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Dad petrified as 'big cat' bolts at son in UK woods known as hotspot for sightings

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Dad petrified as 'big cat' bolts at son in UK woods known as hotspot for sightings

Date of alert:

Crime Ref:


Tuesday, 24 May 2022

South Yorkshire Police

Harry Abonyi, 11, was cycling with his dad Martin in a forest near the south Yorkshire village of Cantley on Wednesday evening and his father says a big cat 'darted' towards the boy.

A dad claims a menacing "big cat" bolted towards his young son while they were on a bike ride, leaving the family shaken.

He says the large animal approached them in woods in Doncaster, Yorkshire, after appearing from nowhere.

Harry Abonyi, 11, was enjoying a day out when when dad Martin notice a "huge creature" lurking.

He says he originally thought it was a large black dog before the worried father says his worst fears were realised. After returning home he found out the Black Carr Plantation area was a "hotbed" for sightings.

He told the Yorkshire Post: "As we rounded a corner I saw out of the corner of my eye a large black animal sprinting out from the cover of the woods heading directly for my son, running diagonally to head him off.

"I was a bit concerned at the animal's intentions at this stage, but when I looked back to see if it was close to my son, the animal had disappeared.

"It looked like a very large cat and not a dog, there were no owners or other people in sight or earshot - the animal also had to traverse a short section of bracken and undergrowth to get to my son, so the only conclusion I could draw was that it saw me coming, aborted its attack and was laying up in the bracken."

The sighting comes after a string of reports from residents who claim they have previously seen a "panther" and a "huge 5ft black cat" in the area.

Last month, police confirmed they received eyewitness reports of a cat resembling a "puma" in Somerset.

It followed witness accounts of "caracals" and "pumas" roaming the countryside in Devon and Cornwall.

Avon and Somerset Police said: "Following a search of call logs in 2021 for the text ‘big cat’, one report has been identified with a recorded location of either Somerset or Bath.

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