The Blockley inhabitants described in "Not in our backyard" (7 December) as being frightened of big cats are unnecessarily dismayed. When my wife and I lived in Botswana, we walked among lions a kilometre from our canoe without a gun. We stood at the base of a termite mound and, as they came towards us, stared sternly at them. They turned away, preferring something tastier to 50-year-old human, albeit a double portion. Big cats usually attack from behind and so our advice to the villagers of Blockley is bravely to face the problem head on.

We have no experience, unfortunately, of what to do on a dark night if a big wild cat is found eating, for example, a small tame pussy. The celebrities of Blockley should, perhaps, buy everyone a large torch with a powerful beam.

John D Anderson

Shipley, West Yorkshire