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Old 25.02.2008, 17:06
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Wild cats in Aargau

Last night my wife and I were walking through the forest next to Schinznach Bad railway station. We spotted a large animal next to the path - about double the size of a large domestic cat. It had long dark grey fur which was stood on end and as we approached it, it began running in tight circles and screamed.
I tried to take a photo with my mobile, but there was no flash. we got about 2 metres from it.
I have tried to find a similar photo on Google. I found Pine Martens , wild cats and Marmots, but nothing like this creature.
Does anyone have any good links for swiss animals or do they recognise this animal (in Kanton Aargau)?
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Old 25.02.2008, 17:37
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

Could it be a European Lynx?

http://images.google.ch/images?um=1&hl=en&q=lynx

(in German called a Luchs)
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Old 25.02.2008, 17:38
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

the only type of wild cat I know that exists in switzerland is the Lynx. But since you said it was gray, and since the Lynx is extremely shy I doubt that it was that.

edit: damn, tomcat was faster
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Old 25.02.2008, 17:51
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

I checked out the Lynx, but the pointed ears were not the same as the animal I saw.
It was much more fluffy/hairy and with a more rounder face.

We are going to try and take a photo tonight. My wife has seen it twice this week in the same place.

I looked through the photos to see which one is the closest resemblance.
This is a little bit closer
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Old 25.02.2008, 19:24
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

...maybe some local pussycats have been getting lynxed up and now we have a new breed?
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Old 26.02.2008, 00:08
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

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I have tried to find a similar photo on Google. I found Pine Martens , wild cats and Marmots, but nothing like this creature.
You say you've looked at wild cats but maybe you've looked at the wrong "wild cats"?

European wildcat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Wildkatze_002.jpg

Domestic cats are descendants from the somewhat smaller african subspecies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildcat
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Old 26.02.2008, 00:13
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

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You say you've looked at wild cats but maybe you've looked at the wrong "wild cats"?

European wildcat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Wildkatze_002.jpg

Domestic cats are descendants from the somewhat smaller african subspecies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildcat
there is actually quite a big scare in the UK regarding Wildcats dying out due to cross breeding with feral domestics. They are looking at bringing new strains in from captive breeding programmes.

heres one of the fluffy bit not so cuddly critters here :



EDIT : having looked at Andreas links above more closely, Wikipedia threw up this DNA chart, which shows that the Scottish Wildcat pictured above is the same as the European Wildcat found in Switzerland. Learn something new, as I always thought that the Scots version was distinct.

Last edited by Polorise; 26.02.2008 at 00:17. Reason: info & link
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Old 26.02.2008, 09:24
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

BBC has done a radio programme on the subject of eurasian lynx in Switzerland that you can listen to

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/...20030728.shtml
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Old 26.02.2008, 09:46
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

twice the size of a cat and furry? and in the dark? it didnt make a "bark" like noise by any chance did it
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Old 26.02.2008, 10:48
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

Badger is a possibility, they are pretty common in Switzerland.

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Old 26.02.2008, 14:56
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

Update on the grey haired cat. (or other). Last night my neighbour also saw this creature. He is a policeman (just to provide some credentials). He also has no idea what it is and today he will check up with his colleagues.
We will be going out together tonight with a proper camera and try and get some evidence.
I checked out all the links above and have not found a good match.
I was thinking of Davy Crocketts hat - it looked a bit like that - with a rounder "Cheshire Cat" face. Hairy and grey.
My wife and I were less than 2 meters away and there was a streetlight nearby.
My main worry was that it could attack a small child and I was not sure if it was normal to report this to the Gemeinde. Will leave this up to the neighbour
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Old 26.02.2008, 15:34
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

Davy Crockett hat? Could it be a racoon? I read they were introduced in Germany and are spreading like pests:

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,...390574,00.html
(good candidate for headline of the day)
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Old 26.02.2008, 16:32
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

Maybe you are right - http://www.waldwissen.net/themen/wal...aer_schweiz_EN
It looks like there was some racoon activity in switzerland. The creature I saw looks closer to a racoon than the normal wild cats - with no stripes and more grey as far as I remember. I really must get a photo of it to put a line under this thread. Fingers crossed for tonight.
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Old 26.02.2008, 16:35
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

I just found this also - racoon dog. Now this is almost identical to my animal - just greyer. They are also found in Switzerland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon_Dog
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Old 26.02.2008, 18:16
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

More like this?

The blue hues from the street light may also have made them look greyer.
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Old 26.02.2008, 20:15
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

That's the critter - thanks for the help. I think my problem was I was looking for indigneous species.
I would still like to get a photo - in 20 minutes we are off out with some food and a camera. Luckily there is a bar 400 yards away from the last sighting !
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Old 27.02.2008, 07:57
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

Did not get a photo - it was raining all night. However, I was speaking to an old man in the bar and he knew about this animal. Local name is Der Waschbär.
It has a bad reputation for ripping open plastic garbage sacks.
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Old 27.02.2008, 10:14
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

I love racoons, wiley, intelligent rascals. Plenty around where I grew up and there were two I could regularly pet and play with, kept me laughing for hours. Sharp teeth and claws though, not much afraid of anything either. Seen a few dogs get their come-uppances. Hope you do get some pics sometime.

As long as garbage bags are left where racoons, foxes, marders or even the ocassional duck can get at them, they will. Can't blame the animals, just easy pickings for them. In what part of Aargau did you see this critter?
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Old 27.02.2008, 10:23
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

It was in the forest next to Schinznach Bad railway station. About 21.00
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Old 27.02.2008, 10:29
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Re: Wild cats in Aargau

Great! My best friends live in Villnachern, just up the creek. I'll find out what they know about the rascals.
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