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The People's Podcast on Big Cat encounters in Britain. In each episode Rick Minter discusses big cat sightings with different witnesses, finding out what they saw or sensed, how they felt, and how these cases fit a bigger picture.

The People's Podcast on Big Cat encounters in Britain. In each episode Rick Minter discusses big cat sightings with different witnesses, finding out what they saw or sensed, how they felt, and how these cases fit a bigger picture.
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The People's Podcast on Big Cat encounters in Britain. In each episode Rick Minter discusses big cat sightings with different witnesses, finding out what they saw or sensed, how they felt, and how these cases fit a bigger picture.






BCC EP:12 Secret lynx & soft rewilding

Our guest Peter Taylor suggests that rewilding helps nature and the human soul. He meets Rick at Wild Place, a new outpost of Bristol Zoo. Here brown bears, wolves and lynx can be viewed in a British woodland setting. Peter considers how Eurasian lynx could be re-introduced in Britain but only with support from local communities. Rick and Peter note that spontaneous rewilding has already happened in parts of Britain where large cats are a hidden part of the ecosystem. Watch the video...


BCC EP:11 Puma in the Park – in Orlando and Gateshead

We meet Gareth who lives in Gateshead district in north-east England. He describes how he had a surprise view of a puma stalking a deer on holiday in Florida a few years back. He then explains what happened early one morning in October 2019 when walking his dog in his local park, when he witnessed the same type of animal. Gareth and Rick consider how a puma might pass through residential areas like Gateshead, and other north-east sightings are discussed. Gareth also wonders why, several...


BCC EP:10 Aussie panthers – secrets of the Bush

An in-depth discussion on the panthers and pumas reported across Australia with author and researcher Simon Townsend from Victoria. Simon explains why he feels the Australian panthers match black leopards and are not outsize feral cats. Tawny coloured cats resembling pumas are also reported, which Simon includes in his accounts of witness reports. The discussion ranges over the origins of these cats, the likely prey carcasses which Simon examines, and attitudes of remote communities....


BCC EP:09 A predator revealed - Decoding the tooth marks

We discuss how big cats use heathland as their territory with Jonathan McGowan, and hear about two of his encounters in Dorset and the New Forest. He scouts out suspected prey remains of deer in these areas, looking for tell-tale tooth marks on the bones. We then hear from Dr Andrew Hemmings in the lab at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. After receiving these skeletal remains from Jonathan and others, students gauge the tooth marks to identify those which match the scale and...


BCC EP:08 The film-maker & the leopard – a Somerset stand-off

Matt Everett describes holding the gaze of a black leopard after he confronted the animal from his car on a sunken Somerset lane. The incident inspired him to create the forthcoming documentary Britain’s Big Cat Mystery. We hear some of the highlights and challenges from making the production. Our second guest Paul explains his sighting of a black panther in deepest Dorset and the reaction of his dogs on rushing back to the scene. Paul explains how you become more immersed in nature when...


BCC EP:07 Middle England Pantherwatch

An in-depth interview with Nigel Spencer reveals how he and his late father supported police follow-up work on big cat reports in Leicestershire & Rutland. Nigel recounts his own sighting of a puma in Essex and summarises key big cat incidents from Leicestershire including from farms, quarries, stables and gardens. Our second guest Emma from Leicestershire explains how she is now extra-cautious when walking in the countryside after retreating from the scene of a panther consuming a rabbit or...


BCC EP:06 Call of the Wild – a deeper view of the Chilterns

If you thought Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns was a tame area of countryside close to London, maybe think again… We hear from Darren who kept close watch of his dog when he realised a young puma was nearby in scrubby land by an airfield – he felt the mother could be close by. Darren is a councillor and discusses the pros and cons of acknowledging the presence of big cats. We then discuss the recent history of big cat sightings in the Chilterns with Paulo. He grew up in North London but...


BCC EP:04 Big cats from the Cotswolds to Corbett’s India

Gloucestershire’s Frank Tunbridge recounts his own close-up encounter with a big cat in the Cotswolds – he watched it snatch some rabbit bait at dusk and it later crept behind and gave him a warning growl. Frank then discusses the stealth of cats like leopards and pumas and refers to the writings of Jim Corbett who tracked leopards and tigers in India last century. We hear highlights from some of the witness reports Frank receives, and the questions these beg… Are the big cats here...


BCC EP:05 Sheep farming in the shadow of a big cat

Our two different guests explain the challenges of sheep farming when a big cat makes a visit. Gordon ran a small sheep enterprise when he was based in south Wales. A silent predator would sometimes take one of his ewes (also called yowes) or a tup (young male). Gordon explains how he made adjustments to life on the farm as he realised a large cat was making occasional visits. Our second guest Jean runs a croft in North Scotland. At certain times she and especially her neighbour lose yowes...


BCC EP:01 Two panthers together, two pumas together

Most witnesses of big cats in Britain claim to see one cat. This would match the fact that most species of wild cat are mainly solitary in their lifestyles. In this episode each of our guests watched two cats together. We meet Di who watched a mother and cub black panther as she walked in her local Somerset countryside, and then we hear from John who came close to two adult pumas (also called cougars and mountain lions) as he cycled to work down a back lane early one morning in...


BCC EP:02 Panthers too close for comfort?

We hear from Coryn near Stroud in Gloucestershire who explains her several sightings of a black panther across the valley from her house. She managed to film some snippets of the cat and she explains how it was scaled. Find out what happened when she later saw the same or a different black panther much closer. We also speak to Dave, 20 miles away, who was out lamping one night when he noticed an animal watching him from the other side of the field. As he moved closer and checked its eye...


BCC EP:03 Exmoor Beast - past and present

We hear snippets from big cat witnesses in and around Exmoor as we visit Exmoor Zoo and the North Devon Show. A zoo keeper explains her encounter with a wild puma, while a retired butcher describes his view of two panthers isolating their prey in a flock of sheep several years back in Exmoor. We speak to Endymion and pay tribute to the late Trevor Beer, the naturalist and writer who researched big cats in Devon, and we hear from Alex who had a brush with a panther on the high moors. The...