Wednesday 28 October 2009

New UK Big Cat Sighting

Big cat confronts Matlock cyclist

26 October 2009

By Julia Rodgerson

Big cats could be prowling a Dales town after a 'shocked' cyclist claims he was confronted by a huge animal crossing the road in front of his bike.

Adam Gladwin, 28, of Matlock, said he saw the large black cat in Darley Dale while he was on his way to work. He said the animal crossed the road from the Whitworth Park area at around 5am on Sunday October 11.Mr Gladwin said: "It was as plain as day, straight in front of me. It was as big as a German Shepherd dog with a long black tail. It was only 35 to 40 yards away. "I was unsure whether to keep going. I called in to the paper shop and told them what I'd seen and they said there had been other sightings in the area." It is understood that there have been other sightings of large cats at Northwood Lane in Darley Dale. Mr Gladwin added: "Some people are a bit sceptical and some people belief me. I've also heard that the creature has been going in the bins at DFS. "As far as I'm concerned, it was a big cat. There is no other explanation." Paul Westwood, of Big Cat Monitors, the UK website dedicated to big cat sightings, said Derbyshire was a very popular place for sightings. "The original cats from the 70s – when the Government introduced legislation to stop people keeping them – would have died out now but it is easy for people to illegally import cubs. It is a status thing but when they get too big people realise they can't handle them. The Derbyshire countryside is an ideal location for them." Mr Westwood said the latest sighting sounded like a leopard or jaguar.
On Friday at 5pm a man reported a sighting of a large puma-like cat with a long tail in a field at Idridgehay. A Derbyshire police spokeswoman said this year they had received four reports of big cat sightings in the Peak District and Dales.


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