A man out for a jog in the countryside was left stunned after seeing what he believed to be a giant cat. Jeff Johnson, from Normanton, said he spotted the animal when he was driving near Heath Common in Wakefield on his way out for a run.
According to Mr Johnson, the animal’s body looked to reach just below waist height, with its head towering above. He said that he was roughly 200 metres away from the creature and that he attempted to attract its attention but wasn’t sure he could make it back to safety if he went closer.
He told the Wakefield Express: “I just saw something jet black I thought ‘what the hell is that?’ When I looked over again I thought, ‘that’s massive’ and I pulled over into a layby near a farmer’s gate.
“For me it was definitely no dog or normal cat. I’ve heard about people seeing big cats but it’s not something I’ve ever seen before. I whistled to try to attract it. It looked (at my direction) but it just stayed stationary. It was there for about ten minutes.”
He added: “I was first thinking that I wanted to get closer and then I thought ‘no it could be quite dangerous’. I didn’t know if I would be able to get back to the boundary fence if I attracted its attention.”
Other big cat sightings in the UK
It’s not the first time that people claim to have seen huge cats wandering about freely in their area. In September, the Derbyshire Times reported a number of big cat sightings on its patch with Youtuber Novice Wildcamper claiming to have heard a distinctive growling sound while visiting White Edge in the Derbyshire Dales.
Then a pair of teenagers got the fright of their lives when they spotted what they believed to be a wild cat eating a dead animal in a nearby field.
There have also been other reported sightings of the ‘Beast Of Ossett,’ which made national headlines in 2000. Observers compared it to a large, dark-colored Irish wolfhound. Three years later, a big black cat was seen prowling the village of Wintersett.
In 2006, sightings of a panther or puma-like beast roaming between Alverthorpe and Ossett also surfaced. Meanwhile, an animal, smaller than a Labrador but bigger than a cat, was spotted along a disused railway track between Wintersett and Newmillerdam in 2009. In 2011, a “panther-like beast” was spotted roaming farmland in Notton in 2011.
According to National World , there’s been a host of famous big cat sightings that have occurred throughout the UK over the years. The nature of these instances, however, remains unknown. The Beast of Bodmin Moor and the Beast of Exmoor are the most well-known large cats in the UK. The Beast of Bodmin Moor was first allegedly observed in 1978 in Cornwall, and there have been several sightings and claims of slain animals and cattle throughout the years.
The Beast of Exmoor meanwhile is reported to prowl the Exmoor countryside in Devon and Somerset. The Exmoor National Park website lists it in the Traditions, Folklore, and Legends section. Sightings of the Beast of Exmoor began in the 1970s, but it became famous in 1983, when a farmer claimed to have lost 100 sheep.