London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

DNA evidence confirms existence of black panthers and other big cats in Britain

DNA evidence confirms existence of black panthers and other big cats in Britain

DNA from a black hair caught on a barbwire fence following a sheep attack has offered 'definitive proof' big cats are roaming the British countryside.

The strands were sent off for testing after being recovered from a farm in Gloucestershire where there had been some 'unusual predatory' activity.

Suspicion was raised when video footage of a large black animal was also captured only a few miles away from where the sample was taken.

And documentary-makers, who had been investigating sightings across the UK, say the test has now come back 'positive' and confirmed the existence of black panthers and other big cats living in the UK.

A forensic laboratory took on the species identification task and used mitochondrial DNA analysis to ascertain a 99 per cent match to a big cat species.

The findings have come to light as part of filming for an upcoming documentary -Panthera Britannia Declassified - which investigates claims of big cat sightings in Britain.

DNA from a black hair caught on a barbwire fence following a sheep attack has offered 'definitive proof' big cats are roaming the British countryside


Matthew Everett, from Dragonfly Films, said: 'The DNA was from hairs caught on a barbwire fence where there had been some unusual predatory activity.

'It's taken five years for the production team to find such evidence and film its journey from collection to analysis.

'People in Gloucestershire and Britain have described what appear to be black leopards for decades. So, a leopard DNA result from a black hair sample is unsurprising.

'This is not the first such DNA result and is unlikely to be the last.

'There is a great deal of "secondary evidence" for these cats, such as consistent witness reports, but hard evidence like DNA is hard to get, so the contribution from this documentary is very helpful.

The farm where the DNA sample was recovered has had two individual sheep kill incidents in five years


'Collecting such evidence from local people, farmers and landowners is essential - Citizen Science like this will hopefully help us learn more about the Bagheera type big cats which may be quietly naturalising here.'

Residents of countryside towns across Britain have reported sightings of what appear to be black leopards for decades.

Several sightings of a large black cat were reported last year in Gloucestershire - including reports of one on the side of the motorway and another near an airport.

The farm where the DNA sample was recovered has had two individual sheep kill incidents in five years.

During that time there have been regular sightings of cats resembling black leopards in the nearby countryside.

The previous sheep carcass at the same farm as the DNA result, was assessed for its tooth pits, which are marks on the bones from carnassial teeth of an animal that has fed on the carcass.

Tooth pit analysis conducted at the Royal Agricultural University suggests that relatively large carnivores have fed on the carcasses examined, because of the impacted bones.

Witnesses commonly describe black panthers they see as 'healthy' and 'confident', which suggests they grew up in their environment.

These cats mainly prey on wild animals like deer, and they have been reported pursuing foxes and even mousing, and going for ducks, geese and pigeons. While they can switch to sheep, it seems that they much prefer natural game.

Dragonfly Films is currently pursuing broadcast options for Panthera Britannia Declassified. An earlier version of the film 'Panthera Britannia' available on Amazon Prime, Vimeo and Apple TV.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Homeless Man Turns in Wallet with 2,000 Euros at Amsterdam Station
Apple Faces EU Charges Over Digital Markets Act Violation
Macron Warns of Civil War Risk as French Elections Approach
Julian Assange Freed After US Plea Deal
Chaotic Portugal Win Over Turkey at Euro 2024
Global Headlines: Hajj Heatwave Tragedy, Flynn's Family Enterprise, and Rising Geopolitical Tensions
Political Shifts in France, Legal Battles in the UK, and Public Protests in Israel
UK's Richest Family Convicted for Exploiting Servants
Hollande Declares End to Macron’s Political Ascendancy
Hindujas Appeal Swiss Court's Human Trafficking Verdict
Prince William Celebrates Birthday at Taylor Swift Concert
Singapore to Implement Screen Time Regulations for Children
Hello and welcome back. Here we are with your latest news update from around the world.
Hello and welcome back. Here are today's top stories from around the world, you don't want to miss:
UK PM Sunak and the Election Betting Scandal
Climate Activists Target Taylor Swift's Private Jet in UK
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
US to Supply Taiwan with Suicide Drones Amid Rising Tensions with China
Bodyguard of UK Prime Minister Arrested for Alleged Election Betting
Global Displacement Crisis: Record Numbers in 2023
Muslim Community Leader Criticizes Nigel Farage for Undermining Muslims
Melinda Gates Discusses 'Horrible' Divorce from Bill Gates
Child Obesity Surge in England: A Deep Concern
U.S. Sues Adobe Over Hard-to-Cancel Subscriptions
Deadly Heat Wave Claims Dozens of Lives During Hajj Pilgrimage in Mecca
Here are today's top worldwide stories you don’t want to miss:.
World’s Largest Pilot Union Calls to Eliminate Terms Like ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Manpower’ for Equity
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
×