A BIG cat “the size of an Alsatian” was spotted prowling around a field in Cornwall amid fears of panther attacks in Poldark country.
Locals are concerned a panther may be stalking the area after a dog was mauled, five cats went missing in a week and a five-inch wide paw print was found.
Becky Abrey filmed a big cat ‘the size of an Alsatian’ prowling around a field in Cornwall[/caption]
Becky Abrey, 29, says she has always been sceptical about sighting of big cats in the UK, including the so-called Beast of Bodmin.
But she is now a believer after filming a mystery feline while out for a celebratory birthday dinner at Praa Sands in Cornwall.
“It was at least Alsatian sized or bigger,” she told Cornwall Live.
“When I read about them I always think, ‘it’s just a decent-sized farm cat’ but this certainly wasn’t.”
She saw the beast after finishing Sunday lunch at the Sandbar with her mum, Kim Cutter, and fiance Jon Jones.
Becky said the unusual sighting was like “seeing the Loch Ness Monster”.
It comes days after a dog owner claimed a panther chased him into his house after attacking his dog in Harrowbarrow, 75 miles from Praa Sands.
FIVE-INCH PAW PRINT FOUND
James Stephenson, 23, spoke after police took a plaster cast of a paw print nearly five inches wide.
He said he saw labrador Marley “taken down” as the pet roamed his one-acre garden in Cornwall.
James, who lives with mum Tricia in Harrowbarrow, recalled: “Marley was walking the far end at night and I was about 20ft from him when he was suddenly taken down to the floor as if his legs had given way.
He was covered in blood. He had a deep gash on his front left leg and one between his toes.
“On his left shoulder was a big black mark, as if a muddy claw had scraped down his side.
The RSPCA said the cat had probably caught something and was eating it in our garden and that’s why it didn’t take to Marley. It was just protecting its food.”
Engineer James added: “Two nights later I went out with a big torch. I saw two large green eyes reflecting in the light.
“I shouted to it and was waving my arms around to scare it off but it started to run towards me. I quickly got back inside. It was very scary.”
Now none go outside because they are too scared.
Shane Pridham, local
He said one police officer told him: “Something has been here which should not be.”
James added: “Marley used to love his garden and now can’t bear it. My collie pup Maisy is scared too. I’ve heard about four or five cats have gone in the past week.
“One neighbour said there used to be lots of deer in the field and there hasn’t been any for four or five months.”
James has also seen the cat carrying “something the size of a lamb in its mouth”.
FEARS OF PUMA OR PANTHER
He said: “Whatever it’s been carrying is about a foot off the ground so it’s very big. We’re not sure whether it’s a puma or a panther
“None of us are resting properly at night. We want to raise the issue of safety for pets and especially for children. Children are a light snack for something of that size.”
James said a farmer found a den in a patch of undisturbed woodland.
He continued: “We were told by the police that to take it any further we need to have it on video and a few other reports.”
Shane Pridham, 46, believes his black cat Jasper fell prey to the beast last month.
He said: “Before Jasper disappeared he and our other cats were very nervous. Now none go outside because they are too scared.”
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Chloe Read, 26, said: “My mum and dad were woken by a horrific noise last August, unlike anything they had heard before. A big cat managed to get in with thechickens and we lost at least four.”
Police said: “We have received a single report of a big cat sighting. We took a cast of a print which the RSPCA confirmed was the pad of a large cat.
“Over the years, there have been a number of similar reports across Devon and Cornwall. There is no evidence that such animals represent a danger to humans.”
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