Letter: Beast of Bont is a wild cat

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your article on the Beast of Bont (report, 4 April) overlooks the possibility that the beast may be a wildcat. This creature, known wrongly as the Scottish wildcat, was until the last century widespread over Britain. It was later presumed extinct south of the Highlands.

If a small population survived unbeknown to us this could well explain the beast sightings on Exmoor etc. It is noteworthy that the tail of the cat on the picture (4 April) is the tail of a wildcat, which differs from the tail of a domestic cat in that its end is rounded rather than tapering. It is also noteworthy that wildcat toms can reach three feet from head to tip of tail, which might explain why some of these beasts may have been confused with pumas.