OVER the past few months there have been an increasing number of big cat sightings in Cheshire West and the Wirral.
There have been a growing number of reports in Chester, Ellesmere Port, Heswall and Frodsham – and the group set up to investigate such encounters has given advice on what physical evidence to look for.
And by physical evidence we mean, you guessed it, poo.
In one of the most recent reports, a member of the public reported spotting a large black cat who he said could have been a limping ‘puma’ on Kestrel Road in Heswall.
After hearing the sound of cats fighting around 2 am on Sunday August 15th, Terry looked and saw the “big” creature in the street.
A second sighting in Heswall was reported a few days later.
Previous big cat sightings on the Wirral include Willaston, Prenton, Bidston Hill, and Burton Woods.
Meanwhile, Chester and Ellesmere Port have become hotspots for sightings.
A mysterious creature was photographed near Deva Stadium in June.
Witness Matty Rodgers had only a few seconds to take a closer look at the creature and take a photo.
In his report, he told Puma Watch North Wales that what he saw was “definitely a cat” due to its shape, color and movement.
Tony Jones, founder of Puma Watch, said that although the group was formed to investigate dating in North Wales, there have been a growing number of reports from the Chester area.
Tony said: “The town is a hotspot for big cat sightings, with several clusters occurring over the past year. This includes an occasion where an animal was filmed in Chester Meadows by a delivery driver.
Some photographic evidence has been refuted as a hoax, such as a photo of the black jaguar Goshi at Chester Zoo claimed to be a black panther living in the wild.
Others turned out to be cases of mistaken identity, such as the moggy mammoth Sheldon who turned out to be the big cat filmed in Trelogan in Flintshire.
But the holy grail for big cat hunters is physical proof.
That’s why Puma Watch North Wales, the group set up to document and investigate big cat encounters, has shared some tips to help people identify if a puma is nearby.
Basically, how do you distinguish the droppings of big cats from that of a dog, fox or other animals.
The group, founded by Tony Jones, said: “Have you ever been to the countryside and found animal droppings (called droppings), but not sure if it came from a puma, another large cat or another cat’s droppings This is a common problem, but there are a few easy ways to distinguish cougar droppings from other animals.
“Pumas leave three types of droppings: round, oval and long. When examining the shape of the droppings, it’s important to remember that foxes also leave oval-shaped droppings!
“A cougar’s droppings are usually dark or light brown, with the longer pieces being coarser and often containing small amounts of hair.”
The most common type of cougar droppings are round droppings, the group adds.
The group added: “Puma droppings are also often found on the treetops, while other animals such as foxes usually leave their droppings at lower levels.
“Foxes leave smaller droppings than pumas and would likely contain black streaks and pieces of fur as well. The color will be gray-brown to white.
“Dogs leave droppings that are usually smaller in size and have a pungent odor.