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Lorry driver spots big lynx-type cat on hard shoulder

By This is Devon  |  Posted: November 24, 2010

A Lynx

A Lynx

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A LARGE, lynx-type cat has been spotted on the outskirts of Exeter.

The sighting, early on Tuesday morning, was made by a Devon lorry driver Paul Coles.

Mr Coles, 45, from Holsworthy, was driving a 44-tonne lorry hauling bacon to Swindon, when he saw the animal on the hard shoulder of the A30 near Tedburn St Mary.

Mr Coles, who has been travelling the route for over 20 year, said: "It was about 2.30am and I was approaching the speed camera near the Tedburn junction when I saw the animal in my full beam headlights.

"It was just standing there looking at me.

"It must have been three foot tall with a round face and pointed ears, like a lynx.

"It looked like it had just come out of the hedge and just stared at me as I drove past.

"I have seen plenty of domestic cats along there in my time but this was definitely something very different to that."

Mr Coles added: "I will definitely be taking an extra interest along that route now just in case I see it again."

Devon is one of the top areas in the UK for big cat sightings ahead of Scotland and Wales.

Almost 60 per cent of sightings are of black cats, and 32 per cent sandy-coloured or brown, which the British Big Cat Society believes are pumas.

Another six per cent were said to be lynx-type cats.

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  • mummykenny  |  August 20 2011, 1:33PM

    My Husband is now 32 but when he was a young child his family and some friends of the family were squatting a house on dartmoor. the house had a large cellar that wasnt used one day one of the men told every one to very carefully and quietly come to the top of the cellar stair. to everyones disbelief there was a pair of lynx living in the cellar(there was a window that opened onto a hill on the moor which the cats were using to come and go) I laughed when i first heard this story as i thought it may have been a childhood memory exaggerated but once i got to know family members i heard the story from them all, it all collaberated but they dont talk about it for fear of people thinking they are lieing and for the fact they were sqatters at the time! after being with my husband for 16 and a half years i know that he is no liar!

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  • Misterkipling  |  August 19 2011, 8:22PM

    Had the Lynx broken down, if so two questions: 1. What does a Lynx type cat smell of? Is it the body spray 2. what car was it driving?

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    Jimmy Christophers, whitecross whitestone  |  November 27 2010, 9:05AM

    lynx would not survive my guess it was a puma as i am sure i saw one several years ago out at cheriton fitzpaine. i am not the only one to have seen them as Tracey the landlady at the royal oak pub in nadderwaer has also seen them.

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    Will, Mid Devon  |  November 26 2010, 12:28PM

    What's an apherison?

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    Mike, Chilsworthy Holsworthy  |  November 26 2010, 9:18AM

    Interesting The very same Paul Coles who claimed to have seen an apherison over in Pyworthy this time three years ago.

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    Will, Mid Devon  |  November 25 2010, 9:00PM

    I am old enough to have been in my twenties in the 1970s when the law was changed about keeping big cats (and other large animals) as pets. I can even remember a TV programme where several people were filmed with their pumas, lynxes etc, and the question was, what were they going to do with them. This thing about big cats really started with "The Beast of Exmoor" - remember that? There was a butcher in South Molton who kept two big cats as guard animals (I was told they were pumas, but I'm not sure whether that was correct). After the law came into force these two cats disappeared and the butcher was apparently very cagey about what he had done with them. It wasn't long afterwards that stories about the Beast of Exmoor began to appear. The cats released in the 1970s will all be dead by now, as most big cats don't live longer than about 20-25 years, I believe. But if, for example, the two cats that the South Molton butcher released (if that's what he did) were a male and a female, there is no reason why the shouldn't have produced offspring. Also Wild places like Exmoor, Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor etc would be favourite for people releasing animals, and it is quite possible that several other animals have been released there over the years. These animals might well have been imported illegally and subsequently released when owners found it too difficult to keep them. A colleague of mine who was a sensible and intelligent person also familiar with big cats having studied them abroad told me that he saw a lynx on Exmoor about 10 years ago, quite near East Anstey. I can see no reason why he might lie, but you never know. There was also some film shown on the TV a few years ago of a large black cat somewhere in farmland on the edge Bodmin Moor. The size of the cat was guaged against some tractor wheel marks on the edge of the field that the cat was crossing. If they had been wheel marks from a small quad bike that would have made the cat look bigger, so I suppose that could have been a hoax - I don't remember any follow-up one way or the other. Kieran is right about animals going off to die somewhere secluded, which is why we don't find deer and fox sleletons all over the countryside, for example. Most animals do this, but particularly cats - even domestic ones do this sometimes. It's just possible that everybody is making it all up, but it does seem a lot more feasible than the Loch Ness Monster or the Tooth Fairy!

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    Kieran, Exeter  |  November 25 2010, 7:12PM

    "I'm with Billy Rage on this one - you lot are crazy!" What's crazy about believing there is a possibility of these animals being out in the wild based upon various witness accounts and evidence?

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    Kieran, Exeter  |  November 25 2010, 7:10PM

    "PEOPLE KEPT THESE ANIMALS AS PETS ? WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON I GREW UP IN GRASSENDALE ON THE NORTH PROSPECT ESTATE (SWILLY) IN PLYMOUTH AND I DONT KNOW ONE SINGLE PERSON WHO HAD A BIG CAT AS A PET OR HAD SEEN A UFO . YOU ARE TALKING RUBBISH ONCE AGAIN I AM GLAD I WAS NEVER BANGED UP WITH SOMEONE LIKE YOU KIERON AS YOU WOULD SPEND ALL YOUR TIME BORING ME TO TEARS WITH TALES OF SECRET TUNNELS GOING UNDER EXETER PRISON. AS CATS ARE DUMB AND HAVE NO ROAD SENSE SURELY BY NOW SOMEONE WOULD HAVE RUN ONE OVER." It's well documented that people kept exotic pets quite freely until laws were implemented in order to stop them from doing so. Just because you've never met anyone that kept a big cat, doesn't mean that nobody ever has. I've never met a person that owns a parrot, for example. By your logic that means that nobody has ever owned a parrot. I rarely see dead deer on the roads yet I see dozens of them out in the wild all the time. If there are say 10 big cats wondering around Devon at night then the odds may be stacked against people finding the body of one or hitting one. People have claimed to have seen them crossing roads and by the roadsides plenty of times (such as in this article.) By the way, a UFO is an unidentified flying object. As I've already said, if you can't identify everything you see in the night sky, that means you can see a UFO. It doesn't mean that it's an alien, which is a moronic assumption that a lot of people make. It simply means you can't identify what it is. And how the hell did you manage to spell my name wrong when it's spelled correctly right in front of you?

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    Chris, St Thomas  |  November 25 2010, 5:07PM

    Silly site, making me think it has not posted my post!

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    Chris, St Thomas  |  November 25 2010, 5:06PM

    I'm with Billy Rage on this one - you lot are crazy! Richard - look to the left of your keyboard, there is a key with the words "Caps Lock" on it... give it a tap, will you? Makes your complete insanity difficult to read.

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