Mystery beast photographed prowling beauty spot near Castleford

An amateur photographer captured more than he bargained for - when he snapped what could be a large wild cat at a nature reserve.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 10:53 am
Updated Friday, 23rd August 2019, 11:53 am
Is this a wild cat roaming St Aidans? (photo by John Pearson)

John Pearson had been taking sunrise snaps at St Aidan's Nature Reserve at Allerton Bywater on Saturday when a strange movement caught his eye in the distance.

So the 46-year-old quickly tried to focus in on the mystery creature and was shocked by what he saw.

The fibre optic engineer, who lives at Rothwell, said: "It was about 5.30am, I like getting there early doors, I do it regularly getting pictures of the sunrise.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

St Aidan's nature reserve

"I was roughly about 200 metres away and I never thought it was a cat, I looked through my lens and thought it was a dog at first because it was about that size.

"The lens was at full stretch but when I zoomed in I realised it was a cat.

"I tried to get a bit closer but it walked in to the woods, it wasn't running it was just prowling."

Thinking it could be a large domestic black cat, after studying the photo Mr Pearson says it has the characteristics of a large cat.

"It's neck is really chunky and its tail looks like a big cat," he added.

"Most people I spoke with can see it looks like a big cat, but some are saying its probably just a domestic. For me it's too big.

"I go there most weekends so I'll be on the lookout for it again."

Big cat sightings are not uncommon in the district. A panther-like beast was caught on camera in August 2016 in fields Crofton. Panther like beast spotted in countryside

There were also several reported sightings of the ‘Beast Of Ossett’, which made national headlines in 2000, while another mystery creature was seen in 2009 along a disused railway track between Wintersett and Newmillerdam.