'... this is a great book, a rare, ready-made fortean classic. 9/10'
John Michell -- Fortean Times
Michael Howard -- The Cauldron
'The scope of the inquiry here is learned, exhaustive and entertaining, non-academic and easily digestible [...] Brilliantly evoked, enchantingly explained.' -- Folklore Frontiers
'This is a truly excellent piece of work that does not shy away from controversy... '
-- Nick Redfern
Merrily Harpur '... leads the reader on an unusual, intriguing and often amusing journey.'
Penelope Bennett -- The Oldie
In the past twenty years every county in Britain, from Caithness to Cornwall, has had recurrent sightings of 'big cats' - described as being like pumas or panthers. These anomalous big cats sightings are now running at an estimated 1,200 a year. Farmers, gamekeepers, ornithologists, policemen and even parents on the school run have all been thrilled - or terrified - to see what they assume is a big cat escaped from a zoo. Yet these big cats are neither escapees from zoos nor, as this book conclusively argues, the descendants of pets released into the countryside by their owners in 1976 when the Dangerous Wild Animals Act made it too expensive to keep big cats. The questions therefore remain, what are they and where have they come from? With the orthodox explanations overturned, Merrily Harpur searches for clues in the cultures of other times and places. She discovers our mystery felines have been with us for longer than we imagine, and throws unexpected light on the way Western civilisation looks at the world. "Mystery Big Cats" is the first serious and comprehensive book on the subject.
From the drama of eyewitnesses' verbatim accounts to the excitement of new perspectives and insights into a strange and often terrifying experience - it gets to grips with what is now the commonest encounter with the unknown in Britain.