TiG Big Cat vote reveals thousands believe in monster felines
MORE than one third of TiG readers believe big cats are stalking the county.
More than 6,000 gave their views in an online poll on the site.
And just over 35% said they believed big cats were stalking the Gloucestershire countryside.
A total of 2,140 answered 'yes' and 3,975 (65%) answered 'no'.
It comes as reported sightings hit a high last year following the DNA tests on deer carcasses found in Woodchester and Dursley.
The results found no trace of cat DNA but it raised the profile of the prospect of big cats in the county.
Big cat tracker Frank Tunbridge, who has trip cameras set up across the county in the hope of capturing the elusive animal on film, said he wasn't surprised by the results of our online poll.
"People want to see proof," he said. "They want to see good footage, a captured animal or a carcass from, for example a road kill.
"It's important to remember that mammals in this country are notoriously hard to spot anyway, as most are nocturnal. The chances of seeing a big cat are extremely slim."
Last year he recorded 40 sightings, 14 of them in January.
Rick Minter, Gloucester-based author of Big Cats: Facing Britain's Wild Predators, gives talks on the subject across the county with Mr Tunbridge and said when people are shown the evidence, more are swayed towards believing.
"Asking someone a yes or no question may mean those who have an open mind say no," said Mr Minter.
"There is huge interest in big cats in Gloucestershire."
Have you seen a big cat? Call The Citizen on 01452 698 821.