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The Beast of Exmoor

Listed under Monster Hunting in West Country, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of The Beast of Exmoor
  • Photo of The Beast of Exmoor
Photo of The Beast of Exmoor
Photo by flickr user BrianScott
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The sprawling woods and heath of Exmoor National Park could provide sanctuary to a vicious wild feline predator, something akin to Sherlock Holmes‘s ‘Hound of the Baskervilles‘.

Beginning in the 1970’s people have reported seeing big cats of varied colours and description on Exmoor but Beast of Exmoor fever heated up in the 1980’s when a farmer lost over a hundred sheep over the space of three months. There are no known species of big cat living in the UK but descriptions liken the cat to a puma or a panther. Exotic animals have escaped from private zoos in the area and there is the possibility that they have formed a kind of pride on Exmoor.

Several photos of the Beast of Exmoor exist and though they have been proved genuine there is nothing in either photo to gauge the creatures size, so they’re not considered real proof and have lead sceptics to the conclusion that they’re photos of domestic cats. Footprints and tracks are the other main source of proof, but there have been problems with ascertaining what kind of animal could have made them.

Sceptics attribute the livestock deaths to large dogs, or human attacks. By 1988 the Ministry of Agriculture had become involved and sent sharp shooters in to hunt for the beast, however no shots were ever fired, though some marines attested to seeing the creature.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

What species of big cat do you think it was?

What species of big cat do you think it was?

Lucy (aged 9), Bendigo, Australia

1 Reply

Simon says it's a black panther

hi i am nigel newbold and have lived in the galloway hills in south west scotland and believe i have seen sightings of a big cat on numerous ocasions . i am not on my own to sight big cats.if you would like more info please e mail . regards nigel

2 Replies

Can you give more information on what you actually saw? What colour? About what size?

hi again i was out shooting around 2 farms with my son at night. it was about february a cold and crisp night when we spotted a pair of strange looking eyes not what i am used to when lamping foxes. it lay still in marsh grass, i didnt shoot it because we could not identify it so me and my son got out with spotlight to move closer the thing never lost eye contact with us and as we approached to within 25 yards it rose up and turned and ran .it stopped about 60 yards away from us looked back then leaped a wall stone dyke.

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