Muscular big cat spotted bounding across road near St Albans

PUBLISHED: 09:31 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:34 16 June 2017

Is this further proof of the Hertfordshire big cat?

Is this further proof of the Hertfordshire big cat?

Archant

Another witness has come forward to report glimpsing a bounding big cat just outside St Albans.

A pumaA puma

Valerie Rodrigues was on her way back from Redbourn at about 8.30pm on June 6 when she spotted an animal dart out into the road in front of her car.

At first she dismissed it as a fox - it was a “gingery, sandy colour” she said, a similar size, and trotting - but as the car got closer it started to bound away.

She is now “absolutely sure” it was feline: “It was definitely a cat in the way it moved, in its well-defined muscles in its legs.

“Cats don’t run like dogs or foxes, they are more arched in their backs. I don’t doubt it was the cat.

“If it hadn’t run I might not have quite realised what it was.”

Having read recent Herts Ad reports on other big cats around the district, Valerie is now excited at what she’d seen, and was further convinced when she Googled pumas.

“Once you reflect on it you start to question it but at the time I was sure.”

Unlike many, she never questioned the sightings: “I believe people have always kept exotic animals, I think people get them thinking they will be easy to look after or they get too expensive to feed as they eat a lot of meat, and they let them out.”

Her tale comes after the Herts Ad revealed possible tangible evidence of the Hertfordshire beast - a large pawprint trail was found in a golf bunker and also a savaged muntjac deer was discovered stripped of meat.

There have been numerous sightings over the last year, including by Oaklands College staff members, dog-walkers, and drivers, but no pictures have yet surfaced.

It has been seen near Luton, Wheathampstead, Welwyn, Sandridge, and Hatfield.

A Freedom of Information request revealed in November 2016 that Herts Police received about 30 big cat reports in the last five years. They ask sightings are reported on 101 and a safe distance is kept from the animal.

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