A pair of teenagers got the fright of their life following a night of wild camping when they spotted what they believed to be a wild cat eating a dead animal in a nearby field.
Josh Williams and his friend Ben were making their way from Mermaid’s Pool on Kinder Scout towards Edale on September 26, after a night under canvas in the Peak District when they spotted the beast.
The duo were dumbstruck for several minutes before deciding to film the extraordinary scene.
Speaking to the Derbyshire Times, Josh, 17, said: “We were both confused when we first saw it. We stood staring at it and questioning what it could be for around five minutes before I decided to start recording so that I could zoom in and get a better look.
“We tried attracting its attention so that it would turn and face us, so that we could get a better understanding of what we were looking at. We honestly had no idea what it could be if not a big cat.
“It was in a field of sheep with no different animals around, and it appeared to have a long black tail, so it definitely wasn’t a sheep.”
Wild cat ‘feeding on something like a dead animal’
As well as looking upon what appeared to be a wild animal, the chilling sound effects convinced the two that this was more than just a pussy cat.
“We didn’t hear much noise coming from the wild cat, just the occasional crunch, which made me think it was feeding on something like a dead animal – most likely a sheep.
“We could instantly tell it was something different the moment we laid eyes on it – we both saw it at the same time and gave each other a confused look. I could tell we were both thinking the same thing as the day before, we were actually discussing the possibility of us running into a wild cat whilst on our trip.
“The animals around it were seemingly unbothered, but they were certainly keeping their distance, as if they were used to this happening. It was eerie. The massive contrast to its surroundings gave it away – the jet black silhouette stuck out amongst its surroundings like a sore thumb.”
Teens didn’t want to end up ‘cat food’ for wild animal
Despite an attempt to get the animal’s attention, they were reticent to get any closer, fearing they might become the beast’s next meal.
“We didn’t go closer as we were behind a fence and didn’t want to run the risk of becoming cat food. The reason we didn’t stay for longer was that we had a train to catch and were running a bit behind on time after watching this animal for so long. It just remained in the same position as we walked away.”
“We didn’t shut up about what we saw the entire way home, telling each other it can’t possibly be a wild cat. But then that also begs the question, what the hell is it?
“I was glad I managed to capture it on video after the event unfolded as I knew that nobody would believe me if I told them I had seen a panther in the Peak District the first time I went camping.”