‘Crystal Palace Puma’ is a panther, big cat expert says

By | August 31, 2009

Second Crystal Palace puma sighting?A big cat researcher claims to have solved the mystery of the “Palace Puma”.

Neil Arnold said a large wild cat spotted by a woman in a woods in Crystal Palace two weeks ago is in fact a black leopard or panther.

The author of Mystery Animals of the British Isles said decades of sightings across southeast London are a result of a number of large exotic cats being released into the wild by their owners in 1976, when it was deemed necessary to buy expensive licences to keep them.

Mr Arnold said sightings of big cats such as that by Helen Barrett in woodland at Fox Hill on Saturday, August 8, were of the offspring of these “pets”.

In last week’s Streatham Guardian Mrs Barrett described how she had seen a 5ft puma or panther on a pathway between Church Road and Auckland Road.

Police searched for the animal but could find no trace of it.

Mr Arnold said the animals “are no threat to humans”.

via ‘Crystal Palace Puma’ is a panther, big cat expert says (From Croydon Guardian).

3 thoughts on “‘Crystal Palace Puma’ is a panther, big cat expert says

  1. Pete

    No such thing as leopards in the UK. People have sometimes seen black foxes (which are rare) but there aren’t any big cats on the loose in the UK.

    1. Gordon

      During the 1960’s the were very popular pets, however with a change in laws they were often dumped/ released or escaped. Big Cats are capable of ranging territories that are significantly large, and it is possible that the have bred in the wild. Big Cats are secretive animals so it would be doubtful that the would be as common a sighting as say a Fox. The confirmation that we do have large predators living still in the UK is that there have been many documented carcasses left in fields usually of calves, sheep and deer that are ripped to pieces, and no Dog or Fox is capable of a causing that much damage to A. carcass or B. eating as much of it as is clearly missing from it.

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