More sightings of 'panther' in crow country

PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:04 11 May 2010

Could a panther be on the prowl in the area?

Could a panther be on the prowl in the area?

FOLLOWING today s story in The Crow that a panther or a puma could be on the prowl in the area, a couple has come forward to say they have seen the beast on three separate occasions. David and Sarah Leake, of Vaughan Road in Stotfold, contacted The Crow

FOLLOWING today's story in The Crow that a panther or a puma could be on the prowl in the area, a couple has come forward to say they have seen the beast on three separate occasions.

David and Sarah Leake, of Vaughan Road in Stotfold, contacted The Crow after reading that Shaun Nealon and Simon Smith had claimed to have seen the fearsome feline walking along the railway track, near Kingsland Road, Ashwell, while out searching for a fishing lake.

Mr Leake said: "We have seen the beast on three occasions. The last time we saw it, it ran out in front of us. It is about the size of a small Labrador, and we saw a very thick long tail, just over a metre long."

Rebecca Willers, from Shepreth Wildlife Park, said: "Panthers and pumas have very long tails, so that's a good way to identify one if you think you've made a sighting."

Mr and Mrs Leake were in the Ashwell area each time they spotted the cat.

The first time they glimpsed it, it was trotting along a road in February, then in March they saw it bounding along a dirt track in a field.

Finally, about three weeks ago, it darted out in front of them.

"It looked like a panther," Mr Leake said. "I would say it lives somewhere between Ashwell and Hinxworth.

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