Neil Arnold has much to say about the recent statement of Natural England in relation to reported big-cat activity in Britain. In Neil's own words...
Press release from Neil Arnold (KENT BIG CAT RESEARCH) WWW.KENTBIGCATS.BLOGSPOT.COM:
After the statement from organisation NATURAL ENGLAND that all big cats are "a myth", it's interesting to note that in March Kent Big Cat Research received twenty-seven reports of large, exotic cats throughout the county. This suggests of course that either every witness is hallucinating, or NATURAL ENGLAND are completely wrong.
In March 2010 there were sightings from Blue Bell Hill, Lordswood, Densole, Lenham, Canterbury, and Ashford. These mainly concerned reports of black leopard, the most recent coming from a Jules C, who on March 25th at 8:00 am, whilst on a train from Ebbsfleet to Canterbury, stated that, "..on the other side of the tunnel between Boxley and Blue Bell Hill, near train track I saw a big, black cat from a short distance. It resembled a black leopard."
In early March a black leopard was observed by a male motorist, a Mr Wright and his girlfriend, as at 6:00 am they travelled down North Dane Way in Lordswood and saw a big black cat bound towards the undergrowth. Mr Wright was convinced it a a black leopard as he'd seen a similar one in 2000 in Hempstead.
On march 12th a woman named Anne observed a black leopard in a field at Lenham. It was 2:15 pm as she travelled on the M20 London bound and saw the cat which she described as being, "very long in the body".
On March 10th a lady named Eve saw a black leopard whilst travelling on a train between Canterbury and Selling.
Cats such as the leopard use railway lines not only for navigation but of a night they provide perfect food and there is a lot of shelter in these areas.
During the same month there were two sightings of a black leopard made by a Jason Roberts from Reinden Woods in Densole.
In 2010 Kent Big Cat Research has already received seventy-three reports of large cats. On 2nd January a member of an angling society from Marden was walking along a field at 4:15 pm when a big, black cat bounded across the field fifty yards away. The cat was around five-feet in length.
Five days later a Mr Head reported to police a big black cat which he observed whilst sitting on a train at Swanley station at 9:00 am. The witness noticed a creature on the embankment opposite the Kent bound platform. As people began to move along the platform the cat crouched low and had had piercing green eyes.
The following day on the 8th a black leopard was seen at Phoenix Place in Dartford and on the 15th January a Mr Jackson observed a massive black cat at Shottenden. The sighting took place at 2:15 pm as the animal walked into a field around fifteen yards away. On 31st January a black leopard was observed a by a couple in Meopham who were sceptical to such sightings. It was 2:00 pm when they spotted a big black cat in woodland which sauntered off into the woods.
In February 2010 there were numerous sightings around Canterbury and Ashford. A black leopard ran out in front of a vehicle near Wye on the 20th at 6:00pm, there were also several sightings from Sevenoaks of a black leopard. In April there were sightings of lynx from Sussex and Romney Marsh, puma from Canterbury and Dover, and black leopard at Hawkinge, Gravesend, and near Bromley and Bexley.
Maybe NATURAL ENGLAND, if they admit to such animals roaming the wilds, would have to re-name themselves UNNATURAL ENGLAND! Sightings date back across Surrey, Kent, and Sussex to the 1500s. A majority of animals sighted in the countryside are not connected to zoo escapee's as the organisation states. Hundreds of puma and leopards, mainly cubs, were released in the 1960s and '70s and what we are now seeing are their offspring. Also, previous centuries prove that animals escaped and were released from menageries. In 2007 Neil Arnold wrote a 400 page book, MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: KENT, a result of his twenty years of research into such animals. Proof that such animals are reported quite regularly across the south-east.