'Big cat' spotted 'moving through hedgerow' leaves locals in a UK town on alert
Date of alert:
Sunday, 27 March 2022
Avon & Somerset Constabulary
A resident in Shepton Mallet claimed he spotted a large creature while driving through the town this week. Lee Brown said he witnessed the beast seemingly stalking its prey at the side of Old Wells Road. The latest sighting follows a number of similar reports of a large ‘black cat’ seen by residents across Somerset in recent years.
A panther-like animal has been seen multiple times, mainly in central West Country villages and towns such as Paulton and Timsbury.
Mr Brown told Somerset Live: "I was driving to work on Monday morning down the Old Wells Road in Shepton Mallet when I looked across to my right into a field that usually has deer. It was then I witnessed this big black animal moving across the hedgerow.
"I couldn't stop as I had vehicles behind me and it is a narrow road, but I originally thought it was a labrador that had perhaps slipped its lead. I was looking around for an owner or somebody but I couldn't see anyone.
“As I continued forward, I noticed the way it was moving, it raised itself slightly and I could see a long tail. It was the sheer size of it and its features, I knew it wasn't a dog.
"I've got dogs, it acted differently, it had a different face - especially the snout. I eventually pulled over to take a picture but lost sight of the creature.
“It looked like it was stalking prey. I know other people who have seen similar in the past 18 months. It wouldn't surprise me if there was some sort of creature out in the countryside. There is an abundance of food for them, deer, livestock - even pheasants.”
There have been at least four reported sightings of the big black cat over the past few years.