Peter Hough

Peter Hough
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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Are we heading for a cat flap?

Following on from my blog of 29 January (see below) regarding a former police officer's close encounter with a puma-like creature in Pembrokeshire, comes another report - this time in Wigan.

According to the story, at least half a dozen staff at a call centre overlooking the Three Sisters Country Park, observed the large black beast. Eye-witness Julie Fairclough told reporters:

'I saw this fabulous beast about 150 yards away. I called my workmates over because I could hardly believe my eyes. At first I saw it in a tree and initially thought it was a big group of birds roosting together. Then it started moving and I realised what I was looking at - a sleek black, big cat.

'It jumped a gap to sit on the top of a building. Later when I went out to check the gap it was about 12 feet. It was walking backwards and forwards and looked like it was patrolling.'

Countryside manager, Graham Workman, was sceptical as he had found no paw prints when snow covered the park earlier in the year, and there had been no reports of mutilated sheep. He thought that perspectives had played havoc with the witnesses perceptions, so they could have misidentified a domestic cat. Six months earlier he had received another big cat report, of a lynx type animal.

The day before the Pembrokeshire sighting, came another in Dursley, Glucestershire. A woman contacted the local BBC radio station claiming that she and her sisters had seen the animal on three occasions over several weeks. She said:

'It was probably about the size of a big German Shepherd dog and very long, and completely black with a huge tail about the same size as its body, and it had a huge head with yellowy eyes. It's not afraid of humans - it was circling my sister's car. When she tried to get out it came back and circled again.'

A concentrated number of sightings over a defined period is known as a 'flap'. Are there more sightings to come - are we heading for a cat flap?

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