BirdForum

BirdForum (https://www.birdforum.net/index.php)
-   Mammals (https://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=422)
-   -   Escaped mammals in Britain (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=53261)

John Dixon Wednesday 8th March 2006 14:58

Escaped mammals in Britain
 
We often record escaped birds, but how many people have seen escaped mammals in Britain? The most notorious are the big cats (I once saw a lynx sp. cross a road in Wales near Trawsffynydd as I was twitching a Bridled Tern overnight) but presumably all sorts of others could occur.

The Steller's Sealion that used to be on the Brisons off Cornwall must presumably have been released by someone, I can't imagine it swimming here from theNorthern Pacific.

Anyone got their own examples?

tom24 Wednesday 8th March 2006 16:22

A few years ago i was driving during the night locally when the headlights caught 'eye shine',the animal turned it's head and made into the hedge.I saw the tail-long,black/dark and upturned at the tip.Took a few seconds to realise that distance from first sight and tail shape must have made the creature larger than a domestic cat.I'm not sure,but it could have been a 'big cat'.The tail sticks in my mind and it was certainly like that of the alleged 'big cat' reports.
Around the same area there had been reports of such sightings in the past (i didn't know this at the time).
I've also found many a dead sheep carcass on the hills stripped to the ribs(by what,apart from birds that high up?).But then again i've watched a tabby through a scope from quite a distance and due to optical illusion,it's looked much larger than it should be.

RobF Wednesday 8th March 2006 18:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by tom24
(by what,apart from birds that high up?

Foxes and badgers.

A sheep carcass will be stripped to the bone overnight by our native carnivores. I was talking to a shepherd once who found a fresh dead sheep, went back to fetch his quad to retrieve it and foxes had eaten away the shoulder in the space of an hour.

Wasn't there a Kudu at large for a couple of years? A lion escaped a circus when it visited Grimsby and it trashed the Citizens Advice Bureau!

Rob

jurek Thursday 9th March 2006 15:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobF
A lion escaped a circus when it visited Grimsby and it trashed the Citizens Advice Bureau!

Tell us more!

I also heard amusing story about ship carrying elephant seals to a zoo which dumped one dead seal overboard. Local fishermen discovered the carcass and promptly moved it and dumped in Loch Ness lake. Chaos ensued. :)

Anyway, a warthog was running in Poland some years ago.

Farnboro John Friday 10th March 2006 10:12

I've just remembered an old birder legend about a woman on St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly who reported a large white animal on the beach (on an island that at the time had no white cows) - supposedly the police attended a couple of hours later and found a dead emaciated Polar Bear - anyone else ever heard that one or know more details?

John M Friday 10th March 2006 11:12

Hi,
There are few places in Scotland with feral Wallabies. One was found dead on the island of Islay last year, it caused a great sensation at the time. I am certain that it was transported from near Inveraray, where there was a wildlife park. It most likely was killed on the road, as it had escaped from the park, and taken over to Islay by a practical joker. Certainly had a bit of publicity.
Like to know more about that Polar Bear?
Cheers,
John.

MSA Friday 10th March 2006 11:27

Dare I mention the monkey in a certain north-east England port that was (allegedly) arrested, tried and hanged as a spy by the locals?

Yes!

If anyone knows the full story, or if it's just an urban myth, I'd be interested.

saluki Friday 10th March 2006 12:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by John M
Hi,
There are few places in Scotland with feral Wallabies. One was found dead on the island of Islay last year, it caused a great sensation at the time. I am certain that it was transported from near Inveraray, where there was a wildlife park. It most likely was killed on the road, as it had escaped from the park, and taken over to Islay by a practical joker. Certainly had a bit of publicity.
Like to know more about that Polar Bear?
Cheers,
John.

Hi John,

I remember a tree falling into the Arctic Fox pen at the wildlife park at Inverary and all the foxes escaping some years ago. I know some were subsequently caught, but not all of them. When I was a kid I knew a guy who was rearing and releasing Polecats around Knapdale (I found a dead Polecat on the road to Ardfern a few years ago). There was also a guy in the 70's who had a pack of wolves in Mid Argyll he was planning to release, but subsequently moved north - no idea what happened to him.

saluki

nessie Friday 10th March 2006 14:17

escaped but not at large
 
Beavers and more recently a red panda in Birmingham, theywere recaptured though.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/w...ds/4642784.stm

Natalie

John M Friday 10th March 2006 14:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by saluki
Hi John,

I remember a tree falling into the Arctic Fox pen at the wildlife park at Inverary and all the foxes escaping some years ago. I know some were subsequently caught, but not all of them. When I was a kid I knew a guy who was rearing and releasing Polecats around Knapdale (I found a dead Polecat on the road to Ardfern a few years ago). There was also a guy in the 70's who had a pack of wolves in Mid Argyll he was planning to release, but subsequently moved north - no idea what happened to him.

saluki

Hi saluki,
There was also an escape of a wild boar from the same park. It was shot a few months later. It swam Loch Fyne from the caravan park to Cairndow. The park suffered big wildfowl loses due to escaped foxes that were trapped within the perimeter of the park. It also had loses due to Pinemartin.

