen any prints or other solid evidence like that for a while now, so Im pretty sure they’ve been shot or otherwise dispatched like the juvenile was. Maybe the deer carcasses have been left as bait. Last one I saw was around April last year. A good ten years after the juvenile cat remains were found.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,109
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Mid Wales
I never implied that Ray said they were breeding. The caracal skull that was found was a juvenile, while the pictures around the estate were of an adult. I know they’re not exactly ‘big cats’, but they’re not small either. I’ve not seen any prints or other solid evidence like that for a while now, so Im pretty sure they’ve been shot or otherwise dispatched like the juvenile was. Maybe the deer carcasses have been left as bait. Last one I saw was around April last year. A good ten years after the juvenile cat remains were found.

I was actually joking. I have been told that bait has been put up in trees for 'large' cats otherwise foxes and badgers would ruin evidence. I have also been told that on the estate it was done that no bait has been taken :(

I have followed big cat tracks in Namibia (I won't say tracked because they were more than evident) - they are scarily big. Despite very careful looking I have never seen anything resembling them in the UK - but I don't often find a whole load of tracks of animals that we know are here either.

To be clear, I am not denying their existence, just keeping an open mind.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,109
4,455
Mid Wales
Yes Caracals do leave prey in trees, usually small stuff. They weigh about thirty five pounds but they can take small deer.

Like I said earlier, the size of my spaniel - there's no way they could get anything bigger than a hare in a tree and even then it would be a struggle. They occasionally take young springbok and duiker which are also around the 18Kg mark but more typically it's smaller rodents and birds.

We could do with something in the UK to control the spread of Muntjac!
 
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