Skip to comments.Armed stake-out for big cats (in Wales)
Posted on 01/08/2003 5:45:53 PM PST by gd124
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.
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.
*Read this in Welsh http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/newyddion/newsid_2634000/2634787.stm
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.
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.
"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.
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.
What would high powered torches do? Blind the animal? How goofy.
Allows you to see your buddy's throat being torn out clearly I guess
Gweld cath fawr eto yn ardal Llangadog
Mae arbenigwr ar gathod mawr yn credu y dylai'r Llywodraeth gynnal adolygiad o'r modd mae'r awdurdodau yn ymchwilio i achosion tebyg i'r un yn Sir Gaerfyrddin yr wythnos yma. Daw'r alwad yma wrth i dystiolaeth ddod i'r amlwg bod y gath fawr laddodd ci yn ardal Llangadog ddydd Sul wedi cael ei weld unwaith eto.
Cafodd y gath ei weld gan yrrwr lori lefrith tua 0200 bore Mercher yn yr ardal.
Dros y blynyddoedd wrth gwrs mae 'na sawl adroddiad wedi bod ynglyn â chreaduriaid tebyg i gathod mawr yn crwydro ardlaoedd gwledig er enghraifft ym Mrechfa, Pontrhydfendigaid ac anialdir Bodmin.
Gwelwyd cath fawr yn ardal Norfolk hefyd Ar hyn o bryd wrth gwrs mae plismyn arfog parhau i archwilio tiroedd yn ardal Llangadog, Sir Caerfyrddin.
Ddydd Sul fe welodd ffermwr anifail tebyg i biwma yn lladd ei gi yno.
Cadarnhaodd Heddlu Dyfed Powys eu bod yn dal i chwilio'r ardal ac nad oes neb wedi gweld yr anifail ers ddydd Sul.
Yr Athro Alayne Street-Perrot, o Brifysgol Cymru Abertawe, ydy'r arbenigwraig mwyaf yng Nghymru ar gathod mawr.
Mae hi'n credu ei bod yn amser i wleidyddion gymryd sylw gyda'r ofnau'n cynyddu bod anifeiliaid peryglus yn magu yn fforestydd de Cymru.
Yr ymosodiad yn Llangadog sydd wedi codi'r mater i'w wyneb unwaith eto ac mae'r Aelod yn y Cynulliad yn yr ardal, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, yn cytuno.
"Mae 'na nifer o enghreifftiau o bobol yn gweld y cathod mawr ac mae 'na nifer o dystiolaeth amgylcheddol erbyn hyn yn awgrymu bod 'na fwy nag un gath a hwyrach fwy nag un teulu yn bodoli yn fforestydd de Cymru.
"Mae Adam Price, yr AS, hefyd wedi bod yn galw am ymchwiliad ac felly fe fyddwn ni'n pwyso'n bellach i geisio sicrhau o ganlyniad i'r digwyddiad yma bod ymchwiliad gwirioneddol yn cael ei wneud i'r sefyllfa." Mae ffermwyr lleol yn pryderu am eu hanifeiliaid a'u teuluoedd.
Rhaid dilyn canllawiau'r heddlu nad oes modd saethu'r gath gan nad ydy'r gynnau arferol yn ddigon pwerus ac mae modd y gall yr anifail droi ar y saethwr.
Yn ôl Undeb yr FUW rhaid i'r anifail neu anifeiliaid gael eu dal gynted ag y bo modd yn fyw neu yn farw.
Mae tymor wyna yn agosáu ac mae ffermwyr yn pryderu am eu stoc.
Dywedodd yr heddlu y byddan nhw'n aros yn yr ardal am rai dyddiau eto i chwilio am y gath neu hyd yn oed y cathod.
Also I know something about the British climate (virtually all of my professors in Kenya were Scottish or British), and the types of cats that can survive in a cold clammy moor type of environment. Also add to this the type of pets that used to be kept before possessing feral cats was banned in Britain.
