British Woman Spots Anomalous Big Cat While Out for Walk

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

A woman from Ashby, North West Leicestershire, England, claims to have recently spotted a large, anomalous black cat roaming her neighborhood.   Emma Adam, 29, was walking with her mother-in-law at dusk along a woodland path near her home when she saw the beast, which she described as larger than a labrador.  The sighting occurred near Moira Road, Ashby, on Saturday, May 27th, in an area popular with dog walkers.

According to Adam, the animal was eating something--possibly a rabbit or fox--and appeared malnourished.

In an interview with Burton Mail, Adam reported that, "We were having a late barbecue and I felt a bit bloated so we decided to go for a walk.

"It was getting late, so we decided to take a torch – there was just about enough light to walk. As we were coming along the path, I saw something lying down and I was trying to figure out what it was.

"I kept looking at it, and I realised its head was going up and down because it was eating something, ripping it apart. My mother in law and I froze, and we just walked backwards. Luckily it didn't see us."

"People were saying why didn't you take a picture of it, but in that moment you are too frightened to take a picture. I always thought they would be very stocky, but this was much thinner.

"I don't dare to go out on a walk in case I see it again, I was looking at the laws to see what I can do to protect myself."

This is the second reported sighting in the area this year, after Phil Cross, a self-described wildlife "geek," said he saw a large black cat while on his way to a meeting.  According to Cross, he witnessed what he described as a 'black panther' blocking a countryside lane in Coton Park, just a few miles from the latest sighting.

Experts question the existence of a population of true big cats in Britain, especially a breeding population; and any such animals that are recovered, like the puma found in Scotland in 1980, are largely blamed on an escaped or released pet that had been kept illegally--although hard line skeptics explain most sightings away as domestic cats that are seen near to a viewer, but are misinterpreted as larger animals seen further away, and refuse to accept even the idea of exotic pet ownership to explain the phenomenon.  

In contrast, certain cryptozoologists believe that Britain has secretly supported a population of leopards, or some other species of feral feline, for thousands of years; an idea that is supported by folklore stretching back to the beginnings of recorded history.

Tobias Wayland