A dad claims a threatening “big cat” bolted towards his young son while they were on a bike ride, leaving the family shaken.
He says the large animal approached them in woods in Doncaster, Yorkshire, after appearing from nowhere.
Harry Abonyi, 11, was enjoying a day out when when dad Martin noticed a “huge creature” lurking.
He says he originally thought it was a large black dog before the worried father says his worst fears were realized. After returning home he found out the Black Carr Plantation area was a “hotbed” for sightings.
He told the Yorkshire Post: “As we rounded a corner I saw out of the corner of my eye a large black animal sprinting out from the cover of the woods heading directly for my son, running diagonally to head him off.
“I was a bit concerned at the animal’s intentions at this stage, but when I looked back to see if it was close to my son, the animal had disappeared.
“It looked like a very large cat and not a dog, there were no owners or other people in sight or earshot – the animal also had to traverse a short section of bracken and undergrowth to get to my son, so the only conclusion I could draw was that it saw me coming, aborted its attack and was laying up in the bracken.”
The sighting comes after a string of reports from residents who claim they have previously seen a “panther” and a “huge 5ft black cat” in the area.
Last month, font confirmed they received eyewitness reports of a cat resembling a “puma” in Somerset.
He followed witness accounts of “caracals” and “pumas” roaming the countryside in Devon and Cornwall.
Avon and Somerset Police said: “Following a search of call logs in 2021 for the text ‘big cat’, one report has been identified with a recorded location of either Somerset or Bath.
The Mirror’s newsletter brings you the latest news, exciting showbiz and TV stories, sport updates and essential political information.
The newsletter is emailed out first thing every morning, at 12noon and every evening.
Never miss a moment by signing up to our newsletter here.
“In relation to the report identified, the description recorded was, ‘large puma/panther type cat’.
“The location recorded was, ‘Witham Friary area’ within the Local Policing Area of Somerset East.
“The call was resolved without deployment by Avon and Somerset Police. No information regarding whether this was confirmed or not has been recorded.”