Goose death fuels big cat fears
Thursday 19 February 1998
After years of mysterious sightings, usually dismissed as being overweight family cats or figments of the imagination, an Edinburgh pathologist has said he is convinced that a goose, handed to him by Essex police for examination, was the victim of a big cat.
"I am of the opinion that it was a lynx that killed the goose," said Ranald Munro, of the Veterinary Laboratory Agency in Edinburgh.
"The goose died following a severing of the spine and bites to the neck. But more interesting was the chest which had been deeply clawed. It is most unusual," he added.
During the past two years numerous sightings of a large animal have been reported in Fyfield and Matching Tye in Essex. But alarm grew after the remains of a 12lb goose was found in nearby North Weald.
Ongar police were unable to explain its injuries and sent the carcass to Dr Munro.
Quentin Rose, Europe's only professional dangerous animal trapper, has been advising Ongar police and is trying to trap the animal.
Mr Rose, who estimates there are 100 big cats living wild in Britain, said: "It's certainly a large cat, a panther I should think."
Sightings of big cat in the wild in Britain date back to 1983. The first was in Cornwall and the animal was dubbed the Beast of Bodmin. Almost 50 sightings or kills were reported in 1984. But a Ministry of Agriculture investigation found "no verifiable evidence". Since then people have reported sightings in Exmoor, Suffolk, Surrey, Hampshire, Scotland and Wales.
Paul Tyler, MP for North Cornwall, has been campaigning for a government investigation.
He said: "The Essex case adds to the jigsaw. Nobody before has put their hand on their heart and said it's a puma, panther or lynx."
- 1 2015 General Election: Green party will not appear in TV debate alongside Ukip – says BBC
- 2 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 3 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
- 4 North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
- 5 Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Elizabeth Norment dead: House of Cards actress honoured by Kevin Spacey after she dies aged 61
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
North Korean officials 'publicly executed for watching South Korean soap operas'
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism
£45 - £55 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experienc...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teachers needed in King's Ly...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary Teacher needed in the Ely ar...
£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Randstad Education Leicester ...