Does the Beast of Exmoor Exist?

Post 560

Exmoor allegedly as an alien roaming the landscape. But it’s not a little green man armed with inappropriate probes. No, instead, it’s an alien cat, similar in appearance to a jaguar, cougar or leopard, wandering lands it should not be in. The Beast of Exmoor is one such animal. Prowling and rambling among lush grasslands in the depths of southwestern England…

Countless people have claimed to have seen this creature. It’s said to resemble closely a panther or a puma, between four and eight feet long with a black or dark grey colour. It’s also said to be highly agile.

The first sighting of the animal was in 1970, but the legend rose to prominence in 1983 after an Exmoor farmer found over 100 of his sheep dead with ‘violent throat injuries’. Others have claimed to have seen the Beast hunting for fish by the side of rivers, with some even claiming it lives in an old mine.

There is very little photographic evidence. All we have is unsubstantiated, with many claiming the animals in the photos are domestic cats ‘out of scale’. But that didn’t deter some people. British newspaper ‘The Daily Express’ once offered a reward for the capture or slaying of the Beast, and even the Ministry of Agriculture got involved in 1983, sending Marine snipers to find and kill it.

Many of the Marines claim to have seen the Beast, briefly, but no shots were ever fired. They maintained a high interest in the area until 2009 when they closed the file by concluding it is either a myth, hoax or another native creature. But the legend lives on. As recently as 2006, a skull purported to be that of a puma was found in the area.

It is speculated that if the creature does exist, there could be more than one because big cats only live around 12 years, never mind 45. Some theories state it could be an escaped circus animal, or one released into the wild after keeping wild animals in the circus was made illegal in the 1960s. Others theorise misidentification is the cause of the legend. And some think it’s a result of the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act, which controlled private ownership of big cats. The owners of many simply released them into the wild.

In all reality, it is possible for such a creature to exist or to have had existed. Animals adapt to their environment and if there’s one thing that big cats are good at, it’s hiding. And I really do believe the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act plus the banning of wild circus animals in the 1960s are quite plausible explanations for the sightings and the like over the years. It does seem rather likely that a big cat of one kind or another, at the very least, once roamed the lands of Exmoor.

So I’ll give this creature an 85 on my patented Cryptid-o-Meter, putting it top of the list with the Agogwe in second the Loch Ness Monster in third.

The Beast of Exmoor. A fascinating cryptid indeed…

Ciao :)(:

Image: The Beast of Exmoor (credit:

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The Indelible Life of Me
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