Fears ‘big cat’ on loose as dog walkers spot black animal racing across field

Two dog walkers are convinced they saw a big cat leaping across a field in Gloucestershire in the latest sighting of one of the UK's fabled enormous wild felines.

They were taking the Labrador through the fields near Cirencester when they saw the "massive" creature at around 2.30pm last Saturday.

The big cat spotters couldn't believe what they saw for a moment but are now quite sure they had witnessed in the Chesterton area of the market town.

Nicky from Cirencester told Gloucestershire Live: "I take my young Labrador there for a walk most days.

"I only caught a glimpse of the animal, but it was not just me that saw it.

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"As my lab is small and young, I was very aware of other dogs that may be around as she could just go and bound up to them.

"There is no doubt about it. What we saw was a cat, a big cat. It was massive. It was running, yet not like a domestic cat. To start with you could have thought it was a dog but it was not.

"The animal had a small head, and a different shaped back and a long tail."

Nicky estimates that it was a mere 75 metres away from the pair when they spotted it.

She said: "We stopped initially as the creature was unusual, with that it caught my eye. Even though a brief moment I was utterly fascinated and it was pure jet black.

"When walking back with my friend we were chatting about it and came across a domestic cat and both agreed that it could not have been a domestic cat that we had seen in the field where we were walking the dog.

"I understand that it could have been a puma that I had seen.

"You tend to see the same dog walkers out and about around the same times and I have been talking to a few who also mentioned previous sightings in the area.

"It would be great to hear from anyone else that may have seen a big cat in the fields by the farm area."

Experts believe there could be as many as 500 big cats in Britain, which help to keep the population of deer and other large mammals in check.

Gloucestershire is a popular location for reported sightings.

Last month, a couple on a walk with their two French bulldogs in the village of Oldbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, said they were followed by a "hybrid jaguar".

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