Where have the South West’s big cats gone?  In any normal year, sightings of the mysterious "Exmoor Beast" would be occurring daily.  Ever since lockdown, we are just not bumping into these big felines!  Is it because fewer people are in the area to see them? Or have they also caught Covid and suffered like the rest of us?

Exmoor Zoo believes the cats wander around the countryside unhindered and unseen.  They visit their territories maybe once or twice a year for a period of a few weeks. This would explain why they are seen and reported…only to disappear again!

July is the traditional month of the "Exmoor Beast" when most sightings occur and the Zoo celebrates this annual ‘mysterious’ arrival with a quiz trail, ‘beastly teethly’ craft activities and special edition talks where animal skulls, reputed to be linked to the Exmoor Beast predation, can be seen close up.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled at dusk and dawn when the magnificent beast is most likely to be roaming the wild moors. Animals that hunt at these times of day are known as crepuscular creatures.  Zoysa at Exmoor Zoo certainly creeps up on visitors by surprise, much to the delight of onlookers.  He may seem all relaxed and sleepy like most cats are in the middle of the day but before you know it, he will stalk you without warning and give you his very own leaping Beast experience.

You can learn more about the legend and likely facts of the Exmoor Beast by visiting Exmoor Zoo this July.  One thing is for sure, you will be able to spot a rather handsome black leopard if you look closely.  The Zoo has confirmed he does not have Covid but he does like to keep a low profile and sleep a lot, when not inspecting visitors as possible starters before his regular 3pm feed and talk.

You can also win the chance to experience the Exmoor Beast close up if you win the first prize in the competition that the Zoo will be running during July.  The Zoo tells us that having a furry feline at home will help your chances.  We have no idea what they mean yet, but like the Exmoor Beast, all will be revealed in due time.

See more from Exmoor Zoo

Enjoy a day out Exmoor Zoo, one of the “West-country’s hidden gems” on the edge of the National Park. Here you can experience a truly unique rural zoo set into a valley in North Devon. Discover rare and unusual animals seldom found in other zoos like Sand Cats, Binturong and…