Britain's big-cat warning

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The Independent Online
Britain's big-cat warning

People could be killed in Britain unless the Government wakes up to the reality of leopards and pumas living and breeding in the countryside, an expert warned yesterday.

Quentin Rose, a zoologist and trapper who has investigated big cat sightings for six years, said said the big cat phenomenon extended far beyond the legend of the "Beast of Bodmin Moor" and had to be taken seriously.

In the last six years he had identified 27 reliable reports of leopards and 32 of puma, and 18 smaller members of the cat family - jungle cats, leopard cats and ocelots.

Sightings were not confined to the South-west but included Dover, the Midlands, Wales, East Anglia and Scotland. He said: "People are going to be killed sooner or later."

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