Alien Big Cats
ABCsAlien Big Cats (often called ABCs) do not (usually) have anything to do with UFOs and visitors from other planets. The word "alien" in this context simply means "out of place". Unlike many cryptids ABCs are not creatures unknown to science but previously well-known creatures in unexpected places. It is their location that is anomalous rather than their existence. ABC are sometimes known as Phantom Cats however the word "Phantom" is probably even more misleading than "alien".
ABCs are found throughout the world, however for some reason we seem to have more than our fair share here in the UK. They have been reported throughout Britain and captured or killed ABCs range geographically from the leopard shot on the Isle of Wight (1993) through a jungle cat hit by a car in Shropshire (1989) up to Scotland and the famous "Felicity the Puma" of Cannich (1980).
These are simply a few of the confirmed cases - there are many, many more sightings annually. A 2006 report by the British Big Cat Society (1) revealed that there were 2123 reported sightings between April 2004 and July 2005.
What Are Alien Big Cats?As with any strange phenomenom many big cat sightings are undoubtedly the result of incorrect observation, media hysteria and downfright fraud. In addition, some of the tales fit better into the categories of folklore and legends of the supernatural.
That said, many big cats have - as mentioned above - been confirmed. They are real, they exist. So what are they and where do they come from?
The description of ABCs varies from location to location, however most seem consistent with known species of large, wild felines. In the UK the most common reports are of large black cats or brown/sandy ones. Pumas probably account for many of these.
So where do they come from? One obvious source is accidental release into the wild from zoos, private collectors, etc. Travelling circuses are another possible source. Of course, most such escapees would probably have died out quicky. However it's possible that some managed to live on and breed, learning to hunt or scavenge.
In the UK many such colonies could have originated with the passing in 1976 of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (2). This required owners of big cats to be licensed. It's suspected that many owners released their animals into the wild rather than comply with the terms of the Act.
(1) British Big Cats Society
(2) Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976