Beast of Riber
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Some believe it to be a phantom wild cat, like the Beast of Bodmin, whilst other contest that it is simply a fox or other similar creature. Some suggest that the animal may have escaped from the Wildlife Park which used to exist at Riber Castle. It could also be one of several non-native big cats which are thought to be living wild in the United Kingdom, having been released after the introduction of the Dangerous Wild Animals Act in 1976, which forced owners of exotic pets to license premises where such animals are kept.
There have been many sightings including:
- 2001 - several "big cat" sightings around Matlock and a panther reported on the slopes around the castle.
- 2002 - hairs were found on a wall that a big cat had allegedly vaulted over – but DNA testing returned negative results.
The rumours had ceased until a new sighting was made on April 8, 2006 when a lamb was found having been partially eaten.
Reports of the April 2006 sighting:
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