BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: Wales  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 22:03 GMT
Armed stake-out for big cats
graphic of big cat and Wales
Armed police are continuing to stake out the farm where at least one big cat is thought to have killed a dog.

Dyfed-Powys Police sharpshooters have been drafted in to hunt two puma-like animals which struck at the farm at Llangadog, near Llandovery in Carmarthenshire, on Sunday evening.

Farmers are advised to be extra vigilant in the hours of darkness when it is believed that the cat is more active

Dyfed-Powys Police

The force is warning the public and farmers not to search for the puma-like cat which attacked the dog within sight of its owner and was then joined by what could have been its cub.

Officers armed with high-powered rifles are watching the site of the attack from hides and if the cats return, they will be shot.

This latest alert comes four months after Gwent Police used two helicopters equipped with thermal-imaging cameras to search for a similar beast reported on farmland near Newport.

Farmers working near the latest alarm are being urged to patrol in pairs and carry powerful torches as a way of protecting themselves from possible attack.

The animal which killed the dog, believed to be a whippet, made no attempt to attack the dog's owner but police are urging caution in any case.

A puma
A puma-like animal is thought to have attacked a dog

The farmer saw the wild cat while checking his sheep. His dog attacked the animal, which turned and killed it.

The cat then began to start eating the dog before another cat appeared, which is when the farmer called the police.

One officer has reported seeing a Puma-like animal at the site, which is between the villages of Llangadog and Myddfai in the Tywi Valley.

The dog's carcass has been taken away for veterinary examination by the Welsh Assembly's wildlife advisory unit.

A police spokesman said: "It is important to stress that a shotgun will probably be ineffective against the cat which can cover ground very quickly.

Unidentified black cat
Big cat sightings are taken seriously

"Farmers are advised to be extra vigilant in the hours of darkness when it is believed that the cat is more active.

"Farmers should at best be in pairs and carry high-powered torches.

"We ask that local residents do not attempt to search for the cat as this action is both dangerous and will adversely effect the police operation."

In September 2002, a major search was carried out after two large unidentified 'cat like' animals were spotted by police in south east Wales.

Two helicopters fitted with thermal imaging cameras scoured the area above farmland at Goldcliff on the edge of Newport.

Police marksman searched the Gwent levels and experts from Bristol Zoo were alerted.

Offspring

Despite the detailed search of the area, no further sightings of the cats were reported and the search was scaled down.

Last August, the British Big Cats Society said it had received more than 800 reports of animals including pumas, black panthers, leopards and so-called Fen tigers over a 12-month period.

Experts believe big cats in the UK are the offspring of beasts released by owners in the 1970s, after the introduction of stringent new laws governing wild and dangerous animals.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  Prof Alayne Street-Perrot
"It sounds to me like a panther, which is a black leopard."

More from south west Wales
See also:

28 Aug 02 | UK
26 Mar 02 | Wales
05 Feb 00 | UK
26 Aug 00 | Wales
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes