Help us by reporting any sightings –
but never approach a big cat or put your safety at risk
When big cats were banned as pets in the 1970s, it was legal to release them into the countryside to avoid expensive rehoming costs.
Owners from across the UK travelled to Wales to release their cats in our remote environment, where small but significant populations have thrived ever since.
Big cats such as pumas are solitary and their hunting range is dozens of miles. They’re mostly spotted in Snowdonia and the Clwydian hills but range as far out as Prestatyn!
HUNDREDS OF SIGHTINGS EACH YEAR CAN’T BE WRONG
A BBC study collated more than 100 big cat sightings in 18 months across North and Mid Wales.
Another study recorded 123 Welsh sightings over two years.
WHY IS THERE NO ‘PROOF’?
Even in countries where pumas are native, sightings are rare. They are solitary animals which each occupy a territory up to 240 square kilometres and avoid human activity. With this is mind, it’s astounding that so many sightings are reported across the UK, and it paints a clear picture of a thriving, established population.
WHY AREN’T THERE MORE PHOTOS?
There are some, but most people report that their first thoughts are for their own safety, not to take a photo. Most will hide from humans approaching and with most sightings occurring at night or twilight, or from some distance, it’s really tricky to get a legible photo with a smartphone camera.
We do get the occasional photo or video and really appreciate them, but never put yourself at risk for the sake of a picture.