In possible the most exciting discovery for British Cryptozoology since that of the Kellas Cat, a cherished theorem of British mystery cat lore has been turned upon its head. Two specimens of the jungle cat (Felis chaus) are known from the UK They are both road kills and it has been supposed, (almost certainly) that they were escaped pets or zoo specimens. These animals have been used, (very successfully) to promote the school of thought that exotic species can and do survive in Britain. This species presently found in the Middle East and North Africa, and until now there has been no suggestion that they have lived in the UK.
The Daily Mail of Wednesday 18 th June 1997 however tells a different story: "The bones of a jungle cat, dating back 200,000 years have been found on the banks of the Thames at Averley."
This, in theory at least, opens the world of British Cryptozoology open to more speculation that the Shropshire and Hampshire jungle cat specimens were in fact members of a relict population of indigenous British wild animal. This is highly unlikely, but the new discovery has opened up a whole new metaphorical can of worms!
Animals and Men, Issue 14, August 1997
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