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Monthly update: big cat sightings for July 2023

Panther at side of road near Rossett

Due to the volume of reports received this month and an ever-growing backlog, back in June we decided to start posting monthly updates with a summary of every big cat sighting reported that month.

The majority of reports received this month were from outside the North Wales area. All these reports will be added to our map of big cat sightings in due course.

Going forward, we’ll continue to put out a monthly summary at the end of each calendar month to ensure that all genuine reports received are shared with the public. We apologise to anyone who has submitted a report which we haven’t yet posted as we work to get to grips with the huge volume of reports we now receive.

Please report sightings via our online form and not via our social media pages. With this update, all reports submitted via the form between June 1st and July 31st have now been shared. We have at least 100 further sighting reports to share from earlier this year and will put out further summary posts to catch up with these.

North Wales and nearby

Llandegla

  • Location: Llandegla
  • Date and time: July 11, 2023 9:30 AM
  • Reported by: Damien
  • Species: Lynx
  • Colour: Brown / Tawny
  • What happened?: Lynx ran across bike trail in front of me and jumped, chasing something through the scrub.

Duddlestone Heath

  • Location: Duddlestone Heath, near Ellesmere
  • Date and time: July 19, 2023 1:15 AM
  • Reported by: Nigel
  • Species: Unknown
  • Colour: Don’t know / N/A
  • What happened?: Sound only of a big cat. It was 6 to 8 meters away from my bed. I did not see it, only heard the sound. I love all cats. This one was saying “I have this place. Do not mess with me.” I think it may have had food in its mouth. The next day, my two standard house cats were on edge, looking for danger.

Corwen

  • Location: In a field just east of Corwen
  • Date and time: July 22, 2023 3:30 PM
  • Reported by: Claire Wright
  • Species: Unknown
  • Colour: Brown / Tawny
  • What happened?: I was the passenger in a car and saw it in a field on a steep hillside near some small trees in the middle of the field. It was sandy-colored and had a curled tail. It had a very distinctive shape. I didn’t know about big cats in Wales but was sure I’d seen one, and so I googled it. I left a note on Twitter soon after I’d seen it.

Ceredigion

  • Location: Tal Sarn, Ceredigion
  • Date and time: July 26, 2023 5:00 AM
  • Reported by: Diane
  • Species: Unknown
  • Colour: Unknown
  • What happened?: Two adult sheep killed overnight. One in the middle of the field with wool on part of the side plucked, a hole in the side, and some intestines eaten. The other sheep was dragged under the hedge and most of it was eaten. Two weeks ago, another sheep was dragged under the hedge and rapidly reduced to skin and bones. There have been several sightings of black leopards and confirmed evidence in the mid-2000s.

Buxton

  • Location: Buxton
  • Date and time: March 30, 2020 1:00 AM*
  • Reported by: Ronnie Turner
  • Species: Leopard
  • Colour: Black
  • What happened?: I was up to something I was not supposed to be doing and was on Harper Hill in Buxton. We could see car headlights coming towards me and my mate. About 15 to 20 meters in front of us, a massive black leopard ran down the road to get away from the headlights. Within 5 minutes, a helicopter turned up with a searchlight and chased it. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. That place is covered with CCTV, and they must know about it and have it on camera. But I couldn’t say anything about it at the time. My mates laughed at me when I told them, and I took 2 other people the next day, and we saw it again. I think I’ve got a good idea where it was coming from, so I will take someone if you are interested. It’s a disused quarry. I believe it’s there because I can show you 2 skeletons of eaten sheep, and it’s where deer have their newborns.

*Reported to us on July 29th 2023

Oswestry

  • Location: In the grounds of Aston Hall, SY11 4JH beside the A5 towards Oswestry
  • Date and time: July 30, 2023 7:15 PM
  • Reported by: R Johannsen
  • Species: Panther
  • Colour: Black
  • What happened?: Unbelievable, I saw a black panther while I was driving along the A5 towards Oswestry yesterday at 19:15. It was under some tall trees in the grounds of Aston Hall. It looked like it had caught something and was holding it down. I stopped and went back to see if I could photograph it, but within a minute it had gone, and I was too nervous to get out of my car to look more closely. It was unmistakably a panther, from its size and long black tail that bent up at the end. Its profile contrasted with the green grass.

Rest of UK

Pembrokeshire

  • Location: Near Tavernspite, Pembrokeshire, West Wales
  • Date and time: July 8, 2023 6:00 PM
  • Reported by: Tim Leary
  • Species: Unknown
  • Colour: Black
  • What happened?: Large black cat ran across our path, video’d by dash cam.

Canterbury

  • Location: Canterbury, Kent
  • Date and time: July 12, 2023 1:00 AM
  • Reported by: Kay
  • Species: Panther
  • Colour: Black
  • What happened?: Walked behind industrial estate Wincheap Canterbury to take the Great Stour Way, a footpath along the river to rural Chartham where we live. We take the route regularly and the short cut, and it is a lot of grasslands with nowhere to go. It was dark, and it basically ambushed us. Our Vance Corso ran in front of my face where the cat was and defended us until it ran away at lightning speed. The dog has a swollen head, but it was larger than our dog and hissed very loudly. A report was made to the police.

Darlington

  • Location: Maidendale Nature Reserve, Darlington
  • Date and time: July 20, 2023 12:00 PM
  • Reported by: Kirsty
  • Species: Puma
  • Colour: Black
  • What happened?: Froze on the path, as did I as I do not like big dogs, neither do my own dogs who I was walking. Thought it was odd looking as it had cat-like ears. As it turned around and walked off, it walked just like a cat. I can only explain it looked like how they look in nature videos. Its tail was extremely long and sleek with a curl at the very end which made me realize it was 100% a cat, about the same size as a husky. Jet black, spikey cat-like ears.

Cornwall

  • Location: Kuggar, Cornwall
  • Date and time: July 26, 2023 3:30 PM
  • Reported by: Emily
  • Species: Bobcat
  • Colour: Brown / Tawny
  • What happened?: I saw a bobcat crossing a small lane in front of my car.

Essex

Sighting one

  • Location: Silver End, Essex
  • Date and time: June 17, 2017 2:00 PM*
  • Reported by: Dawn
  • Species: Unknown
  • Colour: Black
  • What happened?: My husband and I were sitting on a bench in the garden which overlooks a paddock. Our garden was slightly elevated so we had a lovely view of the field. Something caught our eye at the far end of the paddock near the fencing, which has a hedge behind it. At first, we thought it was a black dog, but soon realized that couldn’t be. The upright posts of the fence are at least 5 feet apart, and the animal moved very cat-like and had a very long tail. It wandered back through the fence into the hedge. We knew it definitely wasn’t a dog.

*Reported to us on July 29th 2023

Sighting two

  • Location: Silver End, Essex
  • Date and time: August 26, 2018 10:00 AM*
  • Reported by: Dawn
  • Species: Unknown
  • Colour: Black
  • What happened?: My husband and I were walking the dog along a country lane just outside the village. As we rounded a corner, we both caught sight of a large black cat crossing the lane from one field to another. It was approximately 20 feet in front of us. We both froze as we watched it slink into the opening of the field. It was larger than a Labrador, had a very long tail, and its coat was black in color but was shiny and seemed almost silvery. It gave us a slight look and slinked away. Its movements were almost imperceptible, like a ghost. This was our second sighting of the animal. It was heading towards the large disused quarry. We feel very privileged to have seen a big cat so close up.

*Reported to us on July 29th 2023

Click here to view the monthly summary for June 2023.

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