Dick, Everybody knows that there are no raccoons in Britain. Nobody has ever shot one, none have been killed on the road, you do not have a positive proof photograph of one. Or a video.
But I believe you. I honestly believe that you saw one, in the wild, in Britain. Why should I doubt you? And why should anybody else suggest that you only thought you saw a raccoon and it was actually a squirrel or something else and could not possibly have been a raccoon?
Now, read my post on P4 of the previous thread (link given above by Tim - in the opening of which he says he believes there are big cats out there, now he is not so sure. Why the change of mind Tim?) Do you believe me? Straight yes or no please. This was not a fleeting glimpse in the dark, but a daylight sighting at close range and viewed for several minutes through a pair of 20X binoculars and a 3" telescope on a tripod. The next day's sightings were even closer, although with the naked eye and not by me.
I do agree with ploughshare that a cat will not kill several animals at one go. I think I am right in saying that all species of dogs will, but not a cat.
References and analogies with mythical creatures and the supernatural are irrelevant and insulting to a serious discussion. I have never actually met anyone who believes in the Loch Ness Monster (and I lived nearby for a few years) or ghosts, or flying saucers. But these people exist too I suppose.
In the previous thread I asked a question to which nobody responded. Roughly, it was have you seen a Capercaillie, pine marten, sturgeon, wildcat, adder, etc. - several species which are quite rare, and even unknown in some parts, but nobody argues about their existence. Why refuse to accept that there are big cats too?
So far as finding one is concerned, how many of you who refuse to believe have seen a naturally dead fox, badger, hedgehog, or deer of any species? I have never seen any of them. I also referred in the previous thread to the unfortunate incident from about 2000 when a light aircraft, carrying two people, left Inverness in good weather and heading for (I think) Stornoway. Half an hour after take off air traffic control lost contact. Obviously an enormous search and rescue operation was set up. Nothing was found. Why not? The flight path was known, approximate distance from Inverness was known as well as approximate airspeed so it was known for certain that if the aircraft had crashed it was on the mainland and not over the sea - and in a very restricted area. All sorts of suggestions about the total disappearance were put forward. From memory it was more than a year later when someone discovered, quite by accident, the wreckage with the remains of the two occupants. Given the small number of big cats that one can expect to be around at any one time is it it any wonder that nobody inadvertently finds a dead body if a concerted effort in a small area fails to find an aeroplane?
Where I now live I believe that there are Iberian lynx, mongooses, civets, and vultures within at most 20 miles. Now you can hardly miss a flying plank in the sky, yet I have never seen any of them. I have seen a beech marten - once. I have also seen wild pigs once, but they are regular visitors to my property. The mess they make is proof of their regular visitations.
Over the last 3 or 4 weeks I have had something consuming large quantities of rat poison (several 25g sachets per night) from my permanent bait stations. Its droppings are about the size and consistency of a domestic cat, but it just leaves them on the ground, no attempt to cover up like a cat. About 10 days, or rather nights, ago 7 of my 9 pigeons disappeared from their loft - a free fly situation with the access about 6 feet from the ground in a high metal door that is always bolted. No signs of any disturbance. The two remaining refuse to return to the loft and roost on the roof ridge of the house. What is it? I am not prepared to even attempt a guess.
I take a stroll in the dark around the yard and along my entrance road every night it is not raining heavily, have done for the 9 years I have been here, and apart from the one instance of the pigs have never seen a nocturnal animal - salamanders and toads often, but no mammals. Are there no nocturnal wild animals in rural Portugal? Of course there are, but I never see them despite looking every night.