Big cat sightings give TV's Iolo Williams paws for thought

By Mike Lewis in Environment

RENOWNED BBC naturalist Iolo Williams has not ruled out the possibility that big cats could be living and breeding in rural west Wales.

Although he has never seen one himself, the BBC Wales presenter has refused to pour scorn on sightings of large feline predators following recent reports from Pontgarreg and Aberporth.

And Mr Williams even believes that the more remote and wooded parts of Ceredigion could be home to a number of the creatures.

“I personally have never, ever, seen any evidence of a big cat anywhere in the UK, let alone here in Wales,” Mr Williams told the Cambrian News.

“But just because something like a lynx or a panther has never crossed my path doesn’t mean that such things don’t exist.

“A friend of mine has spent the past four years working on a scheme to re-establish the lynx in an area of the Alps.

“In all that time he has never even seen a single lynx – that’s how elusive these creatures are.

“So if you’re asking me whether we have the habitat here in Wales to support a species like the lynx I would say yes – absolutely.

“In fact we could have around a dozen of them in the country and we wouldn’t even know that they are there.”

Mr Williams – a guest speaker at the Penfro Book Festival at Rhosygilwen next month – had been asked to comment on sporadic, if inconclusive, reports of mysterious big cats in the county.

Back in the summer of 2015, Pontgarreg outdoorsman and tracker Robert Cashman described seeing a large, black, puma-like animal crashing through undergrowth in a densely-wooded gorge near Cwmtydu.

See this week’s South Ceredigion or Cardigan & Newcastle Emlyn editions for the full story, in shops and online now

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Neal Forrester · 10 days ago · Report

I saw one with my then girlfriend near clarach bay/bowstreet in the late 90's it came out of the woods stalking sheep jumping two to three fences then getting spooked by us and retreating back to the woods

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