'Big cat' investigator talks about Sussex sightings

The black tail of a possible 'big cat' disappearing into the woods
The black tail of a possible 'big cat' disappearing into the woods

Meet the man who investigates 'big cat' sightings across Sussex...

Charlie Bones from Brighton has been investigating big cats for more that 25 years and said there have been sightings all over Sussex over that time.

Pictured in Telscombe, East Sussex

Pictured in Telscombe, East Sussex

The current big cat hot-spot is just north of Lewes where deer carcasses have been found bearing what Charlie described as evidence. Midhurst was also a common stomping ground back in 2011.

There has been one on the south side of Chichester and one towards the north in Westhampnett spotted up in the tree.

But generally across West Sussex Charlie said there have been few sightings of the ferocious felines.

"We have been getting more in East Sussex," he said.

"There are about three big cats at the moment: A mountain lion-looking cat that has started to be seen just north of Lewes. We have also got a very big cat [in Sussex]. It's massive — the size of a great dane.

"Last year we had seven individual reports that all said the same thing but I never published them."

The person who reported the mountain lion sighting was an expert from Canada who said what she had a 'really good view near Beachy Head'. The woman said the cat looked like a mountain lion but had 'something different about it'.

Other cats that Charlie describes also have 'something different' about them, he said.

Early risers are more likely to spot the beasts with most of the reports Charlie receives coming from dog walkers out and and about around 5am.

"The big black cats that get seen are not quite like leopards. I think they have been around for a long time going back to before the Victorian times."

He said exotic pets were fashionable in the Victorian times and also during the 60's and many could be the result of being released from captivity.

To keep an eye out for the monster moggies, the telltale sign is the lengthy, hockey stick-shaped tail.

To report a 'big cat' sighting in Sussex e-mail bigcatdetective@mail.com