These elusive “big cats” frequently targeted sheep, leaving surprisingly minimal physical traces behind. Consequently, rumors emerged among the populace, speculating that these “cats” hailed from another realm, not fully bound by flesh and blood.
Over time, numerous eyewitnesses captured photographs of these enigmatic felines, yet most were either too indistinct or taken from considerable distances, rendering the creatures barely discernible.
Remarkably, just recently, a Staffordshire resident succeeded in photographing one such “big cat,” encountering it reclining amidst tall grass in a field. Though the image’s quality may not be optimal, it remains the most definitive portrayal of this creature to date, unequivocally identifying it as a black leopard (panther).
This sensational image takes center stage in the new documentary “Panthera Britannia Declassified,” recently featured on Amazon Prime and already adorned with multiple accolades.
The image’s unearthing proved serendipitous, as the director of a zoology center stumbled upon it while sifting through archives. The photograph was taken several years prior and subsequently “misplaced.”
“The photograph unequivocally depicts a sizable Panthera cat, with discernible whiskers. Attached to the image was a cryptic handwritten letter, bearing solely a date (March 17) sans the year,” remarks the center’s director.
Though the letter lacks a full signature and sender’s address, it asserts the authenticity of the image. If proven genuine, this photograph may stand as the paramount depiction of the elusive British “big cat,” as affirmed by the center’s director.
The film also talks about biological material that was found at a sheep slaughter site in Gloucestershire in 2022, whose DNA analysis confirms the presence of a large feline there.
“This amazing lost photograph and a stunning new scientific discovery are only part of the collective evidence presented in our film. The documentary is mainly based on the findings. We used real science and real experts and tried to be as objective and analytical as possible,” says Tom Whittard, director of British Panther Unmasked.
“The research process during filming was intense and exhaustive and took us thousands of hours in various archives, libraries, museums and laboratories. We also traveled to locations in the wild and met with hundreds of eyewitnesses.
The result of this is a mind-blowing journey of discovery for viewers that really brings this topic to light as a serious zoological problem.
This is a sad story – these majestic big cats probably lived in private zoos until 1976, when the compulsory license law was passed in the UK. At the time, big cats were popular, fashionable, and considered a status symbol.
When the exotic animal license law was introduced, many owners simply released their pets into the countryside. In fact, those “big cats” that people now see are the descendants of abandoned pets.”