Big cat spotted at Cleckheaton football match after witness films panther-like animal in Wakefield

Another sighting of a big cat has been reported – this time in Cleckheaton after a panther-like animal was filmed in Wakefield
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Dave Smith said he saw an unidentified animal while playing football in 1991.

He said: “I played for Littletown FC at Beck Lane in Cleckheaton and we had a night game, it was a lovely warm evening.

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“We were waiting to go in to get changed when I spotted a large cat-like animal walking from right to left about half way up the railway embankment about 50 yards away.

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"It was far bigger than any dog but swaggered and moved like a feline.

"We all watched it just disappear into the undergrowth saying what was that!”

Last month Jeff Johnson, from Normanton, was heading out for a run, driving near Heath Common when he filmed what appeared to be a big cat.

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Since then readers from across West Yorkshire have come forward with their accounts.

Cheryl Tweedale reported a sighting in Flanshaw, Wakefield.

She said: "I saw this big cat about three year ago in my horses’ field. It was Halloween night and I went to check on my horses.

"I shone the torch to where they were standing and as I brought the light round I saw another set of eyes they closed as the light hit them.

"The next morning I went back into the field and saw a big black cat half the size of my horse walk into the bushes. Its tail was almost as long as its body.

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"I am 100 per cent sure this wasn't normal. I called the police and they said they were going to set traps up in my field to try catch it but I never heard anything from them after that.”

Jane Farrell said: “On September 7 I witnessed a large black cat which I immediately thought was a puma in Middleton Woods, near Gypsy Lane, in south east Leeds. I was walking my dogs as I do everyday and cut through a more dense area of the woods.

“I was so convinced by what I saw, I started to research large black wildcats. Most recent sightings reported were in Wales and Warrington.

"I couldn’t find any recent sightings in West Yorkshire.

“I remain 99.9 per cent certain it was a panther. We need to raise awareness as it’s pretty scary when out walking dogs.”

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Mick Sanderson said: “In 2009 me and my wife were driving through Dumfries and Galloway around 5am travelling back home to Torquay after visiting family in the Scottish Borders – a journey we have made many times and still do.

"We were driving steadily along the road just chatting with the bairns asleep in the back when a big black leopard type cat jumped from the banking and landed in the middle of the road about 30 metres in front of our car.

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"I just looked at my wife in shock and I started to slow down. It was crouched down in the road and it slowly raised up and walked into a farm entrance.

"It was very thick set in body, gold/yellow coloured eyes and a long tail curled at the end. It slowed down to look into the entrance but it was gone out of sight.

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"All the way home we were saying to each other ‘did we see that?’”.

"My wife Googled black cat Dumfries Galloway and lots of sightings were reported over the years. I know it was a male black leopard, thick set by what I saw online, and the same as what we saw that morning.

“We still talk about it to this day and when we travel back home.

"We’re always on the lookout for big black cats we're so blessed to have seen that wonderful creature so when people are in doubt there are big cats living and breeding in Gr eat Britain.”

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Denise Barnes said: “I too saw one near Saddleworth next to a labrador type dog, a large jet black cat. It was the same size as a dog, but looked so strong.

“My partner laughed as I told him and wouldn’t turn the car around to go look.”

Richard Strauss from Calderdale shared his account.

'Big cat ate my dog' - more sightings reported in Calderdale and Dewsbury after 'panther' spotted in Wakefield

He said: “Around 15-16 years ago I saw a big black cat. I'm at Hove Edge, Hipperholme, where we lived. I looked out onto the fields on the other side of the valley, and I saw it walk down by the dry stone wall.

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“I could have mistaken it for a housecat except its shoulders were the same height as the wall, which was waist height on me.

“Our dog went missing around that time and when we searched we found out farmers had been having sheep go missing and finding the carcasses so it was definitely hunting in the wild and possibly ate our dog.

“I would say when I saw it I was about 200-300 meters away but it was definitely a cat and I had the wall for scale.”

Simon Sykes told us he saw a puma-like animal in North Kirklees.

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Breed of big cat spotted in Wakefield seen roaming Batley countryside 20 years ago

He said: “Around two years ago on my way home from work in Dewsbury a big cat, which I would say was a black leopard or puma, went across the road probably no more than 15 metres away from my car.

"Its tail was long to the ground and seemed not to taper towards the end as would a domestic cat, the end was curled.”

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