Skip to content

SIGHTINGS: Two big cat encounters in Wrexham

Artists impression

Two members of the public have recently submitted reports of sightings in Wrexham. The reports describe encounters with a large black cat in Rossett and on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

The first report was submitted by Mr O, who was driving on Cox Lane, Rossett, on March 3, 2023, at 2:00 PM. He said he saw a huge black cat, bigger than most dogs but definitely a cat, run across the road and into a hedge about 20/30 metres in front of him. He said he was shocked and amazed by what he saw.

Mr O told us: “Driving on Cox Lane and a huge black cat (massive…bigger than most dogs but definitely a cat!) ran across the road and into a hedge about 20/30 metres in front of me.”

The second report was submitted earlier this month by Simon, who was working on a timber yard on Wrexham Industrial Estate on January 10, 2023, at 1:30 AM. He said he saw a big black animal standing between rows of timber, which seemed to be dazzled by the truck lights. He said it ran away into the fields when he approached. He said he thought it was a large German Shepherd-type dog at first, but later realized it was a big cat, possibly a puma.

Simon told us: “I was driving a folk lift truck on a timber yard just past mid night surrounded by miles of fields when in-between rows of timber there was a big black animal standing there, it seemed to be dazzled by the truck lights then ran away into the fields. First thought was it must have been a large German shepard type dog as I didn’t think such big cats would be in the area.”

Black panther in wrexham industrial estate
Artists impression

They’re far from the first reported sightings in the Wrexham area. A witness was left with recurring ‘panic attacks’ after encountering a growling “big black cat with glowing eyes” while camping at Commonwood Fishery – just fields away from the Rossett sighting shared today. In March 2021, a newspaper delivery person spotted a huge black creature “with a long tail and orange eyes” in the Hoseley area of Marford.

These reports add to the growing evidence of big cats living in North Wales. We’ve now documented hundreds of sightings across the region and believe that big cats were released into the wild in the 1970s when they were banned as pets, and have since established small but significant populations.

Big cats such as pumas are solitary with a hunting range of dozens of miles. They’re mostly spotted in Snowdonia and the Clwydian hills but reports of sightings in urban locations some distance from these areas are becoming more frequent.

The sightings have been added to our interactive map

As seen with Llandundo’s now-famous goats, who have taken to roaming the town’s deserted streets during the coronavirus lockdowns, it’s likely that the reduced levels of human activity during the pandemic encouraged big cats to roam further from the hills into more populated areas. Despite human activity returning to near pre-pandemic levels, it seems many big cats are now happy to stay in their new territory.

When big cats were banned as pets in the 1970s, it was legal to release them into the countryside to avoid expensive rehoming costs. Owners from across the UK travelled to areas like Wales to release their cats in the remote environment, where small but significant populations have thrived ever since.

In 2021, the Welsh Government responded to the recent spate of sightings and confirmed the steps they take to investigate any reported to them, including taking casts of paw prints.

A visitor to a Snowdonia animal rescue centre back in 1994 recently claimed he was introduced to four puma kittens. He said: “I strongly suspect that these were released into the wild as they had no paperwork and no money to feed or house them.

“They certainly weren’t there six months later.”

Any further sightings can be reported to us via this form.

File photo

AI DISCLOSURE

Puma Watch North Wales is trialling the use of AI tools, such as GPT-4, to assist us in processing the high volume of sightings we receive. Our hope is this will allow us to publish more of the reported sightings as currently, the majority don’t make it onto the website. For transparency, we’ll include this notice and the specific details below on every page where AI has been used.

IMAGES: The illustrations on this page, comprising the first two images, were generated by an AI model.

CONTENT: The original reports submitted to us (shown below) was fed to an AI model with the prompt: “Use the data in this report to write a news article.”
The output was then checked for accuracy with small edits made and has been used above.

ORIGINAL REPORTS

Where did the sighting take place?Wrexham ind estate
When did the sighting happen?January 10, 2023 1:30 AM
Do you know the species of the animal you’re reporting?Maybe
What type of big cat did you see?Puma
What colour was the animal?Black
What happened?I was driving a folk lift truck on a timber yard just past mid night surrounded by miles of fields when in-between rows of timber there was a big black animal standing there, it seemed to be dazzled by the truck lights then ran away into the fields. First thought was it must have been a large German shepard type dog as I didn’t think such big cats would be in the area.
Your name:Simon
Where did the sighting take place?Cox Lane, Rossett, Wrexham
When did the sighting happen?March 3, 2023 2:00 PM
Do you know the species of the animal you’re reporting?Maybe
What type of big cat did you see?Panther
What colour was the animal?Black
What happened?Driving on Cox Lane and a huge black cat (massive…bigger than most dogs but definitely a cat!) ran across the road and into a hedge about 20/30 metres in front of me.
Your name:Mr O
Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.