In the English countryside near Oaklands College in St Albans, Hertforshire, a mysterious beast lurks in the shadows. For the past few years, residents have been telling tales of a terrifying big cat who stalks the area. Their claims may not be figments of their imaginations either. In 2017, the partially eaten body of mutilated deer was even found by a man walking his dog. There have been witnesses though who have confirmed sightings of curious felines. Last year, a video surfaced of a strange tan cat that refueled the “Beast of St Albans” frenzy.
But the most recent video, shot just this week, clearly confirms what is NOT a domestic animal, roaming the land.
While working last Thursday, March 14th, local business owner Olly Fairbrother, received a distressed call from his wife. She had just seen a large, spotted cat in their back garden near their rabbit cages. Seeing the animal going after their rabbits, she quickly ran outside to scare it off. They discovered some damage to one of their fences and the roof of the enclosure.
Pulling the rabbit to safety, she had run back inside and immediately called her husband. The incident had left her obviously shaken as the couple have children that play in the yard. The animal had been over a foot tall and had spots like a “leopard”.
Residents in their area have reported seeing large cats in the fields near the home in the past. This was the first sighting so close to the human establishments though.
The last thing they expected was to see the feline again so soon.
It was just the next day that it made an appearance again, but this time Olly was ready with his camera. Luckily he is quick, because the cat flashed across the screen for just a moment!
You can see in the video, it does clearly have spots. Running from the right side of the screen, it speeds across the yard. It expertly weaves around the sparsely growing plants before jumping a large fence.
But this time, it wasn’t fast enough to evade being caught on film.
From the still shots of this latest footage, the “beast” may be mysterious, but may not be a mystery for much longer.
In June of 2017, a taxi driver by the name of Jahid Choudhury had an odd-feline run-in that he also captured on film.
He had been headed home around 4:30 am and was approaching a wooded area in St. Albans. As he drove, he stumbled upon a large tan cat sitting on the side of the road. Shocked that it remained still even with the vehicle closing in, Jahid slowed the car to a stop. The intimidating cat just simply stared Choudhury down, before slowly walking into the woods.
At the time of the incident, an article from the Mirror.co.uk shared the report. They might have laid on the sensationalism a bit thick for this one.
Jahid Choudhury dramatically snapped the wild beast – said to look like a deadly puma.
Although Jahid is adamant that the cat was larger than a normal domestic cat, many believe differently. From the YouTube video it looks like nothing more than a large stray or feral tabby cat.
After reviewing this footage with digital analysis I can clearly say with 100% certainty it is an African Lioness!Is not cat! Is filigree Siberian hamster! Only one in shop, special price, five pounds!
With Olly’s video, locals can be more confident in what they are looking at.
Over the past 7 years, more than 30 “big cat” reports have been called into local police stations. Large pawprints have been found within the sand traps of nearby golf courses–be glad it wasn’t used as a litter box. Drivers often see felines darting across traffic or in-and-out of foliage along the roads. Oaklands College staff members spotted “a large, sandy-colored cat” in January of 2017 too.
None of those claims show the animal in question though, like this video finally does. It may not be a large puma or a mythical creature, but is still a unique cat to be stalking the town.
To me, unfortunately this seems to be something that happens quite often here in the states.
Someone buys a “big cat” from a breeder, thinking that they’ll make a great house pet. WRONG. When they soon realize they have no where near the required skills for caring for these animals, they simply toss them outside. If the animal was purchased through less than legal channels, they won’t be caught if they pretend like it was never there.
These wild animals are then left to fend for themselves, finding food in places like peoples backyards for example.
Some of the most common felines used in big cat breeding for sale are Bengals, Chausie and Savannah cats.
Bengal crossbreeds are the result of the mating between an Asian Leopard cat with domestic house. These have the spotted coat Olly and his wife saw. Researching more on the domestication and selling of the Bengal, I came across a ridiculous statement. Clearly that means they’re not one in the same.
Bengals today are considered to be one and the same with domestic cats. Any Bengal purchased should be at least four generations removed from any ancestors with wild bloodlines.
Another cat with spots often used in breeding is the Savannah cat, a cross between the wild Serval and domestic cat. These cats are given classification levels for the amount of “wild” in them; F1-F5.
F1 and F2 generations are usually the largest, due to the stronger genetic influence of the African serval ancestor. As with other hybrid cats such as the Chausie and Bengal cat, most first generation cats will possess many or all of the serval’s exotic looking traits, while these traits often diminish in later generations. Male Savannahs tend to be larger than females.
What of those who saw a large tan cat though? This could be the Chausie cat, the result of a jungle cat mating with a domestic cat. This looks more like what was in Jahid’s video if not a basic stray cat.
Chausies are bred to be medium to large in size, as compared to traditional domestic breeds. However, because Chausies are built for running and jumping, they are long-bodied and leggy with medium boning.
What happens though when these cats don’t follow the “behavioral guidelines” of your true domestic cat?
What of them when they are no longer “breed-able? There are so many unfortunately endings for these poor animals. If locals near the Fairbrothers end up trapping the animal, will it be put down? Will it go to a sanctuary where it can live as close to the wild as possible?
If this video truly captured the Beast of St Albon, the town may want to look into any human “beasts” discarding breeder cats. Especially if there are multiple sightings of reportedly different colored large cats. There may be more terrifying things happening then a strange oversized feline in someones backyard!
Remember: Big Cats Don’t Make Good Pets and Adopt, Don’t Shop!