Today, The Daily Star has emblazoned across its front page the title: BRIT BIG CAT EATS BAMBI.
The caption is:
“a terrifying image of an infamous big cat roaming free in the UK has been snapped by a cabbie. It was taken close to an area strewn with mutilated deer corpses.”
The animal is described as a mystery beast leaving a bloodied trail of dead deer.
I’ve taken the liberty of photographing the relevant page from the newspaper and providing some scaling to the image. It is nice to see a so-called mystery big cat photographed close-up. The person who took the photograph in a taxi driver Jahid Choudhury.
The newspaper says that the cat looks like a puma (mountain lion). The taxi driver said that he did a double take when he saw the animal which is thought to be the legendary Big Cat of St Albans.
The photograph was taken at 4:30 am in the morning. It was taken near the area where mutilated deer corpses have been found which begs the question whether the so-called big cat has been feeling on deer. The taxi driver said:
“It definitely wasn’t a domestic cat. When I stopped and reversed it just stared at me.”
The photograph was taken off Napsbury, St Albans. The newspaper speculates that the so-called “beast” may have escaped from a zoo.
I think my annotation of the newspaper published photograph tells us that the cat in question is a large tabby domestic cat wandering outside minding his business at night – a typical scene. You could tell that the cat is a tabby cat by his tail which is striped.
Is all about scaling and size. A puma would be many times larger than the cat we see in the photograph. The longest domestic cat in the world is about 4 feet long. This cat is probably shorter than that but somewhere near that length and there are, let’s be frank, many random bred domestic cats who are very large but which never make it into the newspapers or into the Guinness World Records. This is one such cat but it is not an exceptional domestic cat in my opinion.
Also, it almost goes without saying that the appearance of this cat is completely different to that of a mountain lion. The mountain lion has a longer tail. There would be no markings on the tail such as are found on the cat in the photograph. In addition the mountain lion is more slender and has a head which is smaller relative to its body size. Further, the mountain lion’s legs are longer in relation to its body and in general the puma is far more muscular. In short, there are numerous appearance differences between a puma and a domestic moggy.
People always exaggerate the size of ‘mystery cats’. It is just human nature; an expression of their fear of large cats still evident today after eons.