A man is claiming to have recently discovered tracks belonging to the Beast of Bodmin Moor in Madron, a small village in Cornwall, England.
Mark Davis is unconvinced that the tracks belong to a domestic cat or dog, arguing they’re too big. Additionally, he found feces that backs up his assertion.
“Last night, I was investigating an abandoned place in Madron near the moor,” Davis said of the incident. “On returning, we found prints of non-domestic animals. This paw print shows [the creature] is big and heavy, and people need to be aware.”
“[The prints were] fresh on the wet tractor tracks, and [it] looks like [the animal] was in a prowling movement,” he continued. “[The prints were] too big for a domestic cat and not the prints of a dog – neither of which would be on the moorland [at] 10 a.m. in the morning so far from home. I can only assume it is what is called the ‘Beast.’”
The ‘Beast’ Davis is referring to is a phantom wild cat popularized throughout British folklore. The Beast of Bodmin Moor, or more simply just the Beast of Bodmin, is a panther-like cat that has been said to mutilate livestock in the area.
After Davis’s statement, another woman came forward via Facebook.
“[I was] driving home tonight and a huge – what I thought was a – black dog ran out in front of my car near the Fowey cross turning,” she wrote. “I had to brake hard not to hit it, but now [I’m] thinking it might [have been] a black panther, as it had a huge tail and long legs, very muscular.”
Sightings of the Beast of Bodmin began around 1978, after Mary Chipperfield was forced to close the Plymouth Zoo. She allegedly released three pumas into the wild. The government conducted an official investigation in 1995, but didn’t find any verifiable evidence that big cats would be able to survive in the Cornwall area.
Lack of governmental evidence didn’t stop the spotings, though. Since 2000, there have been more than 200 reported sightings of the Beast.
Years ago, a leopard escaped from a private zoo, devastating local sheep populations. Some have suggested that this could simply be another big cat on the loose from a nearby zoo. However, recent escapes haven’t been reported.
Could these tracks be one of England’s most famous and frequently reported cryptids? Or is this a misidentification?