Black Beast of Exmoor - Paranormal Documentary Sept 26, 2013 21:09:31 GMT 10
Post by brillbilly on Sept 26, 2013 21:09:31 GMT 10
The search for what witnesses say is a panther-like "black beast" that is killing livestock along an English countryside.
The Beast of Exmoor is a cryptozoological felid (see phantom cat) that is reported to roam the fields of Exmoor in Devon and Somerset in the United Kingdom.
There have been numerous reports of eyewitness sightings, however the official Exmoor National Park website lists the beast under "Traditions, Folklore, and Legends", and the BBC calls it "the famous-yet-elusive beast of Exmoor." Sightings were first reported in the 1970s, although it became notorious in 1983, when a South Molton farmer claimed to have lost over 100 sheep in the space of three months, all of them apparently killed by violent throat injuries. Descriptions of its coloration range from black to tan or dark grey. It is possibly a cougar or black leopard which was released sometime in the 1960s or 1970s after a law was passed making it illegal for them to be kept in captivity outside zoos. However, considering that cougar and leopard life spans are 12--15 years, this is unlikely. In 2006 the British Big Cats Society reported that a skull found by a Devon farmer was that of a puma, however the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) states that "Based on the evidence, Defra does not believe that there are big cats living in the wild in England."
Eyewitness testimony has produced a number of different descriptions. Most accounts report the animal as being a large cat either resembling a puma or a panther. It is recorded as being somewhere between four and eight feet from nose to tail, standing very low to the ground, and as having the ability to leap over 6-foot-tall fences with ease. Descriptions of its coloration range from black to tan or dark grey.
No such cat is native to England, and the variations in description have led some cryptozoologists to believe that there might be more than one creature.