There are certainly hundreds of reports dating back centuries of 'exotic' cats being held in menagerie's etc, and many reports of cats escaping or being dumped in the wilds. The big problem with this is that there would have to be an explosion of each species; leopard, lynx, and puma, to support the population we have today, and this explosion occurred in the '60s and '70s, mainly as cubs/kittens were released. A big leopard couped up in a zoo, used to being hand fed, lacking exercise, would probably not survive in the wilds. A leopard in the wilds only lives for around 13 years but there is a possibility that there were cats in the wild dating back to the Romans. The first report I have on record of the Surrey puma is from the 1700s!
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