Selection Of Big Cat Sightings (2001 – 2011)
On Friday, 13 January 2012 the following article entitled ‘Previous ‘big cat sightings’ appeared in the Tamworth Herald mentioning sightings across Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire.
Big cat sightings are not unusual in this part of the world. Here are a selection from the Herald files:
In December 2011 a 69-year-old Austrey woman claimed she saw a big cat in Warton Lane.
Also in December, Wood End woman Karen Rooke said she spotted the beast in the Boulters Lane/Gypsy Lane area.
In November 2011, police officer DC Sarah Anderson was out walking her dog in fields between Baddesley Ensor and Baxterley when she first saw the beast. She then saw it again two days later.
Weeks earlier, train driver Jake Medley was cycling close to midnight in the Shuttington area when a “big black cat” ran across the road.
A panther-like cat was seen in Measham in November 2010.
In September 2010, a Whittington man saw a golden big cat run from Hopwas Woods.
In July 2010, a big cat was spotted in Bonehill, fitting the description of a melanistic leopard.
In June 2010, a Dosthill man reported seeing a stripy big cat close to Hedging Lane.
In November 2009, the Herald reported on how TNT employee Gemma Capostagno was walking on Baddesley Common when she spotted the creature.
In October 2009, motorist Sue Swift saw what she thought was a large black labrador near Polesworth. When she tried to coax the animal into her car she realised it wasn’t a dog at all – it was what she believed was a puma.
Preston woman Jaki Ryding, aged 43, saw a big cat-like beast from a train between Tamworth and Lichfield on Thursday, September 3, 2009.
Also in September of 2009, Lisa Urry, of Borough Road, spotted a big cat on the outhouse of a nearby property.
In July 2009, a big cat-like creature was seen by Margaret Locke, the Musical Director of Tamworth Ladies Choir, who lives in Bonehill.
An Austrey woman, who asked not to be identified, told the Herald she saw a big cat on Monday, June 15, 2009, between Appleby and Measham.
Mount Pleasant resident Richard Foort said he had seen such a creature four times in 2009, prowling wasteland near to the river in Two Gates.
A Gillway woman claimed she saw a big cat in the garden of her Hawthorn Avenue home on July 7, 2009.
A Measham couple spotted a creature on their CCTV in April 2009, when it leapt their six-foot garden fence.
In 2008, a 31-year-old says he saw a feline in fields as he walked from No Mans Heath to Austrey.
In 2007, Coton Green man John Ellis reported seeing a big cat just four feet away from him in Wigginton Park.
In 2006, Drayton Manor zoo manager Robin Roberts broke a 15-year silence to admit that he had seen a black leopard roaming free in the area. Mr Roberts, who worked with big cats for more than 40 years, told the Herald how he and a former colleague saw the creature in a local village.
Also in 2006, a gruesome attack near Austrey, in which a pregnant sheep was stripped to the bone, was blamed on a big cat prowling the Tamworth area.
In the same week a woman, who kept horses in fields in Warton, told the Herald she was convinced a big cat was responsible for two vicious attacks on her lame horse, which left it with bite marks to its neck and deep claw marks needing stitches.
In 2004, Linda Rawlins, of Austrey, said she had seen what she believed to be a black panther twice in five days in fields near her home.
In 2003, a farmer and his wife told the Herald how they spotted a big cat when driving between Warton and Grendon at around 10pm.
In 2002, Warton man Simon Rooke said he believed a big cat was responsible for a wound to his pet pointer, Jasper.
Also in 2002, Fred Hopkins, senior ranger at Kingsbury Water Park, confirmed a sighting had been reported of two animals that fitted the description of large cats.
A similar sighting was also reported in 2001, in Water Orton, when a woman said a rottweiller was confronted by black cats.
In 2001, Measham man Graham Pearce claimed he had caught a big cat on video.
English Nature has said there is no evidence that big cats are prowling the English countryside.