The Beast of Bodmin Moor is a panther like creature that stocks the United Kingdom around the Bodmin Moor. This cryptid is said to attack the live stock and mutilate the bodies. However, many scientists reject the idea of such a creature inhabiting the harsh climate and conditions of the moor. They also argue there could not be a sufficient breeding population to sustain the creatures existence over a long period of time. Sighting that there is not enough food for such big cats, and that the entire legend and lore is just that. Tall tales of large black dogs have been told over time such as “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” However, there are many reports of large cats roaming the more remote areas of the UK. As to the source of these sightings, it is possible these large cats could have escaped or released from private owners, the circus, or zoos. In these cases, the owners may not advertise the fact they lost one of their big cats and were not able to recover the creatures.
In 1995 and in response to multiple sightings of large cats, Great Britain’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food conducted an official investigation. In their release of the results on 19 July, they concluded there was no verifiable evidence of big cats existing in England. The livestock mutilations were merely the result of indigenous species. Within a week, the government was busy cleaning up the “egg on their faces”. A young boy produced a skull of a large cat he had found while walking the River Fowey. To verify the finding, the skull was sent to Natural History Museum of London. The skull measured approximately four inches long and seven inches wide. The remaining canine teet suggested it was from a leapord. Further testing reveled the leapord had not died in the UK, but was part of a fur rug that had been imported thus allowing the government to save face.
The sightings have continued to recent time. Some sightings are complemented with photos, but like many cryptids, there are many misidentifications, hoaxes, and fuzzy photos which neither prove or disprove the existence of large cats in the UK. With the advent of the internet and social media, more and more information and data is being exchanged on the subject. Like Bigfoot, there is too much evidence to ignore. Are there big cats in the UK? Time will tell.