Big cat photographed in UK countryside 'was a leopard' says Carole Baskin
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A group of documentary filmmakers are sure that there's a big cat prowling around the British countryside and they reckon it's a panther, but Carole Baskin disagrees.
The new documentary Panthera Britannia claims to have photographic evidence of this dark-furred feline, which appears to show a large cat lying in the long grass in Staffordshire.
As you can probably guess from the title, the documentary makers think the big cat is a panther, and they claim that DNA evidence proves a big cat was behind a slain sheep in Gloucestershire last year.
They believe the animal could have been owned by a private individual before the laws around exotic animal ownership changed and a lot of people just abandoned them in the countryside.
Not everyone is sure the cat is a panther, however, and Carole Baskin has weighed in on the matter to disagree with the documentary.
Speaking to Jeremy Kyle on TalkTV, the Big Cat Rescue boss who became famous due to the Netflix documentary Tiger King, said she thought the cat was real and that it wasn't a panther as some had assumed.
She said: "I think it’s very likely that it is a black leopard because I’ve worked with big cats for the past 40 years and the smartest cats bar none are the leopards and the black leopards just disappear into the landscape.
"By the time you get your camera up, they’re gone. They can be right in front of you and you wouldn’t even know they were there."
As for concerns that a big cat being out there on the prowl could spell trouble for people's pets, apparently there's not much to worry about on that front because the leopard won't want the hassle.
"I don’t think people need to worry about their pets. No leopard wants to get into it with a house cat because they recognise that that’s going to be a fight," Baskin explained, while also telling people what they should do if they came across a big scary looking cat out in the countryside.
"They don't want some yappy little dog because that's more trouble than they need. They have plenty of prey out in the wild they can go after, but if you were to find yourself face to face with a cat, don’t run because then you're going to look like prey."
"So you should try to make yourself look as big as possible. In my case, and I wouldn’t recommend this to people... but in my case if I have to approach one of our cats I will step towards them and show them I am in charge."
"Even though they’re so much bigger and stronger than I am, they must think there’s something wrong with me for doing that and they’ll kind of like, back off."