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Britain's Mysterious Wild Big Cats; The Beast of Cumbria, a Quick Summary

What is the Beast of Cumbria and why do people think that it is real? This short summary will explain all.

What Are These Big Cat's?

Simply put, these big cats are a phenomenon in which can be seen throughout the entire country, but with sightings ranging from Warwick to Lincoln and from Dudley to Hertfordshire, surely there has to be some truth in these big cat stories..

Are These Sightings Real?

Unfortunately not, most of these sightings have since been exposed as cardboard cut outs, life-size cuddly toys and even normal housecats. A prime example of this is the Hampshire tiger, this big cat was reported over 20 times and led police on a huge multi day hunt, a hunt that would later be deemed unnecessary as this big cat turned out to be nothing more than a life size stuffed toy. Toys like this have exposed many famous big cat sightings such as the Beast of Wales and The Beast of Bodmin Moor as being fake,that being said, there have been genuine sightings of these cats. Take the Scottish lion back in 1980 for example. A farmer who had reportedly first seen the cat there years prior decide to set a trap due to it predating on his livestock. This trap proved very successful and captured not a lion, but an adult puma, a species that should not be found running wild within the United Kingdom.

The captured puma now on display at a museum in Iverness.

The captured puma now on display at a museum in Iverness.

What's the Most Commonly Sighted Big Cat?

One of the most famous and commonly sighted big cats is known as the beast of Cumbria. Said to be a giant panther like creature that roams the Lake District and kills livestock at its will, you can definitely understand why it has a reputation with the locals. Additionally, it has been sighted well over 50 times, much more than any other supposed big cat.

Photos of the 'Beast of Cumbria'

Photos of the 'Beast of Cumbria'

So What Evidence is there?

Surprisingly, there is actually a lot of evidence out there aiming to prove the existence of this big cat, whether this evidence is real or not is a different question however. A great example of what I mean here is with the photos above, photos like these clearly show a big cat, but the low quality of the images makes it near impossible to identify the animal. The main problem scientists have with these photos Is the fact we live in a world of technology, a world where every phone is outfitted with its own high definition cameras and there’s and ever-increasing number of people picking up photography as a hobby and yet there are still no high quality images of this beast. With this in mind answer me this; why is every photo of this big cat low quality, why are they all so blurry, is it a coincidence that so far the only people that have captured it on camera have not managed to take high quality images, or are they doing this because there's something to hide?

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Supposed big cat paw print.

Supposed big cat paw print.

An addition to the sightings and photos of this big cat itself, there are many of the footprints it seems to have left behind, many of which are found in and around areas livestock has either been preyed upon or gone missing. The problem here is the fact each photo of the footprint is very slightly different, are these differences purely a coincidence, or are they due to their man-made nature, could someone out there be creating these tracks purely for photographic purposes?

What is strange however is the livestock found within the Lake District, in many locations they seem weary and very easily spooked compared to livestock elsewhere. The animals within these areas have also been reported as going missing or slaughtered on many occasions, but could this be wild dogs, or maybe even foxes, it’s hard to tell. looking at the many reports and images of these slaughtered livestock however its clear to see they were all killed by a single swift bite to the neck, a hunting trend shown predominantly in big cats.

Whether there is a big cat roaming these lands leaving a wake of destruction in its path however is still unknown, but there is definitely a story yet to be uncovered. Have you had any experiences with these supposed big cats? I'd love for you to let me know in the comments!


Stephanie Purser from Australia on May 27, 2020:

Fun article!

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