Are there wild big cats in the UK? See the dangerous wild animals that live near you

Are there wild big cats in the UK? See the dangerous wild animals that live near you <i>(Image: Canva)</i>
Are there wild big cats in the UK? See the dangerous wild animals that live near you (Image: Canva)

Whether you’ve heard about big cat sightings or think you’ve seen one with your own eyes, you might be curious as to whether there are actually big cats roaming around the UK.

Recently, sightings of big cats have been reported including in Amersham, Buckinghamshire and Padgate, Cheshire.

In Amersham a group of investigators, Big Cats of Chilterns, received a report of a sighting on Wednesday, October 19. It was described as being a “large Labrador sized black cat”.

A sighting of a ‘panther’ on Tuesday, October 11 in Padgate was reported and days later a resident captured footage on their doorbell camera of what looked like a big cat roaming the streets.

Bournemouth Echo: A cheetah running (Canva)
Bournemouth Echo: A cheetah running (Canva)

A cheetah running (Canva) (Image: Canva)

Puma Watch has shared a map on its website showing the areas of the UK where big cat sightings have been reported. It tries to keep it updated regularly.

The majority of the sightings included on the map are in Wales while locations in England and Scotland are also marked.

A “very large black cat” was thought to have been seen in Leamington Spa by a resident while “a large silky black wild cat” sighting was reported near Edinburgh.

Sightings have also been reported in Nercwys Forest with someone describing what they saw as a “jet black” creature.

You can find out more about the sightings or find the map via the Puma Watch website.

If you think you have seen a big cat in the wild, you can report a sighting here.


Dangerous wild animals in the UK

Dangerous wild animals are living in the UK, according to the Born Free Foundation.

The charity has also used an interactive map to plot the whereabouts of a variety of species that live across the UK.

Its 2020 survey revealed that 3,951 dangerous wild animals are licensed to be owned by private owners in Great Britain.

Bournemouth Echo: A lion (Canva)
Bournemouth Echo: A lion (Canva)

A lion (Canva) (Image: Canva)

While this is the number of licensed wild animals that are dangerous, there could be more that are kept without licenses and therefore don’t appear in the results.

The website says: “A total of 210 private addresses across 129 local authorities hold licences to keep dangerous wild animals such as lions, tigers, crocodilians and venomous reptiles!”

The website can be used to search for the animals that are kept across the UK and it’s broken down by counties and local authorities.

For example, in Cheshire, one cheetah is reported as being owned while six clouded leopards and two pumas plus other animals are owned in Cornwall.

Use the interactive map via the Born Free Foundation website here.