7. Beast Of Exmoor
The Beast of Exmoor is one of many stories of large, phantom cats that roam the countryside of mainland Britain. This particular cryptid seems to remain in the counties of South West England, mostly in Exmoor National Park, hence the name.
Accounts of the beast often describe it as a large leopard, 8ft (2.4m) from nose to tail, that is incredibly agile and violent. Something that is not native to the British isles.
Although the first sighting was reported in the 1970s, it wasn’t until 1983 that this cryptid gained notoriety. Farmer Eric Ley claimed he had lost over 100 sheep in three months, with those that he found having their throats ripped out. People soon attributed this to the attack of a big cat species. Thus, the legend was perpetuated nationwide. Many also remarked that these stories were similar to many others around Britain, often attributed to other phantom cats. These attacks were reported until 2001.
On three separate occasions, photographic evidence has been taken of such a cat wandering the fields of Devon, with a farmer even claiming to have found a panther skull near his farm.
In addition, many believe that it could be an escaped or released pet, as the first sighting occurred around the time it became illegal to own big cats outside of zoos. However, the lifespan of leopards is only around 15 years maximum, meaning that if all these sightings are true, it has to be something science does not yet recognise.