Leopard Loose in Devon

Amazing stuff..the guys in the UK can get the kind of evidence we would kill for..
Positive proof of a leopard on the loose in north Devon and a tantalising glimpse of the true identity of the orang-pendek were some of the highlights of this year’s Weird Weekend, the annual conference organised by the Centre for Fortean Zoology in the little village of Woolfardisworthy in Devon.I was there to give a talk on how to identify hair samples, but through the good grace of Danish production company Nature and Science – who were shooting a documentary about crypto zoology – and Olympus Denmark, I had also been able to bring along some serious microscopic equipment enabling me to do on-the-spot analysis in case somebody brought some hairs along.Just to make sure there would be some hairs to analyse, I twice visited nearby Huddisford Wood where locals have seen big black cats for several years. The first visit was in the company of the Danish film crew, the second in the company of Andrew Perry, Colin Stott and several other members of Wiltshire Phenomena Research. Between us we managed to find a number of scats and hair-samples. Most of these were of well-known local animals – badgers, dogs, voles, even humans – but two of the samples contained some 30–40 hairs from a big cat. Closer examination revealed the hairs to be from a leopard. By pinching a sample from a leopard skin brought to the WW by big cat researcher Jon McGowan, I even managed to do a comparison: they were a perfect match. There is no way to know when the hairs were dropped, but there is absolutely no doubt that at least one leopard has been out for a walk in Huddisford Wood.Other big cats revealed themselves during the weekend. The Wiltshire group had brought along a long black hair found in Longleat Forest. It had already been identified as coming from a cat, and further examination proved it to be from a leopard. Jon McGowan had also brought a selection of the samples he has found during his time in the field in Dorset. There were several hairs from big cats in these, although most of them could not be identified as to species – apart from one sample, where I was able to extract several puma hairs, and thus confirm Jon McGowan’s own results. Source