Panther seen bounding through fields in St Albans
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
A “stunned” Harpenden motorist says he has seen a large, panther-like animal leaping through fields in St Albans this week (March 17).
The 66-year-old man, who did not wish to be named, was driving at about 45mph along Marford Road at around 1pm on March 17, on his way to do some shopping in Hatfield, when he spotted the large black animal by a dip in the verge.
He said it was “jet black, with a big long black tail, and a club like head, bounding through the field” – the man is sure it was not a cat because even though it was far away, it was huge, and he believes it was a panther.
Unfortunately his wife, who was also in the car, did not notice the beast, and he could not spend too long looking because he was driving.
He said: “It was a quiet, lovely, sunny day, with nothing on the road when I saw it, and I thought, ‘gosh, that’s a big cat’, and for a second I was stunned.
You may also want to watch:
“But as in all of these occasions, it happened very quickly. There was that realisation moment - that’s not a cat. It was unmissable.”
He imagines the experience is similar to seeing the Loch Ness Monster, when you “don’t believe your eyes”.
- 1 All you need to know about St Albans Cathedral's Alban Pilgrimage this year
- 2 June 21: Will Step 4 lifting of coronavirus restrictions be delayed until July?
- 3 Pair jailed for causing horror crash that injured 19
- 4 Area Guide: The pretty Hertfordshire village of Sandridge
- 5 Property Spotlight: A penthouse apartment at St Albans' Gabriel Square
- 6 Resident accused of 'land-grab' over bid to annexe amenity space
- 7 Detective hopes sentence 'sends clear message' after car cruise crash drivers jailed
- 8 Harpenden constituency to go under proposed boundary changes
- 9 Take a trip to the seaside for fun adaptation of The Comedy of Errors at the Roman Theatre festival
- 10 George Street traders call for permanent pedestrianisation as street closure debate continues
Unconcerned, the man said he has no qualms about returning to the road, and was just “taken aback” at the time.
He was not familiar with any of the other sightings reported to the Herts Advertiser before a Google search at home.
In January this year two staff members at Oaklands College in St Albans saw a large sandy coloured cat with a long tail on campus, and a big black cat was spotted near Luton Airport in October last year – the Harpenden man who saw it was also convinced he had seen a panther.
A Freedom of Information request to Herts Police also revealed that about 30 big cat sightings have been reported around St Albans district in the past five years.
The Cat Survival Trust founder, Terry Moore, who looks after wild cat species on a 12-acre site in Welwyn, said a puma had been seen in the area, and a black leopard came to this district until 2014.
In the case of a sighting, Herts Police advise keeping a safe distance away and phoning 101 to report it.