Mystery Cat on the prowl in Poland

Posted by on March 26th, 2009

Grainy camera footage of the beast.

A big cat, caught on tape, has been attacking livestock in Poland, freaking out local farmers and residents. Poland doesn't have much in the way of big cat populations, so a mystified group from the Krakau Zoo took hair samples from dead animals to determine the beast's origins.

Turns out it's a Snow Leopard. You might recognize the Snow Leopard from the BBC Series 'Planet Earth', in which a camera crew spent three months in the mountains of Afghanistan to capture seven seconds of footage of the endangered felid. We bet the BBC team is going to be miffed this week when they find out that some Pole with a camcorder got as much footage as they did without risking life and limb.

Snow Leopard
Creative Commons License photo credit: newagecrap

So how in the world did a Snow Leopard, indigenous to the mountainous Central Asian region, wind up so far away from home?

The above image shows the Snow Leopard's natural trekking grounds, this particular Snow Leopard is roughly 2500 miles out of its element. So we're guessing it either walked a very long way without being spotted up until now, or it escaped from somewhere. There are over 230 captive Snow Leopards in Europe and here at, we'd like to think that someone at an Eastern European zoo is too embarrassed to tell their boss that they lost the leopard.

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Our thoughts go out to the frightened farmers of Poland, while local radio continues to give big cat warnings, telling people to stay in doors after dark.

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