Lancashire TelegraphPolice probe 26 Lancashire big cat sightings in five years (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Police probe 26 Lancashire big cat sightings in five years

A BIG cat was spotted prowling around a Lancashire housing estate on a summer afternoon, it has been revealed.

The sighting of the four-foot long creature, described as a cross between a tiger, cheetah and leopard, was one of 26 reported to Lancashire Police in the last five years.

The caller told officers the animal, which had a long tail and ‘tiger spots’, had been running down back streets on the Brunshaw estate, in Burnley.

Suspecting it was a Bengal cat, or ocelot, police contacted the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to find out if any were licensed in the area.

The out-of-place animal was spotted in Brunshaw Avenue, on a June afternoon, but no further sightings were reported.

In October last year, a security guard on a night shift at premises in Lower Darwen told officers he saw a large golden cat, resembling a puma, behind a fence.

Reports also feature sightings of black panthers in Hoghton, a wild white cat in Hoddlesden, and pumas in Turton and Waterfoot also feature in the reports.

In Leagram, near Chipping, a man contacted police on four separate occasions in a six-month period to report having seen a puma-like cat with a head the size of a football.

On one occasion, he said, the six-foot long animal, which had been following him around, even growled at him.

Almost half of the 26 sightings reported to police were in East Lancashire locations, suggesting the area is something of a big cat ‘hot spot’.

The details were revealed to the Lancashire Telegraph under the Freedom of Information Act.

However, the list does not include reports of lions, or jaguars, because searches under those words on police systems brought up a lot of unrelated information.

The 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act made it illegal to keep big cats as pets and may have led to some being released by owners.

Click on the link below to see the full details of the Freedom of Information request.

Comments (16)

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5:20pm Sun 3 Jul 11

useyourhead says...

And yet no-one took a photo!! strange!!
And yet no-one took a photo!! strange!! useyourhead
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Sun 3 Jul 11

TONY WALES says...

I saw Lenny the Lion once in a pantomime in Manchester.
I saw Lenny the Lion once in a pantomime in Manchester. TONY WALES
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Sun 3 Jul 11

Keep Darwen Green says...

Thats because this is also known as the meths triangle, there are more people drinking meths than anywhere else in the uk. It stands to reason, there are more ufo sightings here also. And the occassional fairy. Not to mention big foot.
Thats because this is also known as the meths triangle, there are more people drinking meths than anywhere else in the uk. It stands to reason, there are more ufo sightings here also. And the occassional fairy. Not to mention big foot. Keep Darwen Green
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Sun 3 Jul 11

clickhere says...

And is this what the Freedom of Information Act was meant to be used for? Lancs Police are having to save £42m or so. Bobbies and backroom staff being dumped and Police Stations being closed - and the Lancashire Telegraph puts extra costs on to the Police which makes matters worse, so it can find out how many 'wild cat' sightings there have been in the last five years!!???!
The LT will be full if indignation if because of these silly requests the authorities decide to charge the going rate to research these FoI requests. After all the request above was of no great interest to the public - just a way of the LT filling a column or two and possibly selling a few extra copies. If the LT is charging people to read the result of the FoI request, it seems reasonable the the police should charge for providing the information.The end result though could well be that this may deter genuine requests by people who will be priced out of a useful tool in the democratic process.
And is this what the Freedom of Information Act was meant to be used for? Lancs Police are having to save £42m or so. Bobbies and backroom staff being dumped and Police Stations being closed - and the Lancashire Telegraph puts extra costs on to the Police which makes matters worse, so it can find out how many 'wild cat' sightings there have been in the last five years!!???! The LT will be full if indignation if because of these silly requests the authorities decide to charge the going rate to research these FoI requests. After all the request above was of no great interest to the public - just a way of the LT filling a column or two and possibly selling a few extra copies. If the LT is charging people to read the result of the FoI request, it seems reasonable the the police should charge for providing the information.The end result though could well be that this may deter genuine requests by people who will be priced out of a useful tool in the democratic process. clickhere
  • Score: 0

9:34pm Sun 3 Jul 11

Graham Hartley says...

clickhere wrote:
And is this what the Freedom of Information Act was meant to be used for? Lancs Police are having to save £42m or so. Bobbies and backroom staff being dumped and Police Stations being closed - and the Lancashire Telegraph puts extra costs on to the Police which makes matters worse, so it can find out how many 'wild cat' sightings there have been in the last five years!!???!
The LT will be full if indignation if because of these silly requests the authorities decide to charge the going rate to research these FoI requests. After all the request above was of no great interest to the public - just a way of the LT filling a column or two and possibly selling a few extra copies. If the LT is charging people to read the result of the FoI request, it seems reasonable the the police should charge for providing the information.The end result though could well be that this may deter genuine requests by people who will be priced out of a useful tool in the democratic process.
FOI requests are sometimes refused because the cost of providing the information is high. When information is provided, the provider may charge for the service.
[quote][p][bold]clickhere[/bold] wrote: And is this what the Freedom of Information Act was meant to be used for? Lancs Police are having to save £42m or so. Bobbies and backroom staff being dumped and Police Stations being closed - and the Lancashire Telegraph puts extra costs on to the Police which makes matters worse, so it can find out how many 'wild cat' sightings there have been in the last five years!!???! The LT will be full if indignation if because of these silly requests the authorities decide to charge the going rate to research these FoI requests. After all the request above was of no great interest to the public - just a way of the LT filling a column or two and possibly selling a few extra copies. If the LT is charging people to read the result of the FoI request, it seems reasonable the the police should charge for providing the information.The end result though could well be that this may deter genuine requests by people who will be priced out of a useful tool in the democratic process.[/p][/quote]FOI requests are sometimes refused because the cost of providing the information is high. When information is provided, the provider may charge for the service. Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Sun 3 Jul 11

Monsters mum says...

