Beast of Bont returns to Welsh Killing Fields
The carnage was scattered across moorland near to the Devil's Bridge in the Cambrian Mountains near Aberystwyth, west Wales, an area long linked to the so-called “Beast of Bont”, a big cat believed have been on the loose for decades.
It is here, high in the mountains near Aberystwyth, so the story goes, that the Devil was last seen in Wales after he was embarrassed at being outwitted by an old lady. There is a village here where a very old bridge crosses a deep gorge. Above it are two other bridges built at later dates. But the lowest one they say was built by the Devil himself.
Following the discovery of 12 badly mutilated dead sheep at nearby Ysbyty Ystwyth in 1981 the savage big cat was dubbed the Beast of Bont after the village of Pontrhydfendigaid, which was at the centre of the animal's hunting ground and within a few miles of Devil's Bridge.
Locals have been reporting sightings of an unknown “puma-like creature” since the 1970s, and now fear the predator has returned and struck again.
In 1981, the farmer of Llwynhywel, Trawscoed came across a rotting sheep carcass with a pawprint of a big cat nearby, the tracks led on for half a mile. The farmer estimated the animal's body was about 4' 6" from its front to rear legs. RSPCA officers made plaster casts of the prints but wildlife experts from Chester Zoo identified the prints as those belonging to a large dog.
During the Winter of 1995-96 a number of mutilated sheep were found near Mynachlog Ystrad Fflur and farmers again began reporting sightings of a mysterious feline predator stalking the countryside, killing stock swiftly and savagely. A number of local farmers met with Dr Quentin Rose, an expert from Scotland, and called for the Welsh Office to fund an attempt to catch the big cat.
There have been intermittent sightings and reports of big cats across Borth, Talybont, Talgarreg and Bontgoch over recent years, yet despite sweeping the area Dyfed-Powys police have found nothing to confirm the presence of big cats in the area.
The only animal that kills indiscriminately in the manner described here is the domestic dog. Loose dogs chase down and rip apart sheep, like a fox in a chicken run. Whereas a large feline predator carefully selects their quarry from amongst the herd, taking but one at a time, often dragging the kill away before feeding.
BIG CAT SIGHTINGS
This is just the latest in a long history of suspected big cat sightings. Conspiracy theorists around the country insist that big cats have been breeding in the wild since the 1970s when they were released from private zoos following the Dangerous and Wild Animals Act 1976 which prohibited the keeping of wild animals as pets. Yet the official line is that recent sightings have proved inconclusive:
Big Cats in the Cotswolds January 2012
Tests on saliva found on two deer carcasses, suspected big cat prey, in Stroud, Gloucestershire, were carried out by the University of Warwick. Dr Robin Allaby, Associate Professor at the School of Life Sciences, took 45 samples in total from the wounds of the deer carcasses and carried out hundreds of tests. Dr Allaby said, “We did not detect cat DNA on either deer carcass.......Other than deer, by far the strongest genetic signal we found... was from a fox."
'Black leopard' caught on film in Stroud
Following the deer carcases found at Stroud earlier this year, big cat experts released video footage which they claim is evidence of a six-foot long feline predator stalking the British countryside. The footage was captured by Coryn Memory, near her house in Thrupp, Gloucestershire, in July 2009. This ten-minute film shows a large black cat prowling through a field near Stroud. Gloucestershire, big cat expert Frank Tunbridge, who has been hunting predators for years, said: "I think this footage is pretty much conclusive.”
Hazel Grove, Manchester February 2012
Peter Jackson, a semi-retired businessman, told the Manchester Evening News that he had spotted a ‘mountain lion’ type creature in the back garden of his Longnor Road home.
Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, 2009
A wildcat dubbed the Beast of Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk was spotted near the Queen’s Sandringham home. Experts claim it was either a Scottish wildcat, or a lynx. Looks distinctly like a large domesticated tabby cat and a long way from Scotland.
Helensburgh, Argyle 2009
A Ministry of Defence police dog handler saw a big black creature on a nearby railway line. The officer, who is stationed at the Faslane naval base on the Clyde, video taped the big cat which he said was as big as a Labrador dog. Big cats have been reported in the area in the past, with several sightings of the so-called 'Coulport Cougar'.
Newtown Crossroads, Herefordshire 2009
In December, Steve Hall from Hereford filmed a large black cat resembling a panther prowling across fields in rural Herefordshire. Mr Hall contacted the Hereford Times after capturing video footage of a large black cat crossing farmland near Newtown Crossroads. Witness said "this was definitely a big cat.”
Big Cat Sightings in Staffordshire 2008
In the 'cat flap' of 2008 there were over 100 reported sightings of big cats around the West Midlands in 2008, many of these focused around Cannock Chase in Staffordshire.
A large black cat, believed to be a young black leopard, was spotted walking along a 3ft high dry stone wall that was. By calculating the size of stones in the wall it was estimated the cat was at least 18 inches high and 3ft long, excluding the tail.
Banff, Aberdeenshire 2007
A big black panther-like animal was spotted on the prowl in broad daylight above the Links, only yards from the edge of Banff. The big cat terrified a tourist and a nearby resident has also seen the big cat. The creature is described as being five feet long and three feet high.
'Beast of Bont returns' as 20 sheep found massacred – The Telegraph, 15 May 2012
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