Dorset Life magazine has a very interesting article on Dorset Big Cats.
Sightings of felid phantasms stalking Great Britain have surged since the mid 1970s. Dorset, if not as prolific as Devon and Cornwall, has had more than enough to attract the interest of committed trackers of Alien Big Cats, as they are often termed, including the police. According to their wildlife officer, PC John Snellin, ABC sightings in Dorset average around 30 per year.
In 2005, sightings around Bournemouth and Poole prompted Dorset Police to issue a plea to holidaymakers to dial 999 if a suspect animal was observed. This spate included a supposed puma present in Bournemouth’s West Cliff Road. Lately, Wareham and Purbeck have not been neglected by big cats as suitable habitat, according to reports. Further west, a mystery cat was seen with increasing frequency near the village of Broadwindsor. It was described as being the size of an Alsatian dog, and sightings of it spread to the Beaminster and Bridport localities.
Read the full article, On the prowl by Mark Burrows (2007 external link to Dorset Life).