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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Lacheln 1928 Devon Puma Photograph

Photograph published in an amateur naturalist magazine in 1928.  The noted botanist I. C. H.Lacheln was preparing to take a landscape photograph on Dartmoor when he heard a sound and "assumed it to be some nuisance rabbit".

However, Lacheln wrote that he was shocked as "the largest 'pussy cat' I ever saw" moved into view. It seems Lacheln was paralysed with shock and noted that the "language in my head at that precise moment was not at all French but rather blue in its nature" -normally, Lacheln carried a shot-gun to "despatch 'Mr Bunny' to heaven" but had forgotten it that day while in a rush.

According to Lacheln, the puma was at the cameras extreme focus but the cat looked around and sat. Lacheln notes the slight blur because as the camera shutter clicked so the cat turned, looked at him and moved out of sight "seemingly in the blink of a feeble botanist's eye".

The Mammal Keeper I had never heard of before and searched the internet and all the older books I had.  However, while purchasing a far better copy of the 1938 The Wonder Book Of Animals in St. Nicholas market, I knocked over some old and dusty music pamphlets and wild flower books and -The Mammal Keeper was tucked in amongst them.  £5.00 well spent.

Good old Lacheln!

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