Video footage captured the moment the sandy fawn-colored animal with a striped tail and ‘leopard print’ markings was spotted crawling through bushes just yards from awestruck customers at the chain’s drive-thru. burgers at Redhouse Interchange.
Jon Middleton, who filmed the clip, said: “Everyone who saw it was absolutely amazed.
“He was very muscular and very careful in the way he moved, like he wasn’t used to being around people.
“I literally did a double take when I saw it and the others were the same.”
Jon, who was on his way to pick up his son from school on Monday morning (January 31) around 10.30am, said the animal was around 2ft tall and around 4ft long.
Big Cats in Yorkshire: A History of Sightings
“It was huge. Its markings and behavior were quite distinctive. It looked like it was looking for food.
“He had very large paws, leopard print markings on his rear half and a very distinctive striped tail as well as longer hair on top of his ears.
“Everyone was saying how beautiful it was, but everyone was really freaking out too.
“He didn’t behave like a pet at all. If I had a small dog or things like chickens or rabbits, I’d be worried about having that prowling around my yard.”
Jon, who lives in Aston in Rotherham, reported the sighting to Doncaster Council, the RSPCA and South Yorkshire Police, all of whom took details of the incident and said they would investigate.
He said, “I just want to get the word out to people to look for it.”
In August last year, a dog walker reported seeing a beast prowling the fields near Thorne.
Another reported seeing a “big black cat when leaving the M18 onto the M180 near Thorne Golf Course.
Earlier last year, images emerged of a mysterious animal in fields near Armorpe.
The clip showed a large black animal moving stealthily through fields on the outskirts of the village in February.
In 2019, mum Jessica Clark spotted a huge 5ft black cat in fields near the city’s Keepmoat stadium.
“When I realized what I had seen, I started to panic. He was massive and very muscular and certainly a big cat. It was pretty scary to see something like that up close,” she said.
In January 2017, Alan Tomlinson said he saw a ‘panther’ near Junction 1 of the M180, close to Doncaster services.
He said: “I’ve been doing this job for eight years and driving since 1982 and I’ve seen foxes and things like that but I’ve never seen anything like this before. It was much, much bigger than any animal I have ever seen.
“I only saw the back of it, but I knew it was a cougar or a panther when I saw the size of its tail wrapping around it. That’s how I knew it was a panther.
Meanwhile, later that same year, trucker Graham Byram said he saw a trio of motorway workers struggling to lift a huge dead animal into the back of a lorry on the A1 near Harworth.
Big cat stories date back to the 1960s and 1970s, when it was legal to keep exotic animals as pets.