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The Hunt for the Bristol Crocodile and other tales of British Beasts

The Bristol Croc
A fearsome Crocodile, possibly hiding in suburban Bristol- image by Sunil Soundarapandian via Flickr

Don’t be alarmed dear readers, but the Bristol Crocodile may still be on the on the loose, stalking its prey around Bedminster. At his juncture- for the benefit of those not keeping up to date with the story here in Bristol’s local news- an explanation may be necessary. Yesterday afternoon a passing police officer was approached by a concerned bus driver, and was alerted to the presence of the rogue reptilian. Luckily, the exchange was detailed by Chief constable Nick Gargan on Twitter-

  Alas, since then it has been free to terrorise residents and pets alike. Thankfully however, the only contact with the animal since then has been via its (inevitable) novelty twitter account. Whilst we wait to see if it the incident was captured by CCTV cameras, we are left to reflect on how this fits into the UK’s proud history of unusual animal sightings…

Beast of Bodmin

The wilds of the UK are rife with tales of out-of-place big cats, with one of the most popular locations for sightings being the moor surrounding Bodmin, Cornwall. The animal is usually described as a large black cat, similar to a Puma, leading to suggestions it was an escaped exotic pet. Whilst definitive evidence of sightings is thin on the ground, the fearsome creature inspired at least one successful “Robot Wars” contender.

Beast of Bodmin Moor Big Cat
Big Cats have allegedly been spotted all across the UK

Canvey Island Monster

Reports of a beast of an altogether more unsettling nature emerged in 1953, when the bodies of two unidentified animals washed ashore on the Coast of Canvey Island in Essex. The creature was described as being bloated with a reddish-brown colour, alien-like convex eyes and most disconcertingly, a pair of legs with 5 toed feet. Whilst some considered it a new creature washed up from the deep, others have pointed to the legs and suggested it was a misidentified anglerfish, whose 2 squat back fins had been mistaken for feet.

The Cornish Great White

Great White Shark
The Porbeagle shark (below) can potentially be confused for a small Great White

The Tabloids enjoyed a headline-writing field day in the summer of 2007, after a holiday maker reportedly captured footage of a Great White Shark lurking around the coast of Cornwall. Whilst marine experts conceded that global warming meant the man eating species could theoretically stray into British waters as a ‘rogue visitor’, it was impossible to get confirmation from the video. Many have pointed towards a potential misidentification of the smaller (and decidedly less man-eaty) Porbeagle shark, a species well documented in the area.

The “Essex Lion”

One of the most dramatic recent animal sightings occurred in Essex in 2012, after a member of the public spotted an African Lion worryingly close to a hapless caravan park. Police marksmen and big cat experts from the local zoo were called in, and a blurry eyewitness photo of a majestic beast prowling in a distant field was splashed across red-top covers the next day. The panic died down however, when it emerged the mysterious feline was a domestic cat called “Teddy Bear”. Think you have a potential Cryptid roaming your neighbourhood, or a rogue beast stalking your field? Capture it on film with our range of Hunting Cameras and Wildlife Observation Cameras!

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