Big cat seen again
ANOTHER big cat is on the prowl in Ashford, according to Neil Arnold of Kent Big Cat Research. A mother and daughter allegedly saw a black leopard walking around the car park of Eureka Park in Ashford last Wednesday.
ANOTHER big cat is on the prowl in Ashford, according to Neil Arnold of Kent Big Cat Research.
A mother and daughter allegedly saw a black leopard walking around the car park of Eureka Park in Ashford last Wednesday.
It was the second time the pair claim to have seen a big cat at the Ashford entertainment complex in the past year – their first sighting was last July.
Mr Arnold said a woman, known only as Mrs Barnes, had been sitting with her daughter eating a takeaway when a colliedog sized black cat emerged from between two parked vehicles.
“Mrs Barnes’ daughter then got out of her car to dispose of some litter when suddenly the black cat strolled passed a few metres away,” he said.
“It peered at the woman, who noticed its big, green eyes and then casually went for a stroll around the deserted car park.”
He said Mrs Barnes also got out of the car and the pair followed the cat around for the next 20 minutes, keeping a safe distance.
“At one point it sat in a bush and curled up before moving on, and Mrs Barnes’ daugh- ter snapped a picture with her phone but the image was too blurry,” he added.
Mr Arnold said he was told it was a smaller creature than the one spotted last summer and had a very long, curved tail.
“It’s extremely likely that this particular black leopard is offspring of the larger cat the mother and daughter saw previously in the area,” he said.
Another sighting was recorded a few weeks back when two black leopards were seen together in the Woodchurch area.
Mr Arnold has monitored sightings of big cats in Kent for the past 17 years, working with zoologists.
The 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act meant people would be charged huge fees for keeping big cats. Zoos became full to capacity with people looking to get rid of their pets, and so it is believed many creatures were released into the wild.
Anyone who sees a big cat can call Neil Arnold on 01634 302572.
Neil Arnold who has been keeping track of the big cats
There have been several reported sightings of a black leopard like this one