‘ Cuddly cat toy’ sparks panther speculation
Alarge cuddly toy left on a grass bank triggered concerns that a black cat might have been on the loose in Peterborough. Eagle- eyed reader Marc Peacock- Smith contacted the PT after spotting what looked like the outline of a black pantherlike creatrure lying on a grass verge outside ThorpeWoodpolice station in Longthorpe.
MrPeacock- Smith, whohad been on his way to work at the time stopped to take a picture of thefigure, whichhethensent tothePTforfurtherinspection.
Hesaid: “I wasdriving along to drop my son off at nursery whenIsawwhatlookedlikethe biggest black cat or panther sat on a verge right outside the police station.
“I stopped my car for a few secondssoIcouldtakeapicture onmymobilephone, I didn’t get out of my car and I must have beenabout10metresorsoaway fromit. It just sat there. I’m sure other people saw it too.
“My reaction was intrigue more than anything, I j ust thought it was really odd.”
H o w e v e r , i t looks likely that object may have been a ‘ life- size’ child’s cuddly toy.
A spokesman f or Cambridgeshire Police said officers had received a call on Monday afternoon from someone reporting a Puma walking along a grass verge in Thorpe Road, Longthorpe.
However, the spokesman added that a very large stuffed toy cat had been seen in the same area earlier the same day.
Daniel Bamping, founder of the British Big Cats Society, viewed the picture for the PT, and said: “This looks to me like a large cuddly toy.”
The sighting rekindled speculation about the mythical ‘ Beast of Bretton’ a large black cat reputedly sighted in thecityenvirons- mostrecently spottedonafootpathinMallard Road, Bretton, by Royal Mail worker Cl i ve Williams in August 2011.
Mr Bamping added: “There are hundreds, if not thousands of big cat sightings reported in Britain every year – some people are mistaken. Some are clearly not big cats but a large majority either are or go unexplained.”
He said sightings are widespreadandoccurineverycounty, fuelledpartlybythefactsuch “bigcats” areabletocover25km to35kminonenightinsearchof shelter, food or a mate.
The photograph of a ‘ mysterious’ black cat taken by Marc Peacock- Smith – believed to be a life- size toy.