There are still some feral ferrets /polecats in the area. They are very destructive to ground nesters and the Wolves were all accounted for at Croabh Haven.
Cheers,
John.

MSA Friday 10th March 2006 15:31

Found it myself!

The Hartlepool Monkey
The monkey-hanging legend is the most famous story connected with Hartlepool. During the Napoleonic Wars a ship was wrecked off the Hartlepool coast.

During the Napoleonic Wars there was a fear of a French invasion of Britain and much public concern about the possibility of French infiltrators and spies.


The fishermen of Hartlepool fearing an invasion kept a close watch on the French vessel as it struggled against the storm but when the vessel was severely battered and sunk they turned their attention to the wreckage washed ashore. Among the wreckage lay one wet and sorrowful looking survivor, the ship's pet monkey dressed to amuse in a military style uniform.

The fishermen apparently questioned the monkey and held a beach-based trial. Unfamiliar with what a Frenchman looked like they came to the conclusion that this monkey was a French spy and should be sentenced to death. The unfortunate creature was to die by hanging, with the mast of a fishing boat (a coble) providing a convenient gallows.

AStevenson Saturday 11th March 2006 18:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by Farnboro John
I've just remembered an old birder legend about a woman on St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly who reported a large white animal on the beach (on an island that at the time had no white cows) - supposedly the police attended a couple of hours later and found a dead emaciated Polar Bear - anyone else ever heard that one or know more details?

We get similar reports out here in the Outer Hebrides - sadly they have not been polar bears but.... well decomposed basking sharks. cetaceans or seals - when they've been in the sea for a while the blubbery bits and flesh turn white and when they dry out on beaches they sometimes appear furry! Sounds bizarre but it's true.

The biggest miss I've had here is the local fishermen who saw a walrus - tusks an' all on a small island off the east side of North Uist a couple of years ago. Best whilst birding probably beluga whales nr Varanger Fjord in Norway whilst scanning for rafts of seaduck, white-billed divers and Brunnich's guillemots.

Cheers,
Andrew

Stranger Sunday 12th March 2006 08:35

Hi
Talking to some local shooting enthusiasts that reckon they have seen Racoons on our local hill.
A friends wife has also seen an animal with a long ringed tail crossing the road in the same area (possible Lemur ?) .
The area is not far from Cheddar where a guy tried to set up his own Zoo as part of some elaborate con trick a few years back.The guy vanished when he was rumbled and eventually turned up in London years later.No one is sure what happened to the animals that he had collected.

John Dixon Monday 13th March 2006 07:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by saluki
Hi John,

I remember a tree falling into the Arctic Fox pen at the wildlife park at Inverary and all the foxes escaping some years ago. I know some were subsequently caught, but not all of them. When I was a kid I knew a guy who was rearing and releasing Polecats around Knapdale (I found a dead Polecat on the road to Ardfern a few years ago). There was also a guy in the 70's who had a pack of wolves in Mid Argyll he was planning to release, but subsequently moved north - no idea what happened to him.

saluki

Interesting you should mention Arctic Foxes, I remember one of the birding magazines having an articla about Hen Hariers and merlins in the Derbyshire dales in which a harrier nest had been predated by an escaped Arctic Fox - bit unfair I thought, persecuted to blazes anyway and then zapped by something that shouldn't even be there!

John

John Dixon Monday 13th March 2006 07:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by AStevenson
We get similar reports out here in the Outer Hebrides - sadly they have not been polar bears but.... well decomposed basking sharks. cetaceans or seals - when they've been in the sea for a while the blubbery bits and flesh turn white and when they dry out on beaches they sometimes appear furry! Sounds bizarre but it's true.

The biggest miss I've had here is the local fishermen who saw a walrus - tusks an' all on a small island off the east side of North Uist a couple of years ago. Best whilst birding probably beluga whales nr Varanger Fjord in Norway whilst scanning for rafts of seaduck, white-billed divers and Brunnich's guillemots.

Cheers,
Andrew

Considering the last Walrus I'm aware of was the Collieston one in 1956 that is an excruciating miss! At risk of exciting the anti-twitching fraternity if I knew one of those was available in UK I would be on the road at once.

Cheers

John

Jos Stratford Monday 13th March 2006 08:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Dixon
Considering the last Walrus I'm aware of was the Collieston one in 1956 that is an excruciating miss! n

You forget 'Wally the Wandering Walrus', became famous in 1981 as it did a tour of various UK coastal spots.

