Sunday, 21 November 2010

Wolstonbury hill pawprint mystery

I certainly wasn,t going to post any of this.The evidence is so vague,the pawprint picture so poor,the padding could of been anything and the hare fleck,well,i,ll post this following article very speculatively and follow with my own opinion,you will have to just judge for yourselves...It was a misty,murky day yesterday with the hilltops of the downs shrouded in low cloud.The walk up the path with some dense bushes on the right was steep which meant attention was drawn to the feet,there were no other footprints apart from my own but there were pad marks,no whole pawprints to see however the padding had no claw marks attached to them.Something had been active up and down this slope and in the last 24 hours as the rain before this would of washed anything away.As i got higher the ground opened up to a grass field,plenty of rabbits were about and looking down again to the grass some hare fleck was seen.Actually it was a bit more than just fleck and it was quite obvious that a hare had been killed here overnight plus it was dry but i couldn,t find any blood or carcase,it had been quickly killed and just taken away.Nearby,leading up to a fence,again those clawless pad marks.There was a footpath the other side but the ground was very chewed up by horse traffic to find anything there.Plenty of sheep on the hill,they looked quite happy just chewing grass and noone seemed about.This is open access here,National Trust owned but the damp weather that i quite like must of kept people away.Anyway walking back down another path near to where the hare was killed the side was steep away from the mud churned path and i found this partial pawprint measuring 5 cm across,again no claw marks and although the 2 front toes meet in the middle this would be expected as the rest of the animal would be trying to keep out of the mud and so would be on a slant.The lobe however looks to be big which is consistant with cats.5cm width is the same as the Devils Dyke pawprint which is the next hill along after Newtimber which is where Dr.Gerald Legg found something similar a few years earlier.So,the pawprint is what i would expect to come from a Longlegged cat,also if any cat would be capable of catching a hare it would be 1 of these fleet beasts also the near full moon would increase the cats advantage considerably.Of course the hare could of been killed by a fox but i would of expected much more fleck lying around as it would be a hell of a struggle for a fox to kill something only half its size plus the evidence of this happening would be quite near in the bushes to spot and there was nothing.So,what sightingshave there been in the area to support this theory of Llcs being active here?Well as recently as july this year a black cat very slim was seen crossing Clappers lane 2 miles west(source BCIB forum) and the previous september a reddish brown, shape unknown,larger than a fox cat was seen at Edburton(source SBCW) At Small Dole (where i used to live)in 2003 a grey coloured cheetah-like animal was seen coursing rabbits in a field and later presumably the same 1 was crossing the road to go back to the downs(source Bryan Hale)Way back in 2000 over near Ashurst my own sighting of 1 of these beasts again i saw it coursing rabbits and near Burgess Hill in "04 of another similar cat with very long legs and i quote(Bryan Hales records again) also Ditchling plus in 2000,october at Shoreham which is not too far away from Wolstonbury say 5 miles as the cat walks"black,cheetah-like animal"was the description.Altogether that makes alot of activity from collie sized(20"tall)cheetah-like cats in the local area unmatched except perhaps for the Midhurst area and maybe around Robertsbridge, East Sussex ,need i go on?

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