A resident of the village of Ashley, near Hale near the Cheshire border, said he saw a ‘dark, shadowy animal’ as he walked to the local pub for a drink. The local, named Cassy, said her neighbour’s dog was afraid to venture out to the end of the garden alone.
The witness initially thought she had seen a dog.
However, the different color of his neighbor’s Golden Labrador prompted a discussion with another local, who suggested it might be a big cat.
Speaking to the Puma Watch North Wales website, Cassy said: ‘We were walking towards the pub and in the bushes adjoining our farm and adjoining property we saw a dark black animal that was about the size of my neighbor’s Golden Labrador.
Ms Cassy said: ‘I rejected it as the dog even though the color was different.
“When I got to my neighbor’s door I saw her with her dog in the garden and said I thought I had just seen her dog in the bushes so I was surprised to see him. see you again so soon in the garden.
“She said her dog hasn’t left her.
“My sister I was walking with then said she had seen it too and it was a black cat.
“I said that’s what I thought, but I dismissed it.
“My neighbor said she also thought she saw a black cat and her dog was petrified to go to the bottom of their garden.
“We concluded that it was a mysterious black cat that we would be more vigilant to catch on camera.”
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A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), said: “If Natural England (NE) received credible information suggesting there was a big cat living in wild and posing a threat to agriculture (such as livestock predation), it would work with Defra to take appropriate action.
“Evidence would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
“Natural England would analyze any evidence presented to it, first internally, and would seek external expert advice as needed.
“Similarly, if NE received credible information suggesting there was a big cat living in the wild and posing a threat to public health and safety, it would report the matter to local law enforcement.
‘Rare cases of escapees, such as a Lynx from Dartmoor Zoo in July 2016, tend to implicate local authorities as the escape is likely to have resulted from a breach of the zoo’s license or licence. of the Guardian’s Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
“In all of the cases reported to Natural England in recent years, no credible evidence has been provided which would warrant action by Defra/Home Office/police.”
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Puma Watch North Wales explained why such animals may have been roaming the British countryside: “When big cats were banned as pets in the 1970s, it was legal to release them into the countryside to avoid a charge of expensive relocation.
“Owners from all over the UK have traveled to areas like Wales to release their cats into a remote environment, where small but significant populations have since thrived.”