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
 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 19:44 GMT
'Puma-like' animal spotted again
A third sighting of a big cat has been reported, three days after a dog was killed by an animal said to resemble a panther.

A milk tanker driver from Whitland, saw the beast in farmland at Ffairfach, near Llandeilo at around mid day on Thursday, a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said.

The scene of the latest sighting is between 10 and 12 miles south of Llangadog, Carmarthenshire, where the cat was seen after it savagely killed a dog.

Police, including armed officers, attended the scene but found no trace of the 'animal'.

A puma
A puma-like animal allegedly attacked a dog

Police had warned farmers to be vigilant after Mike Shepherd, 62, of Llangadog, near Llandovery, came face to face with the big cat.

He had set out on Sunday to find a neighbour's missing whippet.

He discovered the big cat, with blood over its face, standing over the dog's lifeless form, and ran inside and alerted the police.

The UK rural affairs ministry, Defra, has said it is unlikely to launch an inquiry into the alleged sightings.

It has played down claims that escaped big cats may be breeding in the wild, arguing there is no evidence of a sizeable population.

It was a panther, without a doubt - jet black - and its muzzle was covered in blood

Mike Shepherd

A big cat expert had called for an inquiry into reported sightings.

Professor Alayne Street-Perrot, who travelled to the United States to study big cats after her horses were attacked six years ago, says the animals may be breeding in the wild.

She said: "It's very difficult to see what can be done, in that the government has let the situation get this far.

"A lot of these cats were released after the Dangerous Wild Animals Act in 1976 and if the problem had been nipped in the bud then, we wouldn't have the problem we do now.

"Unless they are still being released, they must be breeding.

"In locations with a lot of wooded cover, where cats are being seen regularly, people do have to be careful."

Unidentified black cat
Big cat sightings are taken seriously

In the second big cat sighting in mid-Wales, a lorry driver saw an animal at the Co-operative Creamery at Llangadog on Wednesday.

Armed police were called after the driver reported seeing the cat near vehicles at the creamery shortly before 0200 GMT.

The cat was not traced, but Dyfed-Powys Police are viewing CCTV tapes from the area.

Police marksmen are continuing to stake out the smallholding near Llangadog where a whippet was killed on Sunday.

I wasn't frightened until it hissed at me

Mike Shepherd

Handyman Mike Shepherd said: "I saw the dog on the floor with the animal right above it.

"It was a panther, without a doubt - jet black - and its muzzle was covered in blood.

"By the side of it was a smaller one.

"I've seen them on television and it was a puma, leopard or a cat of that description.

"I wasn't frightened until it hissed at me."

Pathology results

A post-mortem examination arranged by the Welsh Assembly's Wildlife Advisory Unit will take place to determine what exactly killed the dog.

A police officer investigating the sighting also saw the animal.

  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:

07 Jan 03 | Wales
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