Mysterious paw print found at scene of big cat in Ince Swamp

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A DOG walker reported finding a ‘large footprint’ after previously seeing what he described as a large cat

The person who found the mysterious tracks thinks they may have been made by a ‘black puma’ they have previously spotted in Ince and Frodsham Marshes.

This isn’t the first time a big cat encounter has been reported in the area.

In January 2021, a staff member at a nearby facility reported spotting a “fat but thin” cat in the same location. A paw print was also found on this occasion.

Footprints found in the swamps of Ince. Images: Puma Watch North Wales

The dog walker said he saw a creature around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 18. They described her as a “black cougar” as they were on a trail leading from open fields to the reservoir.

There have been no authenticated cases of truly melanistic or black cougars in the wild, although there have been unconfirmed sightings in parts of North America.

They added that their dogs have “gone crazy” every time they have returned to the scene since.

Footprints found in the swamps of Ince.  Images: Puma Watch North Wales

Footprints found in the swamps of Ince. Images: Puma Watch North Wales

And, on Monday, January 11, they found the paw print.

Asking to remain anonymous, the witness reported the find to Puma Watch North Wales. they spotted the animal when they: “crossed a field on a trail down to the reservoir.

The sighting has been added to the Puma Watch interactive map

The map includes sightings at Ellesmere Port, Frodsham and Chester.

Puma Watch founder Tony Jones said: “Chester has become a hotspot for big cats in their own right. This includes an occasion when an animal was filmed in Chester Meadows by a delivery driver.

Big cats such as cougars are solitary with a hunting radius of tens of miles. They are mostly spotted in Snowdonia and the Clwydian Hills, but reports of sightings in urban areas some distance from these areas are becoming more common.

“Last week we shared a report of a big cat in Leamington Spa. Whilst we focus on North Wales and surrounding areas we often receive reports from further afield and have shared sightings of as far away as Scotland and Cornwall.”

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