Could mystery of the St Albans big cat have been solved?

PUBLISHED: 18:00 05 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:36 12 April 2018

Is this the end to scepticism about the St Albans big cat?

Is this the end to scepticism about the St Albans big cat?

Archant

A St Albans man believes he may have finally solved the mystery of the big cat said to be prowling the district.

In June this year, a London Colney taxi driver caught controversial footage of what he believed was a wild feline entering the undergrowth on Napsbury Lane.

Sceptics denounced the film and other sightings as nothing more than a large domestic cat - even though there have been more than 30 reported sightings to police in the last five years.

But Jared Leavitt, 50, saw a still of the footage and has now suggested it could be a European wild cat.

He said: “I just thought to myself ‘Let’s see if there’s anything here, if it’s a large cat with a bit of history’, and the bands on its tail bears a resemblance with a European wild cat.”

“I don’t have any specific expertise and I am not a zoologist, it was just an appendix in the back of a book on the domestic cat.”

This species is found in mainland Europe and has a direct ancestral line to pet kitties, but is about one-third larger and often dangerously mistaken for large tabbies.

A subspecies of the European wild cat found in Scotland is unique to Britain.

Jared said: “It’s pure speculation and in some ways I was sceptical of some photographic evidence but then I did this research and I thought, ‘I wouldn’t been surprised if it were that’, because they used to range all the way down into areas like Suffolk.

“They were treated like wolves are in Montana, as pests to livestock.

“It would be quite fantastic if such a beast has made it’s way down into the south because it’s a quite rare, native and protected animal.”

The legitimacy of big cat sightings around St Albans, Redbourn, Wheathampstead, Welwyn, and Sandridge has divided opinion and accounts of sightings have poured in to the Herts Ad over the past few years.

Two separate Wheathampstead dog-walkers have found stripped muntjac deer corpses, large pawprints were preserved through an Aldwickbury golf bunker after a night of rain and a driver recently spotted what he believed to be big cat remains by the side of the M25.

Herts Police advise witnesses to keep a safe distance and report sightings on 101.

More news stories

A Colney Heath model engineering group has flung open its doors for an ADHD and autism charity.

The Hertfordshire police knife amnesty took a huge number of blades off our streets, including swords, military knives and ‘elven’ knives.

12:12

Police are appealing for information and witnesses a year after a 76-year-old woman was killed by a car in St Albans.

Sight-impaired people in St Albans have scored a victory after Herts County Council promised to replace a magnifier machine in the library.

CountryPhile

A few years back I was fixing a shed in our garden and had enlisted the help of my young son. We were busy moving rotten pieces of wood from the side of the shed when suddenly I felt sharp stabbing pains in my lower legs. Before I had a chance to investigate my son started screaming in pain and it took a few more seconds to realize that we were trampling on a wasps’ nest!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards