Thursday, January 4, 2007


The 'big cats' roaming the surrounding areas of Europe's largest shopping centre, Bluewater, are not mere eerie urban legends.

Sightings of black leopard, lynx and puma were being reported long before the mall was constructed and when the land was merely fields and quarries. Large animals such as this will not deviate from their routes just because a concrete obstacle sits there and attracts millions of people each year, hence the facts that the sightings persist.

Bluewater will still attract large cats as there is a supply of water and food source is in abundance with birds, rabbits and foxes living in the proximity.

The concerns for the Bluewater management team is that they fear such exotic animals will drive away or maybe terrify the shoppers that bombard the area daily. However, sightings generally take place on the outskirts although there have been one or two occasions where a black leopard has strolled very close. On one occasion a family who'd been to the cinema were returning to one of the underground car-parks after a late film when they all spotted a big, black cat prowling the car-park.

In 2004 a woman and her child stood and watched in amazement as a puma walked through one of the car-parks in broad daylight.

There have also been many sightings on the roads flanking and circling Bluewater. Several motorists have spoken to me regarding seeing large cats casually slinking across the roads.

I personally think that people who flock to the shops at Bluewater are too interested in their wallets than noticing if any large cats are about. This is a good thing as it means the animals in questions can get on with their lives.

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