They are out there

LAST UPDATED: 16 Dec, 2007 @ 08:09
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Were large grey cats seen near Monda a pair of lynxes or the La Cala cougar and mate?

HORSERIDERS in Monda are convinced they saw a pair of wild cats while out on a ride.

The trio of riders from the stable Andalusian Horseriding Adventure saw the large grey cats, while riding on a track between Monda and Guara, which skirts the edge of the Sierra de las Nieves national park.

“They saw them about 20 minutes from the stables near a creek,” stable owner Malcolm Platt told the Olive Press.

The retired salesman from Leceister, who has lived in Monda for 13 years, explained how the sighting took place a fortnight ago as one of his stable girls Vicky took some clients on a ride.
“They were riding north, near the park border, when suddenly the horses got really spooked.

“It is normally when there are mules around, but that was clearly not the case.

“Then all of a sudden 30 metres in front these two large cats jumped out across the trail, and casually strode in front of them before shooting off into the woods.

“They were four or five times larger than a normal cat and grey in colour,” he continued. “They had long pointed ears and were very graceful.”

The next day the father-of-four, who worked for the Marriot hotel group, took the trail back to the spot to look for footprints.

It didn’t take long to find two sets of paws, about ten to 12 centimetres wide.

“They led down to the creek below, which is quite an eerie wild spot.

“I heard that the Olive Press was looking into this and hope there are more sightings.

“It is great that wild animals like this are out there. I hope they can go on and breed and survive.

“You normally only see them in zoo. To see such animals in the flesh is a wonderful thing.”

Meanwhile other Olive Press readers have sent in photos of apparent wild cat tracks near to Olvera.

Robert Barclay, whose company Andalucia Exclusive is renovating a house five minutes outside the town, took the pictures above of the footprints, which led down to a stream.

“There were lots of these tracks and they are clearly from some sort of wild cat,” he said. “It is a wild and lonely place so not that surprising to find them here.”

Another reader called to say he believed he had seen a lynx, while on the celebrated GR-7 walking track between Serrato and Ardales.

Pls send your wildcat stories to the Olive Press

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