Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The British government, after reviewing 100 reports made since 2005, has concluded there are in fact non-native or alien species of big cats loose in England. No bodies of large cats like pumas or leopards have turned up, but there are some good images (like the one accompanying the linked article) and killings (such as that of a roe deer which was dragged over two fences) that couldn't have been done by any animal native to the U.K. The government emphasizes this is not a matter of a dangerous species establishing a population, but of escaped or released animals scattered over the country. Big cat researchers note that the animals have been reported for decades and, given feline life spans, some breeding is going on.