Big cat sightings: All the times ‘panthers’ and ‘cougars’ have been spotted in South Yorkshire


A woman living in North Yorkshire said the big cat could be her purebred Savannah feline who disappeared from her home two years ago.

Local diners at the McDonald’s branch spotted the cat and were shocked at the size of the cat as it wandered around, presumably in search of food.

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Diner Jon Middleton said: ‘I was just sitting in the drive-thru queue in my car when this animal came out of the hedge.

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“It was huge. Its markings and behavior were quite distinctive. Everyone was saying how beautiful it was, but everyone was really freaking out too.

After watching footage of the animal as it slithered slowly along the hedge near the restaurant in Woodlands, Pamella Standish said: ‘The description of the cat seen appears to be the same as my cat.

Big Cat Sighting near McDonald’s Doncaster last week. Photo: Jon Middleton” height=”1461″ width=”2000″ srcset=” 320w, 640w” layout=”intrinsic” class=”i-amphtml-layout-intrinsic i-amphtml-layout-size-defined” i-amphtml-layout=”intrinsic”>
Big Cat Sighting near McDonald’s Doncaster last week. Photo: Jon Middleton

“He’s been missing for almost two years now.”

Sightings and stories of big cats in South Yorkshire date back to the 1960s when wealthy people kept them as pets.

But since it was banned in 1976, South Yorkshire has become a hotspot for sightings of these big cats.

Here are some of the most memorable sightings and stories over the years:

Possible big cat paw print in Cleckheaton.

November 2019 – Black Panther in Doncaster

In November 2019, mum Jessica Clark spotted what she thought was a huge five-foot black panther in the countryside near Doncaster’s Keepmoat stadium in an experience she described as “terrifying”.

“As we got closer I thought it was a dog or something. But when we were right next to it I could clearly tell it was a big cat,” she said.

“He looked like about 5 feet tall and I could see him above the grass. You could see his tail, his face, his muscular legs, everything.

Possible sighting of a big cat on Ilkey Moor

January 2017 – Panther Sighting on Junction One

Alan Tomlinson claimed to have spotted a panther or cougar near Junction 1 of the M180, close to Doncaster services.

Mr Tomlinson, who says he has never seen anything like it, said he realized it was a big cat once he saw the tail.

“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 I knew.

A Bolsterstone woman was shocked when she saw a cat she ‘could only describe as a cougar’ wandering around the area – and was apparently staring at it until it appeared scared and running away.

“I know that the chances of seeing such an animal in the wild, especially around here, are next to nil. However, it was a huge beast by feline standards and stood about two feet tall on all four legs,” she said.


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