Hence I believe the type of cat being seen in Britain (if they actually exist and are not some British manifestation of the Sasquatch) is either a Leopard (from Africa or India), or maybe it is a Puma (from N. America). However there is also the added chance that it is an amalgamation of the two species (since it has been shown several of the large cat species can mate and produce exotic offspring eg a lion and a tiger can give a liger/tigon; a leopard and a lion can produce a leopon etc. As an aside the largest cat in the world is a Liger, which is immense, by far bigger than even a Siberian/Amur tiger ..that thing looks like a monster)!
The reason I think it is a leopard is because leopards are the most adaptable big cats, and can survive in any environment ranging from blistering desert furnaces to arctic frozen wastes! Leopards can also eat nigh anything .and in Africa they have been known to show a particular taste for dogs, even going as far as breaking into peoples compounds and snatching their poor canines (in one case one leopard streaked from a tree and snatched a poodle from the arms of some distraught Briton, who promptly screamed before collapsing in shock). Hence when it comes to survival a leopard could be the culprit!
However personally I think it is a Puma! The reason for that is because leopards may not be as big as lions or tigers, but they are regarded as the most ferocious of the big cats and have a seeming wanton for bloodshed! If it were indeed a leopard then instead of a stray dog being killed one would see whole herds of sheep slaughtered in their pens at night (with only one being eaten and the rest being killed for sport). Also leopards have been known to become maneaters in both Africa and India .and have managed to rack up a comfortable tally of human lives! If it were a leopard, and it is in a community with people, by now there should have been a human fatality (usually a sneak attack at night).
And that is why I think it is a puma! Cougars are generally timid, and the rare cases of attack (very rare) have mostly resulted in scratches (a leopard attack on the other hand will usually result in death). And pumas can also survive in a vast array of environments, meaning they could survive in the British countryside. Also they were kept as pets due to their docility (leopards, it can be said, do not make great pets, especially if you are not fond of deep long lacerations).
Thus I would say if the cat exists it is most likely a puma.
Is it a lion or tiger ..nope, Such a large beast would require larger prey than stray dogs, and an adult lion prowling the fields would definitely come into contact with some unfortunate soul, who would most probably run, and because of that be killed! One of the last things you should attempt when faced by a lion (a real lion not a mountain lion) is run because even if it is not a man-eater it will give chase out of instinct it is like dangling strong before a cat. Every year myriads of people are killed (some reports say hundreds) by lions as they try to enter south Africa from mozambique (for the better living standards). They try to sneak through the park, and usually end up faced by marauding lions. The ones who make it through to S. Africa are the ones who do not run, do not scream, and do not try to scare the lions away by making noises and flailing their arms. The ones who die are the ones who, upon seeing a lion, immediately start to run (one can tell they ran away from the tracks) and the lion immediately tears them apart! Some climb trees, not knowing that lions can climb most types of trees! Others start crying .not knowing that to a lion a human cry sounds very much like the noise sick wilderbeests make, and lions like picking on sick or wounded prey!
Hence in Britain I doubt it is a lion or tiger .and I also doubt it is a leopard (although a leopard could easily survive their). Thus the remaining option is either a puma or a florida panther (both were kept as pets .pumas because they were docile, and florida panthers because they could be black in color, and hence their owners could lie to friends that they were black panthers for the danger aspect).
Or maybe the whole thing is a hoax and what the farmers saw was a big dog or maybe they had to much ale and were seeing things when there was none.
However in some cases evidence (dead carcases) have been discovered that were killed by something that was not a dog but seemed to be a large, very large, cat.
By the way, if it is a puma then the only weapon you need is a stout stick and a strong arm. However if it is a leopard, jaguar, lion or tiger then i hope you have a very powerful (and reliable) firearm (i do not mean hand gun when i say firearm), great aim, and a strong relationship with your creator ....because in all those cases there are instances of heavy slugs being fired right through their hearts and they still finish their charge and kill the shooter! Using a shot gun in such cases would be suicidal ...unless you waited until the beast was 3 feet away before pulling the trigger ....and that is hard to do when a 500 pound lion is charging at you at 50 miles an hour (and a lion going at 50 miles an hour, towards you, seems like a blur moving at 200 miles an hour)!
A shot gun is only advisable if you have written a solid will and said adeiu to your loved ones!
