Big cat sighting of ‘muscular wild puma’ in British countryside divides opinion

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Big cat fans claim some of the clearest pictures in Britain have been taken of a “wild puma”.

A woman said she spotted a “muscular” beast in the countryside when she was driving on her way to work.

Although the exact location of the spotting is being kept secret, the photos were posted by a Facebook group called Big Cats in Cumbria.

The woman said she stopped to get something out of her van when the saw the animal eating a pigeon.

She was able to take three pictures before the creature disappeared, she added.

The snaps match regular sightings of large cats spotted in Bowness-on-Windermere in southern Lake District.

Members of the Facebook page remain divided on whether the pictures show a young puma or it is just a large domestic cat.

One member said: “The witness said it was muscular and the size of a collie. Either a caracal or young puma.

“This has to be some of the best photographic evidence up-to-date. To get a decent photo is difficult.

“The size of the cat caught her attention and she was lucky enough to get these photos before it slinked off.”

Sightings of a large cat have been reported in the Cumbria area for several years.

In fact, a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by to Cumbria Police recently revealed a staggering 40 reported sightings of a large black panther or leopard since 2003.

A terrifying giant black panther dubbed the ‘Beast of Cumbria’ is feared to be stalking the hills and beauty spots of the Lake District.

In 2018, a man captured an image of what he thought was the notorious beast.

Roy Jackson was convinced it is the big cat that numerous people have reported spotting in the area in recent years.

He set up an infra-red motion-activated camera after an encounter as he walked his dog using a torch to pick his way in the dark.

He said: “It was unmistakably a big cat – it was enormous. It was a short distance from me, about 30 to 40 yards.

“I could tell it wasn’t a dog or a domestic cat.”

The British Big Cat Society attributes the Beast of Cumbria to big cats being sold as pets until the mid-1970s.