For those of you who enjoy tales of the supernatural, or just the bloody weird, read on. You may recall the old story of The Beast of Gloucester, a legendary big cat that roamed the Cotswolds killing big game (deer, cattle, etc.). There is a good thread about the Beast here: http://tinyurl.com/747on65 Anyways, it seems there could be a new big cat stalking the wolds, now being referred to as either The Wildcat of Woodchester or The Beast of Stroud.
I’m sure these reports should be taken with a grain of salt, but they do make interesting reading. The past week there have been articles filling up many UK papers about a host of attacks in the Cotswolds that are being attributed to a big cat. Along with a series of deer kills, there was an incident where three wallabies (held in a private farm) were eaten, despite being kept behind a seven foot fence. DNA tests are being carried out right now to confirm whether the killer was a cat, so watch this space.
Big cat sightings in the area are rather common, with over 75 sightings being logged by local police between 2005 and 2011 in the areas between Stroud Common and Woodchester (see the list here http://tinyurl.com/73pco5x) A full article in the Daily Mail is here: http://tinyurl.com/7vyyh8b
The suspicion, as with most big cat stories, is that some fool illegally bought a panther, jaguar, or similar as a pet and then let it loose, or it escaped. If you have any stories of sightings, theories, etc., please do share them!