‘Cougar’ seen dashing across St Albans road in latest big cat report

Image of a Mountain Lion

Image of a Mountain Lion - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An apparent five foot cougar spotted dashing across a St Albans road has become the latest in a string of big cat witness sightings.

The area where the big cat was spotted in St Albans. Picture: Google Maps

The area where the big cat was spotted in St Albans. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

A 30-year-old woman, who would prefer to remain anonymous, said she was driving home near Fleetville a couple of weeks ago when the animal bolted across the road in front of her car.

She explained: “It was so strange because after all the stories I had been seeing I was so sceptical - I thought ‘I will believe it when I see it’.

“But I had never seen anything like it, the tail was long, the body was long and quite skinny.”

She said it was a brown beige colour and about five foot long, not including the tail.

“The tail itself was really long and it wasn’t bushy like a fox, and it had a funny stump at the end of its tail. I am still shocked to this day. Whatever it was, it wasn’t a normal house cat.” She thinks the person in the car behind must have also seen the beast, as it was 8pm and not too dark.

The witness added: “Whenever I go out for a dog walk I am always thinking to myself, what if I see it again?”

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When the woman got home, she Googled big cats and found an identical animal in the image search - a picture of a cougar. This latest sighting follows controversial footage of the supposed big cat captured early one June morning by a London Colney taxi driver, and a mutilated deer carcass being found by a dog walker in Wheathampstead.

Large footprints, alledgedly feline, were also found in a trail through an Aldwickbury golf bunker around the same time.

Unproven sightings have been reported to this newspaper since 2016 - in January two Oaklands College staff members saw “a large, sandy-coloured cat”, scratch marks were found on a tree after a “huge animal” was seen near Welwyn, and a big black cat was spotted by Luton Airport last year.

Reports have come from all around the district, including Wheathampstead, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Sandridge, and Luton.

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

Seen the big cat? Email hertsad@archant.co.uk