LIGER(male lion plus tigress, and due to getting the best of both species certain specimens have reached over 12 feet standing on their hind legs, and can weigh up to 1000 pounds ....for comparison an average African lion weighs aroung half that)
LEOPON (the amalgamation of a leopard and a lion ....they have the rosette spots of a leopard but with the larger body and mane of a lion)
JAGLION (obviously the mix of a Jaguar and a Lion ....similar to a Leopon....only larger!)
CARAVAL (male caracal plus female Serval)
PUMARD (leopard plus puma ...probably one of the cats found in Britain)
I think that most of the hybrids are infertile, but I suppose the odd one might be able to reproduce. It would be really cool if a couple of totally new species had developed in Britain through hybridization. Imagine if pumards became a protected species!
For 'normal' lions (which luckily are the majority and are not by nature man-eaters) the best thing is to stay calm, and to walk away confidently while keeping your wits about you. Any sign of weakness or fear (eg running, crying etc) will most likely trigger a predatory response and you will be rended to smithereens in no time flat!
A good example is during tours in national parks when families go in the vans .....and every now and then you have the occasional child who sees the lions laying on the ground in the Savannah and for (whatever reason) starts to cry. The reaction elicited by the lions is amazing ....in that before the kid starts to cry they are placid and lazily slumbering ...but the moment they hear the cries their ears prick up and they start looking around for its source ....because to them a cry signifies something weak (or sick, or injured) and hence an easy meal! In one case (one of the South African cases where refugees try to illegally immigrate) a mother and her two daughters tried to enter by sneaking through the national park at night, and encountered a pride of lions. The mom, being a mother i guess, rushed the lions waving her arms trying to 'scare' them away. Immediately a lioness pounced on her and ripped her apart in front of her daughters. At that point one of the daughters started to cry (seeing your mom devoured in seconds has a strong tendency of making someone cry) ....and another lioness made short work of her. The onyl survivor was the girl who in total silence (due to the pure unabated shock of the incident that took away her ability to make any sound) crawled away and was picked up the next day by a tourist van.
By the way one thign i have noticed is that tourists see lions during the day sleeping around looking like big fat lazy cats and they assume they are 'sweet' and docile. Some try to get out of the car ...thinking the lions will lick their palms or something. Bad move.
3 years ago an American tourist was killed when he snuck out of his game lodge, and pitched camp in the middle of the game park (using a pup tent). He wanted to 'experience nature first hand' and consequently they found his remains the next morning. Unknown to him the 'playful' lions he had encountered during the day become Africa's apex predator at night, and the act of pitching his tent had attracted a pride of lions ....and he must have done something that prompted them to attack (maybe trying to pitch a tent in the freaking dark in a game reserve). It was a sad incident (however the dude's sanity was questionable)!
To defeat a cat, one must think like a cat.
Based on observations of my daughter's former pet, my answer would have to be: if you sight one while unarmed, close your eyes.
Apparently, she quite sucessfully made us disappear when receiving a scolding by sitting while facing us and closing her eyes for minutes on end.
Surely it works both ways.
As the adage goes ....dogs have masters but cats have servants.
It is easy to get a dog to jump around and do tricks, however no self-respecting cat will do anything unless it wants to! Actually there are reports in Britain of house cats defending the house from buglars (being attacked by 2 housecats at night can be quite an experience). Also back home my cat used to capture birds (some exotic speciesl with a large beak ....exceedingly beautiful) and bring it to me, laying it at my feet ....and the birds were always alive. I guess it was some way of thanking me for 'services rendered' ....although i always used to set the birds free soon afterwards. And over here (in the US) a pair of cats belonging to a friend of mine regularly play catch .....in that when you throw something they fetch it and bring it back. The catch is that they only do that when they want to play with string .....once they have had their fill of play they will just look at you with pure boredom in their eyes.
Hence it can be said cats are nobody's pets! They just moved in with humans for convenience and pleasure (hey, someone gets to feed and pamper them ....and in ancient Egypt they were even worshiped as gods and mummified). Although the funny thing is that the reason cat lovers love cats is the same reason why dog lovers hate cats!
By the way check out this website ....its hilarious.
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