Feral big cats in rural Gloucestershire - reflecting on the possible presence of exotic animals in the English landscape

Reed, Matthew and Naylor, Rhiannon and Lewis, Nick (2014) Feral big cats in rural Gloucestershire - reflecting on the possible presence of exotic animals in the English landscape. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In the winter of 2012 the discovery of savaged deer carcasses in Gloucestershire, quickly followed by reports of video footage from an area nearby thought to be of a big cat, gained a significant amount of regional and national press coverage. The presence of unexpected creatures in the British countryside is not a new phenomenon; from the Loch Ness Monster to the Beast of Bodmin Moor, reports of the unusual and unexplained have seeped into British culture. This paper investigates the presence of big cats in the county of Gloucestershire through an exploration of the experience and opinions of local people. The study incorporated an online survey, a media analysis and the mapping of big cat sightings in the area. The findings provide an interesting insight into the cultural function of the possible presence of big cats, in that it is the unexplained rather than the proven that captures people's interest. Understandings of nature, and the search for a re-enchanted countryside, outside of human knowledge or control, are brought to the fore.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: © The authors
Uncontrolled Keywords: Feral big cats; Gloucestershire, England
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Matthew Reed
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2017 14:44
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2017 13:45
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/4851

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