Cornish panther or Cornish pasty?
Are big cats stalking the wilds of Cornwall? Yes, if you believe this report that appeared on the BBC on the 6th of April.
Police were alerted to an incident involving a labrador being attacked by a potential panther in a garden in Harrowbarrow, Cornwall. A large paw print was cast, and the dogs wounds were assessed. Sightings have been relatively common in the area, with the infamous Beast of Bodmin being only 10 miles away from Harrowbarrow.
So what do we make of this incident? Well, I’ve always maintained that the British big cats are, in my opinion, the most likely British cryptids to be extant, but this isn’t without huge provisos. It’s tricky to imagine how a cat of the size that some reports claim could survive on rabbits, pheasants and the limited size prey that stomps around the British Isles. I think were these reports genuine, there would be a lot more incidents involving livestock than are generally reported. Still, there is something that is oddly believable about the idea of panthers stalking the countryside.
Where I live in rural Lincolnshire, there have long been reports of a big cat roaming around, so much so that a desperate terror descended upon our village when there was a sighting just over a mile away. Quite naturally, my friend and I took this as an opportunity to lie about an encounter we’d had with the beast to fool our horrified peers. I don’t ever remember feeling scared about the possibility of a panther existing in the local area, barre the first and only case of sleep paralysis I have had, when I woke up part way through a panther related dream, which became much too real, much too quickly as those who have experienced sleep paralysis can attest to.
As for the Cornwall beast though, photographic evidence of the animal have suffered from the usual issue of low quality video or photo. This is further an issue in relation to big cats though, because if there are no size references available, how can we even hope to estimate the size of the animal for ourselves? It’s for this reason that other Essex lion incidents are entirely possible.
What do you think about the Cornish big cat? Let me know!