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Big Cat Conversations

Author: Rick Minter

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The People's Podcast on Big Cat encounters in Britain. In each episode Rick Minter discusses big cat sightings with different witnesses, finding out what they saw or sensed, how they felt, and how these cases fit a bigger picture.
38 Episodes
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Tim was amazed to see a black panther in fields neighbouring his house in Berkshire in 2020 – he’d previously seen one on Salisbury Plain in 2004, while our second guest Maria watched a tan coloured puma carrying a rabbit in its mouth in Gloucestershire, then sensed it lurking in the dark and spooking her dogs, in July 2020.Both guests explain setting up trail cameras in the hope of filming the cats they encountered.Words of the week:   green bridges21 November 2020
David Hetherington, author of The Lynx and Us, re-lives the moment he was watched by a lynx in Switzerland and explains how the vivid wildlife and lynx photographs for his book were captured by Laurent Geslin. He considers when the lynx died out in the past in Britain and discusses how lynx reintroduction projects have been carried out in parts of Europe.    7 November 2020Word of the week:  lucerve
Maria in Cornwall saw a lynx leap away in her woodland, while Rob in Gloucestershire drove past a lynx walking along a roadside ditch - both our guests explain how these encounters changed their view of the British countryside.   30 October 2020Word of the week:  stochastic 
Matt Jones explains the challenge of filming large cats in Devon and Cornwall with trail cameras – one of his photos is discussed in the coming documentary Britain’s Big Cat Mystery, and we also hear of his sighting of a panther-like cat in October 2020.17 October 2020Word of the week:  pardus  
We hear from Amy-Louise who did an emergency stop to avoid hitting a large unusual puma when driving in Hampshire, and then from Joel who was shocked to see a tall black cat in reed beds near Hastings – Joel contrasts his sighting with a wild puma he witnessed in Texas. Words of the week:  landscape connectivity2 October 2020
Our first guest Paul watched a black panther in Essex for 15 minutes in August, struggling to take photos at dusk – we then visit Exmoor Zoo’s black leopards, and hear why local police sometimes ask if they’ve escaped. Words of the week:   chuffing and prusten18 September 2020 
In our first half David Anthony Starkey explains how glimpsing a big cat in south Wales led to his new novel about British black panthers – in the second half we feature Red in Tooth and Claw, a play about big cats in Britain by Simon Bovey, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4.  Words of the week: art represents reality2 September 2020 
We speak to Lord Tyler who called for the 1995 government study on potential big cats in the Bodmin area, and to Eric Ley about sheep predation on his Exmoor farm in 1983 and the community’s response, which started the Exmoor Beast legend. Word of the week:  cat nip20 August 2020
Our guest Josh disturbed a large feline shape in the dark on a break in Anglesey – it made angry calls and stalked him as he returned home with his dog.  He later observed the speed and power of the animal…Word of the week:  Tapetum lucidum 6 August 2020
Our first guest John witnessed a “freckled” black panther in north Devon in June 2020, suggesting inbreeding in the cat, while our second guest Dan was confronted by a panther on Dartmoor whilst on his Navy night-watch training. Dan and Rick also discuss folklore associated with Britain’s big cat sightings.  Words of the week:  vitiligo  and  tulpa24 July 2020
Our first guest Richard once shot a medium-large sized cat in southern England but wants to film a big cat now, while our second guest Andrew and his dogs were followed by a panther by the river Severn in May 2020 – local investigator Paul Ramsden discusses this case on location with Andrew.  Word of the week:  stalking9 July 2020 
Béa our guest from Dorset was shocked by a large cat high in a tree – she rushed for a camera as it leapt from branch to branch, and we also hear from Scott Bainbridge about New Zealand big cat sightings.Word of the Week:   arboreal27 June 2020
Angela describes her close encounters when dog-walking in Somerset big cat hot-spots over 30 years, and we also hear Clare Balding’s surprise sighting of a panther in Herefordshire in 2014, recorded on BBC Radio 4. Word of the week:  pareidolia 12 June 2020
Wendy explains her puma and jaguar encounters in Columbia and checking for puma tracks in Cornwall - she recounts her former zoo work and her experience on deeper connections with owls, bears and big cats. We also hear from Gloucestershire’s Frank Tunbridge about recent local big cat reports and his thoughts on the influence of lockdown on wildlife and big cats. Word of the week:   cursorial  28 May 2020
We discuss big cats and horses with horse trainer Richard – he has seen a black panther in Warwickshire and a puma in California, while our second guest Rachel describes the impacts of a large cat attack on her horse in Herefordshire. Word of the week:  catamount14 May 2020
With black panthers reported in many States of America, Michael Mayes, author of Shadow Cats considers the case for undetected black jaguars, black pumas and other candidates.Michael also compares the stealth of large cats with another mystery animal reported deep in the wilds of America… Word of the week:   cryptid30 April 2020 
John our guest watched a mother and cub at close quarters in Shropshire, making him determined to photograph a big cat - he got his wish 5 years later in a Herefordshire wood.Word of the week: melanism18 April 2020
Rhoda and Jay discuss searching for wildlife, people and big cats, by using tracking skills and senses, and thermal drones.Jay describes a black panther seen against the bright landscape of China clay in Cornwall, and Rhoda reflects on skills learnt from her time with Kalahari bushmen. You can also watch the shorter version of this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=bxcSVqSI65Y&feature=emb_logo   Word of the week:   ecotone  3 April 2020
Craig recounts his time as a countryside ranger at Forfar Loch in Angus when he twice encountered a jungle cat. Several visitors also glimpsed the cat(s) and were more fascinated than fearful.Rick the podcast host compares his experience seeing and hearing a jungle cat in Gloucestershire.Word of the week: meso predator  21 March 2020
We join Alyn and Neil as they stake out the Forest of Dean and find a large wild boar carcass, eaten-out and despatched by a wild predator. They explain a recent big cat sighting through their thermal camera, describe cub sightings (check photo on the BCC web site), and discuss how tracking gets you closer to nature. Words of the week: diagonal walkingMarch 5  2020
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Comments (1)

Sandcastle •

What a load of crap. 'I have a picture of a big cat, only some people put a football in front of the camera' 'I saw a big cat, I know it's a big cat because I own a dog' 'there's a conspiracy between land owners so they stay quiet about big cats' 'there's evidence everywhere, and I have pictures, only we're not going to show evidence.'

Oct 29th
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