I shook hands with Lenny the Lion once at a show in Blackpool!!!
I shook hands with Lenny the Lion once at a show in Blackpool!!! Monsters mum
  • Score: 0

12:02am Mon 4 Jul 11

Aussie Peg says...

In the late 1960s, many "mountain lion" sightings were reported and livestock mutilations reported in Victoria Australia, (which until recently has never had cats other than domestic) without resolution; various theories proposed. Not all the result of imagination - a vet doing a post mortem on a large dead goat unexpectedly alerted me to the large sized claw marks of a "cat" (he said) visible all over the inside of her skin. After being heard screaming in her pen she was found dying from shock, rather than from her shallow wounds.

England has happily absorbed many species including hybrid (part-domestic) cats, which can be many colours, sizes and shapes.

"Strange" animals viewed fleetingly and at a distance always seem much larger and threatening - and more numerous - so that's my solution for your cat sightings: one or more of the hybrid cats, which can be very large, very beautiful, very "wild" looking and a great nuisance to livestock, pets and even children.

Let's see a photograph!
In the late 1960s, many "mountain lion" sightings were reported and livestock mutilations reported in Victoria Australia, (which until recently has never had cats other than domestic) without resolution; various theories proposed. Not all the result of imagination - a vet doing a post mortem on a large dead goat unexpectedly alerted me to the large sized claw marks of a "cat" (he said) visible all over the inside of her skin. After being heard screaming in her pen she was found dying from shock, rather than from her shallow wounds. England has happily absorbed many species including hybrid (part-domestic) cats, which can be many colours, sizes and shapes. "Strange" animals viewed fleetingly and at a distance always seem much larger and threatening - and more numerous - so that's my solution for your cat sightings: one or more of the hybrid cats, which can be very large, very beautiful, very "wild" looking and a great nuisance to livestock, pets and even children. Let's see a photograph! Aussie Peg
  • Score: 0

11:22am Mon 4 Jul 11

Raven says...

The caller told officers the animal, which had a long tail and ‘tiger spots’, .... since when have tigers had spots? I think the police would be better off searching for the drugs that are making these people see weird and wonderful things...
The caller told officers the animal, which had a long tail and ‘tiger spots’, .... since when have tigers had spots? I think the police would be better off searching for the drugs that are making these people see weird and wonderful things... Raven
  • Score: 0

12:49pm Mon 4 Jul 11

ramjam says...

shudda gon specsavers - innit!
shudda gon specsavers - innit! ramjam
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Mon 4 Jul 11

Armchair Warrior says...

Must be an Invader from another galaxy - better send for David Vincent
Must be an Invader from another galaxy - better send for David Vincent Armchair Warrior
  • Score: 0

1:54pm Mon 4 Jul 11

Gob says...

I can't believe that the Telegraph has removed post re my sighting of Roar the Lion...it was the only genuine sighting on here!
I can't believe that the Telegraph has removed post re my sighting of Roar the Lion...it was the only genuine sighting on here! Gob
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Mon 4 Jul 11

jessjade says...

tony the tiger is in our cuboard
tony the tiger is in our cuboard jessjade
  • Score: 0

4:39pm Mon 4 Jul 11

DaveBurnley says...

Hope it stays clear of Colne Road, otherwise it will end up in the kebabs.
Hope it stays clear of Colne Road, otherwise it will end up in the kebabs. DaveBurnley
  • Score: 0

12:40am Tue 5 Jul 11

Heretical says...

Foxes used to be regular callers at night...perhaps some of the rather 'mind altered' residents got a little confused.
Foxes used to be regular callers at night...perhaps some of the rather 'mind altered' residents got a little confused. Heretical
  • Score: 0

7:54pm Tue 5 Jul 11

RAyzer says...

are today's cops that useless??what a waste of man power...chasing cats,and waiting on workers coming home ,,parked at side of roads(cash cow)...god help us!!!!meanwhile junkies and burglars carry on because the old bill are "to busy"
are today's cops that useless??what a waste of man power...chasing cats,and waiting on workers coming home ,,parked at side of roads(cash cow)...god help us!!!!meanwhile junkies and burglars carry on because the old bill are "to busy" RAyzer
  • Score: 0

9:33pm Wed 13 Jul 11

hairy mary says...

i met the wife in a field she was grazing, and i just started talking to her and im still with her now 21 years on, how lucky is she
i met the wife in a field she was grazing, and i just started talking to her and im still with her now 21 years on, how lucky is she hairy mary
  • Score: 0

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