[00:03.14]A puma at large
[00:11.32]Where must the puma have come from?
[00:16.00]Pumas are large cat-like animals which are found in America.
[00:22.37]When reports came into London Zoo
[00:25.00]that a wild puma had been spotted forty-five miles south of London
[00:29.86]they were not taken seriously.
[00:32.65]However as the evidence began to accumulate
[00:36.73]experts from the Zoo felt obliged to investigate
[00:40.77]for the descriptions given by people who claimed to have seen the puma
[00:44.92]were extraordinarily similar.
[00:48.34]The hunt for the puma began in a small village
[00:51.49]where a woman picking blackberries saw 'a large cat'only five yards away from her.
[00:59.10]It immediately ran away when she saw it
[01:02.45]and experts confirmed that a puma will not attack a human being unless it is cornered.
[01:09.98]The search proved difficult
[01:12.20]for the puma was often observed at one place in the morning
[01:16.46]and at another place twenty miles away in the evening.
[01:20.42]Wherever it went it left behind it a trail of dead deer and small animals like rabbits.
[01:28.77]Paw prints were seen in a number of places and puma fur was found clinging to bushes.
[01:35.63]Several people complained of 'cat-like noises' at night
[01:39.65]and a businessman on a fishing trip saw the puma up a tree.
[01:44.84]The experts were now fully convinced that the animal was a puma
[01:50.11]but where had it come from?
[01:52.37]As no pumas had been reported missing from any zoo in the country
[01:57.03]this one must have been in the possession of a private collector
[02:01.36]and somehow managed to escape.
[02:04.75]The hunt went on for several weeks but the puma was not caught.
[02:10.69]It is disturbing to think
[02:12.48]that a dangerous wild animal is still at large in the quiet countryside.