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Wales Online
Wales Online
Laura Clements

Big cats roaming remote parts of west Wales is possible, says Iolo Williams

It's entirely possible that big cats could be living in the remotest parts of west Wales according to well-known BBC naturalist Iolo Williams.

Speaking ahead of Autumnwatch's broadcast this week from the Teifi Marshes on the north Pembrokeshire border, Mr Williams said just because he's never seen a big cat with his own eyes doesn't mean they don't exist.

Earlier this year a group set up to investigate big cat sightings reported a cluster in Snowdonia after people reported seeing large cat like animals and a "massive" paw print. Read about the actual evidence over whether big cats could be on the loose in Wales here.

Mr Williams admitted however the chances of the BBC cameras unexpectedly recording a large, feline predator were slim. "But just because I’ve never actually clapped eyes on one living in the wild doesn’t mean to say that they are definitely not around," he told the Western Telegraph.

"Big cats are by nature incredibly shy and elusive and will go out of their way to remain concealed from sight. Having said that, over the years I must have tramped tens of thousands of miles across all parts of Wales and in all that time I’ve never come across any evidence that these things are actually out there.

"If there was indeed a population of big cats living and breeding in our countryside you’d have thought we’d find far more sheep carcases lying about – and obvious prey such as pheasants would be massacred in their hundreds."

Read more: All the big cats reportedly spotted prowling wild in the UK

Iolo was commenting on sporadic reports that big cats have been seen in various parts of west Wales ahead of Tuesday night’s live programme he will co-host with Gillian Burke.

The last three weeks have seen the crew undertake pre-filming all around the Welsh Wildlife Reserve, during which Iolo has spent time in a canoe on the River Teifi on the lookout for kingfisher, mullet, and salmon. The live show will bring light to the secret lives of our local wildlife such as European badgers, roe deer, and perhaps even the elusive otter.

"The Teifi Marshes are one of my favourite places," Iolo added. "The variety of habitat here is quite simply stunning."

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