Now there are TWO wild pumas stalking the Welsh countryside says big cat expert after seven of farmer’s sheep were killed amid series of mysterious sightings
- Frank Tunbridge, 73, believes two pumas are to blame for the death of the sheep
- Examination of corpses revealed they were ‘clinically killed’ unlike dog attack
- Farmer got in touch with Mr Tunbridge after dead sheep found in Snowdonia
There are now two wild pumas stalking the Welsh countryside, says a big cat expert after seven farmer’s sheep were killed amid a series of mysterious sightings.
Frank Tunbridge, 73, believes two pumas are to blame for the death of the sheep after examination of the corpses revealed they were ‘clinically’ killed – unlike a random dog attack.
It comes after a ‘labrador-sized’ cat dubbed the ‘Puma of Pontybodkin’ was reported walking along a road on New Year’s Eve just days after a similar animal dashed across a field.
There have been a series of reports made to the Puma Watch North Wales group since November – with apparent sightings across the area.
Frank Tunbridge (pictured), 73, believes two pumas are to blame for the death of the sheep after examination of the corpses revealed they were ‘clinically’ killed – unlike a random dog attack
The latest witness described the elusive beast as ‘a large cat roughly the size of a Labrador’ and reported seeing it along the a busy A-road near Talacre, Flintshire.
A farmer got in touch with Mr Tunbridge for his expert opinion after finding seven sheep slaughtered in his field in Snowdonia.
Other farmers in the area have also raised concerns over the way livestock had been killed, and whether it is evidence of a larger predator.
There have been a series of reports made to the Puma Watch North Wales group since November – with apparent sightings across the area. Pictured: Paw prints found in Rhiwlas, Bangor last year
Mr Tunbridge said: ‘A large number of sheep around five weeks ago were killed, and I think there are two pumas operating in the area.
‘I have since set up two cameras down there. Glimpses of the animals have been very scant.
‘However, the mode of how the sheep were killed is unlike that of what a dogs will do.
‘Big cats are silent, stealthy, clinical and kill with a bite to their prey’s neck. They are clean and efficient unlike the messy approach of dogs.
‘The amount of sheep killed points to one or two large animals being responsible.
‘A landowner, another farmer and an early morning dog walker have also encountered what they described as a ”puma” in the area.’
A ‘labrador-sized’ cat dubbed the ‘Puma of Pontybodkin’ was reported walking along a road on New Year’s Eve just days after a similar animal dashed across a field
Big claw marks have also been discovered – up to six feet above the ground – on trees which big cats are thought to do to sharpen their claws and warn off other predators.
Mr Tunbridge believes many big cats were released into the wild in the UK during and after the Dangerous Animals Act which was introduced in 1976.
He said: ‘It is easy to imagine big cats living and breeding in this area and as the name suggests, mountain lions are more at home on higher terrain.
Puma Watch North Wales have received sightings as far away as Snowdonia and Flintshire. Left: A possible puma sighting in Corwen, Denbighshire. Right: Paw prints found in Meliden, Prestatyn
‘They would be at home in the wide reaches of Snowdonia.
‘As deer are not that abundant there as they are of other areas of the UK, the amount of sheep instead will be easy prey. A sort of takeaway meal for the animal.
‘The area they frequent is vast, and they will move districts because their presence has been noted.
‘I find this a fascinating subject which most of the general public can not accept big cats living in the wild in the UK.
‘If you are in the right place at the right time and spot a big cat, it is something you will never forget.’
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