Peter Hough

Peter Hough
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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Big beast sighted

There's been a sighting of a big beast near Treffgarne in Pembrokeshire. No, it's not John Prescott sneaking over the Welsh border again looking to throw another punch - but a large puma or panther-like creature sighted by a council 'public protection officer'.

Michael Disney, a former police officer, said he was travelling at 10-15 miles per hour down a single track lane when the big cat crossed just five metres in front of him:

"I immediately stopped my vehicle and stared at this animal. It had a large cat-like head, muscular build and was approximately three feet tall. It was bigger and more muscular than a German shepherd dog. The coat was smooth and looked like it had brown spots on it. I had a clear, unobstructed view of the animal and the visibility was excellent. The animal was in view for five or six seconds."

Apparently a woman at a near-by farm said she had seen a puma-like creature a few weeks earlier. A sheep carcase was also discovered bearing the hall marks of a big cat kill.

Sightings of similar creatures around Britain are well documented. They have been variously labelled as The Beast of Bodmin, the Whitby Lynx, the Harrogate Panther, the Surrey Puma and the Skegness Cougar! Occasionally, plaster casts of paw prints have been taken. In some cases, like that of the Nottingham Lion, armed police have turned out in search. In others the army has scoured the countryside.

I remember about fifteen years ago parking up my caravan on a remote farm near Ettrick in the Borders, and the owner warning me to be careful wandering in the forest, because there had been sightings of a big cat, and mutilated sheep carcases discovered nearby.

While I don't doubt that many of the sightings are genuine, none of these mysterious beasts have ever been caught, and no remains have ever been found.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

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