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British farmers have bizarrely been learning to live with big cats roaming the country after a hair that was found snagged on a fence had a 99% chance of coming from a black panther.
Several farmers have said that they are more than happy to adapt to the big cats in the countryside, according to Rick Minter, producer of the Big Cat Conversations podcast, who spoke toGloucestershireLiveabout the rise in black cat sightings.
Several guests on his podcast seemed to be pretty relaxed about the idea of letting big cats roam free across the UK.
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The comments come just weeks after DNA tests revealed that hair found on a Gloucestershire farmer’s fencepost was a 99% match with a black panther’s.
The Daily Star reportedthat unusual black hair was found on a barbed wire fence at a farm in Gloucestershire following a sheep attack, just a few miles away from where a large black animal was previously captured on video.
“We have big cats – and have to learn to live with them,” said a Gloucestershire farmer at one of Rick’s talks.
The farmer pointed out that the big cats, which include black panthers, cougars, and pumas, seem to prefer deer and are happy to leave sheep alone, meaning they aren’t causing a massive problem with farmers.
Another person, a train conductor who saw either a cougar or a puma, said: “I didn’t want to report it – it seemed so comfortable in its environment.”
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One man, who saw a panther scare away some deer he was watching, said: "It was surreal, the image has stayed with me. Hope they don’t get attention from trophy hunters.
“I’ve never really paid any attention to big cats in Britain as I thought people were confused or just lying.”
Currently, the only big cats that are naturally found in Europe are the Iberian and Eurasian Lynx, neither of which are native to the UK.
The only wildcat species that is known to live in Britain is the European Wildcat, a tiny and sweet species that can weigh up to 7.5 kg, and is only found in Scotland.
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