Monday, August 04, 2008

The 'Beast' of Hertfordshire

I expect that you must be wondering what I am going to be talking about this week. Here in England we really don't have a huge range of dangerous wild beasts, no wild bears or boars to talk of, BUT we do have numerous sightings of 'Huge Black Cats' . Now I am not sure if any of these cats actually exist but there is hardly a month goes by where there isn't a report of a sighting in the local paper or on the radio.


Last year for Herts and in particular Welwyn Garden City was a very busy one for sightings. These large cats are usually described as black and at three or four times the size of a regular cat. There are no wild cats native to the UK but I think that if these sightings are real that they could be cats that have escaped from captivity.

Last year a sighting of a big cat resulted in a full scale police operation, as reported by Herts News 24

'POLICE marksmen were deployed and a 21-officer search was carried out after two policemen spotted a big cat near to their Hertford station on Saturday.The duo reported seeing a large feline type animal on a building site just before 7am and a three-hour search for the beast followed.Insp Paul Burnage from the intervention and response unit at Hertford led the investigation. He said: "It was our priority to ensure public safety. We called an expert from a local wildlife park to stun the animal if it was seen. "However, our firearms unit, including officers with rifles, surrounded the site as a back up in case the animal got out of the building site."The animal was not seen again.This is by no means the first such sighting in East Herts. Just last August we reported how a similar creature was seen in the Mangrove Road area of Hertford, and then received further claims of sightings in Hoddesdon and Goffs Oak. Wildlife crime officer Det Insp David Laming said: "There are no confirmed records of anyone ever being attacked by these animals. The reason being there is no shortage of small natural prey available to them for food, and they have a natural fear of man."All previous recorded sightings have only been brief as the animals always run from humans.Det Insp Laming offered this advice if you do come face to face with such a creature. "Under no circumstances should members of the public attempt to shoot or injure such an animal. This would create an unpredictable situation whereby the animal would feel threatened and would be more likely to act in an aggressive manner."

So what do you think??

8 comments:

Barbara Martin said...

Well, the police obviously think there are rather large cats on the loose. Some of the people spotting them likely are of good moral character and not prone to "seeing" things that aren't there. It should only be a matter of time until one is caught or have it's photo taken.

You will have to keep us posted.

Great post, Lyzzydee!! I love cat stories.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It seems like human beings need these mythical animals to roam the earth. Haven't heard about Big Foot or Loch Ness much lately. Maybe Hertfordshire is taking the torch.

Travis Erwin said...

Sounds like the basis of a story. We ahve the occasional sighting of mountain lions and black panthers in my area and a few years ago a farmer actually got some shots of a big black cat, about the size of a Great Dane dog. Kind of scary.

Manna said...

Yet another fun read! Thanks!

LuLu said...

I remember this story. We used it last year with our Year 6's as an example of journalistic writing and then they went off and produced their own stories !

Great article !

Reb said...

Great story! I assume that no-one has fessed up to losing a large cat, so one has to wonder! Let us know if anything more comes of it.

debra said...

Hmmmm, sounds like your version of our Peninsula Python sightings from the summer of 1944.....

Debbielou said...

I remember that story really well - also remember turning up at a house in Watford looking for the "Big cat in the late 1980's!"

My Mum has been teased something rotten as when she was enroute to my house one morning at 0530 - she said that she saw one !!!!