A member of the Puma Watch community has shared details of his introduction to “four puma kittens” at an animal rescue centre at Arenig near Bala.
Bill said: “Back in about 1994, I visited an animal rescue centre at Arenig near Bala.
“Amongst several other unexpected animals and after a lot of whisky had been drunk they showed me 4 puma kittens being raised that had come from an illegal private collection in the area.
“I strongly suspect that these were released into the wild as they had no paperwork and no money to feed or house them. They certainly weren’t there six months later.”
Online records confirm an animal rescue existed at Arenig and was likely near the trackbed of the Bala – Trawsfynydd railway, overlooking the reservoir which flooded the village of Tryweryn in 1965.
The centre has since closed down, possibly over a decade ago.
In recent years, multiple sightings have been reported in the area around the rescue centre which allegedly housed these kittens. Just yesterday, we shared the latest reports of big cats living in woodlands around Corwen, only a few miles from Bala.
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 areas like Wales to release their cats in the remote environment, where small but significant populations have thrived ever since.
Earlier this year, the Welsh Government responded to the recent spate of sightings and confirmed the steps they take to investigate any reported to them, including taking casts of paw prints.
Big cats such as pumas are solitary with a hunting range of dozens of miles.
They’re mostly spotted in Snowdonia and the Clwydian hills but reports of sightings in urban locations some distance from these areas are becoming more frequent.
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