The UK’s tabloid press have today been reporting that a ‘big cat’ has been spotted in Cumbria.
‘Woman takes some of the clearest photos of a “wild puma” ever seen in Britain while on her way to work’ the Sun announced. Their article then goes on to quote a woman named Sharon who says that the images are “some of the best photographic evidence up-to-date.”
The sighting supposedly took place alongside a road outside Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District National Park with the animal said to have been seen, as the Daily Mirror reports, “munching on a pigeon”.
The photos of this unverified sighting of an unverified big cat, were posted in a Facebook group called Big Cats in Cumbria and supposedly match other alleged sightings around the area by the group’s members.
The precise location of the encounter hasn’t been revealed, perhaps so as not to encourage big cat enthusiasts or even hunters.
There’s division on social media as to the reliability of the photographs.
“All the technology the guys on Attenborough have with remote cameras, with footage of snow leopard kittens in the Andes” writes one Facebook user in reaction to the Sun’s story. “But all we just get are horrendous photos of a dog with a face photoshopped.”
“They are out there,” writes another user. “A friend who lives in the Forest of Dean has caught them a few times on her animal camera’s (sic)”.
It’s certainly not the first time that there have been reports of a big cat being spotted in the Lake District. In fact, as many as 40 claims have been officially lodged with the police since 2003.
So far however, this grainy image, perhaps taken on one of the first camera phones that Nokia released, is the closest thing we have to proof.