Photos, when it was still in the Shetlands, can be seen on this link:

http://www.bobbytulloch.com/category_details.php?id=159



Were also some records in Ireland in the 90s - one in April 1999 (hauled out on rocks in County Mayo for six hours, lying within 100 metres of a busy coastal road). A dead walrus was also found in County Kerry in January 1995. Plus, some sightings at sea off County Donegal in winters in the late 90s.

jurek Monday 13th March 2006 09:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jos Stratford
Walrus

I read somewhere that Walrus used to live further south than Arctic, but were hunted out. I wonder if they ever bred in Scotland?

Jos Stratford Monday 13th March 2006 09:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by jurek
I read somewhere that Walrus used to live further south than Arctic, but were hunted out. I wonder if they ever bred in Scotland?


Whilst checking the date of the famous Wally, in the earlier post, I came across this comment on another site "The last breeding herd of walrus were shot off Shetland in 1846 - a bull, and his harem of three females", so if it is correct, the answer would seem to be yes.

Farnboro John Monday 13th March 2006 11:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jos Stratford
You forget 'Wally the Wandering Walrus', became famous in 1981 as it did a tour of various UK coastal spots.

Photos, when it was still in the Shetlands, can be seen on this link:

http://www.bobbytulloch.com/category_details.php?id=159



Were also some records in Ireland in the 90s - one in April 1999 (hauled out on rocks in County Mayo for six hours, lying within 100 metres of a busy coastal road). A dead walrus was also found in County Kerry in January 1995. Plus, some sightings at sea off County Donegal in winters in the late 90s.

Cheers Jos.

I was talking to Roy H from Tring this morning - he remembered about Wally but we couldn't get the year. Having been reminded I know it was mentioned on CEEFAX, but without sufficient detail to allow a trip. At least the records you mention suggest there may yet be another chance - or is there a clear case for reintroduction........

Cheers

John

PS I'm afraid I have electronic schizophrenia, using 2 identities at present depending on which system I can get access to!

Jos Stratford Monday 13th March 2006 13:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by Farnboro John
I'm afraid I have electronic schizophrenia, using 2 identities at present depending on which system I can get access to!


Hope noticed that :)

Wally was all over the national newspapers at the time ...can't remember where his final port of call was - but fairly sure it was in England, as opposed to north of the border. Perhaps the Wash? Whereever it was, he then got a free lift back to the Arctic ;)

joe cockram Monday 13th March 2006 13:50

Funnily enough i've just come back home from a college lecture about non native species.
Appaently there has been a population of around 15 Red-necked wallabys in the Peak District since a few espaed form a collection in 1939.
Ther ehas been several records of big cats including lions and tigers that have esacped from collections but recaptured within a day. Snow leopards, lynx and ocelots have also been recorded.
joe

Xenospiza Tuesday 14th March 2006 10:09

Any seal that tries to have a nap on the Dutch shores is immediately taken into care they are impossible to twitch. Most of the time, the animal was not ill at all... very frustrating! I would've liked to see a Harp Seal...

Touty Tuesday 14th March 2006 17:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Dixon
We often record escaped birds, but how many people have seen escaped mammals in Britain? The most notorious are the big cats (I once saw a lynx sp. cross a road in Wales near Trawsffynydd as I was twitching a Bridled Tern overnight) but presumably all sorts of others could occur.

The Steller's Sealion that used to be on the Brisons off Cornwall must presumably have been released by someone, I can't imagine it swimming here from theNorthern Pacific.

Anyone got their own examples?

I realise it's not Britain, but one animal that's spreading across Europe having escaped fro fur-farms in the former Soviet Union is the Raccoon Dog:

http://www.americazoo.com/goto/index/mammals/251.htm

It's already reached Friuli in N.E Italy in 2005 where its presence was detected in the Alps by remote cameras at baits designed to draw in large carnivores such as bears, wolves and wildcats. I'd imagine it would compete with omnivorous mustelids and canids such as Beech Martens and Foxes.

jurek Tuesday 14th March 2006 17:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Touty
It's already reached Friuli in N.E Italy in 2005 where its presence was detected in the Alps by remote cameras at baits designed to draw in large carnivores such as bears, wolves and wildcats. I'd imagine it would compete with omnivorous mustelids and canids such as Beech Martens and Foxes.

I think problem with Raccoon Dog is that it is most prone to rabies from small carnivores. It also destroys grouse nests.

Xenospiza Tuesday 14th March 2006 18:32

Two years back, a Wild Cat was caught in the southeast of the Netherlands. This was a welcome return for an animal that had been extirpated long ago.... until it turned out that this animal had been found by some tourists in France who thought it was a "cute kitten"... well it didn't stay cute of course...


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:46.

Powered by vBulletin®, copyright ©2000 - 2019 vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
BirdForum Ltd 2002 - 2018