Break out the champagne and put away the anti-beast spray, Brits … the mystery of the Beast of Bodmin Moor may have finally been solved. On second thought, maybe you should keep the anti-beast spray around for a while yet.
The Beast of Bodmin Moor is a mysterious alien big cat that has been seen near the moors of Deon and Cornwall for decades, creating fear among those with livestock, pets or small children. Various “solutions” to the identity of the mysterious creature have been put forth – one of the latest was that it was just a large house cat.
Benjamin Mee (if that name sounds familiar, he’s the author of We Bought A Zoo which was made into a recent movie starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson) has been investigating stories of the Beast (and is a Beast witness himself) and now believes he has conclusive, although heavily circumstantial, evidence as to where the Beasts (yes, there were more than one) came from. Here’s the plot for his next movie … they were freed while on the way to the zoo he bought!
According to Mee, Plymouth Zoo owner and former circus owner Mary Chipperfield released three of her pumas after the zoo was forced to close in 1978 - her reasoning being that they were better off free in Dartmoor than locked up in Dartmoor (did she ask anyone in Dartmoor?). A breeding couple and a second male puma were freed in the Sparkwell area but only the mating pair were reportedly seen soon afterwards and over the years, mostly by farmers after some livestock was killed.
Mee’s story has been confirmed by Danny Bamping, founder of the British Big Cats Society, who says he heard it from Ellis Daw, an earlier owner of the Plymouth Zoo. Daw says Mary Chipperfield claimed the pumas escaped when her truck broke down. No investigation occurred because releasing exotic species wasn’t illegal in Great Britain until 1981. Chipperfield passed away in 2014 but her husband says the story is completely false.
Should residents still fear the Beast? Mee has some good news.
I think two whole generations of pumas managed to live on the moor until the winter of 2010. When the weather got so cold, they all died.
Mee also has some bad news. The reason why the Beast of Bodmin Moor is in the news is because his Dartmoor Zoo is now missing a rare lynx named Flaviu. As of this writing, it has not been caught.
Is Benjamin Mee developing a movie sequel? We Bought A Zoo But Forgot To Buy Locks!