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Britain’s Big Cat Mystery

The world’s first and only award-winning feature-length documentary about big cats in Britain.

By Tim WhittardPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

‘Britain’s Big Cat Mystery’ is the world’s first and only award-winning feature-length documentary exploring the unusual phenomenon of the United Kingdom’s population of mysterious large cats, which are alleged to be prowling the wilderness of this group of little islands nestled together on the European edge of the North Atlantic.

Throughout recent history there has been an endless stream of eye-witness reports from across the entirety of Britain, which continues to this day; from the windswept, cold and mountainous regions of northern Scotland, to the rolling green moors and woodlands of southern England, there is no shortage of sightings and reports of encounters with these beasts. Indeed, it may seem that almost every town and village in Britain has its own legend and local folklore of an unusual large cat, and there are plenty of farmers who will attest to the damage these creatures can do.

Britain has a long, colourful and complicated history of having a diverse exotic pet trade; from the days of the old British Empire, until the mid-20th century, it was deemed an indicator and symbol of status, wealth and fashion to own exotic pets, (especially big cats). The surprising popularity of extravagant exotic cat ownership in Britain is captured beautifully by the well-known viral video of ‘A Lion called Christian’; a lion cub purchased in the 1960s from the famous Knightsbridge department store, ‘Harrods’.

Incidents and reports spiralled out of control in the 1960s; and with the later introduction of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act in 1976, the situation only intensified, as exotic cat owners sought to alleviate themselves of the impending burdens of unfeasibly increased costs to obtain and retain a license to legally keep their pets. The introduction of this legislation served as a major catalyst for many unregistered private big cat owners to deliberately release their animals in preference of having them terminated.

The creator and director of ‘Britain’s Big Cat Mystery’ (Matt Everett) was inspired to start detailing this story from inception and origin to the present day, after an unexpected encounter one morning in the foothills of Exmoor, where his car almost collided with a large black cat which would have dwarfed a German Shepherd dog. The documentary’s lead researcher (Tim Whittard) had a similar experience one dark winter’s evening as he drove around a sharp hairpin bend in the spider-web network of single-track country lanes in rural Gloucestershire, nearly hitting a large powerful looking black cat that would not have looked out of place in the jungles of Asia.

This film adds substance to folklore and myth to establish the historic and scientific facts; and now, after years of tireless and extensive research, the story of ‘Britain’s Big Cat Mystery’ can finally be told with more clarity, detail and substantiated fact than has ever been possible before.

Viewers are invited to take a front-row seat and watch with anticipation as a team of experts (assembled by Rick Minter) converge on the borders of the Quantocks and Exmoor for a long weekend, to mount the largest and most technologically advanced field research expedition ever undertaken, in pursuit of clues which may lead them to find the unequivocally conclusive evidence that the scientific community craves.

In their excursion into the territory of the beast, the expert team (led by Jay Opie and Rhoda Watkins) presents a comprehensive range of equipment and field research techniques; including advanced camera trapping, bait, visual and olfactory lures, infrared cameras, night-vision scopes, thermal and optical drones, and also bio-acoustics.

Join the team, as they review newly uncovered and previously lost evidence, including long-forgotten archive footage, as well as exclusive new interviews with key witnesses to the seminal events in the history of the mysterious big cats of Britain, who until now have been unwilling to talk on camera...


Written by Tim Whittard.

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About the Creator

Tim Whittard

Tim Whittard is a mental health nurse specialising in psychiatric intensive care. Additional interests include; parapsychology and zoology/cryptozoology. He has written and published several essays and also a bestselling book.

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