Mysterious beast: Big cat sighting in British countryside
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He said the large animal approached them out of nowhere in Doncaster, Yorkshire, as they were cycling through the woods, leaving the family “shaken”. 11-year-old Harry Abonyi was enjoying a day out when his dad Martin noticed the “huge creature” lurking.
Originally, Martin thought it was a large black dog before rushing home to research the area.
Upon returning home, he discovered the Black Carr Plantation area was a “hotbed” for sightings.
He said: “As we rounded a corner, I saw out of the corner of my eye a large black animal sprinting out from the cover of the woods heading directly for my son, running diagonally to head him off.
“I was a bit concerned at the animal’s intentions at this stage, but when I looked back to see if it was close to my son, the animal had disappeared.
“It looked like a very large cat and not a dog, there were no owners or other people in sight or earshot – the animal also had to traverse a short section of bracken and undergrowth to get to my son, so the only conclusion I could draw was that it saw me coming, aborted its attack and was laying up in the bracken.”
The sighting comes after a string of reports from residents who claim they have previously seen a “panther” and a “huge 5ft black cat” in the area.
Last month, police confirmed they received eyewitness reports of a cat resembling a “puma” in Somerset.
It followed witness accounts of “caracals” and “pumas” roaming the countryside in Devon and Cornwall.
Avon and Somerset Police said: “Following a search of call logs in 2021 for the text ‘big cat’, one report has been identified with a recorded location of either Somerset or Bath.
“In relation to the report identified, the description recorded was, ‘large puma/panther type cat’.
“The location recorded was, ‘Witham Friary area’ within the Local Policing Area of Somerset East.
“The call was resolved without deployment by Avon and Somerset Police. No information regarding whether this was confirmed or not has been recorded.”
Officially, the only confirmed big cat in the UK is the European Wildcat which is similar to a domestic tabby cat but larger.
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In recent years, there have been sightings recorded where individuals claim to have seen leopards, jaguars, panthers, and jungle cats.
Somerset appears to have been a hotspot for these sightings, with a number of reports across the county.
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