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Wild Animals/mammal in central france


BretonBrit wrote at 2006-11-26 10:14:03
We saw two similar creatures in our garden in Central Brittany in November. Large domestic cat size, bulky bodies, long chestnut fur and a bushy ringed grey- black tail. A bouncy step, and one leapt with all four legs on to the tree.  Our guess was either a wild cat, or a marten, but it was larger.  The face was not racoon like, although we did not get a clear view.  

Antman wrote at 2007-08-12 21:15:18
Curiously I also spotted a creature very similar to the description. (in the Dordogne region) it seemed bigger than the given size for a pine martin, but was not a cat. It had a small head and ran in a loping manner. very reddish brown, with a white frontage beneath its chin.Also had a big (fluffy?) tail.

Can't find images so I am a little perplexed as to what it was ( I was on my bike about 20 feet away from it)

Barbara wrote at 2007-08-29 07:05:51
28 AUGUST 07

I too saw a similar sounding mammal when visiting a friend in the Puylaurens area south/east of Toulouse.  There was a group of them frolicking near a small river at the side of the road, at first we thought they could be otters but their tails were to bushy.

Neil in the Charente wrote at 2008-07-05 14:09:48
Most Intruiging.I saw a similar animal recently here in the Charente and managed to get a photo of it.Brown bushy fur,white under chin and on chest,larger than a cat but definitely smaller than a fox.Most notable were the claws which showed up quite clearly in the photo.I thought that it was a mink but after checking on the internet i am now doubtful.It also doesnt seem to match up with the pine or beech marten.

Jeremy wrote at 2009-08-28 10:28:30
I also saw an animal that fits the description you gave and asked locally, Cognac region, and was told I had probably seen a Genet. Jeremy

Sue wrote at 2010-10-07 22:03:09
Charente,23.30hrs 7/10/2010

An animal just hit my window,obviously trying to escape something.Cat-like, grey with black line down spine and black spots on body, large, bushy tail. Small,pointed face and pointed ears.Thought it was a tabby cat 'til I saw its face - a genet?

margaretfr wrote at 2014-02-11 19:45:01
I was very interested to read this article on the unknown animal in the Limousin.

This evening I was returning home and saw an animal dead on the road and pulled up to have a look as could not recognise it as a badger, fox or coypu.  On close inspection I could not identify it.  I have since looked on the net and am now sure the animal was a raccoon.  It seems they are in France and on the increase. I am returning tomorrow to see if it is still there and take photos. I hope this helps with identifying the animal which you saw and I am 100% sure this is what it was.

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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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