"I thought I was hallucinating!" Is this the latest Doncaster big cat sighting?
Rumours of a huge black panther prowling the fields of Doncaster have resurfaced after a fresh big cat sighting in the area.
There have been numerous reports of a mystery beast stalking farmland and countryside across Doncaster for a number of years, with the latest sighting coming last weekend in the Thorne area.
Posting on Facebook, a female dog walker wrote: “I was walking my dog yesterday evening out on Moor Edges Road and I saw what looked like a big cat.
"When I say big, I mean staffie sized in height. It was in one of the fields that backs on to the wind farms and was chasing something. Has anyone else seen anything like this?”
Others were quick to respond with similar sightings and the poster added: “The tail was very thin and its movements were slinky, like cats. I could only see a silhouette from the side view.”
When another commented she’d also seen a big cat in the area she replied: “Thank God it's not just me. I thought I was hallucinating!”
"I never expected to see that though, but it wasn’t slightest bit interested in me and the dog. It had its eyes set on whatever it was chasing.
"It was chasing rabbits or something – it was moving fast.”
Another commented: “There used to be a story about a big cat on the moors."
And another added: “Not something I talk about but I saw a big black cat while driving off the M18 onto the M180 down in the field at the side of Thorne Golf Course.
"No I’m not mad, I’m a farmers daughter so I’m used to the size of animals both up close and far away, I’ve bred both working labradors and lurchers and it was neither. It was a large cat.”
Another commented: “My hubby thought he saw a lynx down there, so it's possible you’re right.”
Earlier this year, footage emerged of a mystery animal in fields near Armthorpe, sparking fears of an animal on the loose.
The clip showed a large, black animal stealthily moving through fields on the outskirts of the village in February.
It is the latest in a number of big cat sightings in the Doncaster area in recent years.
In 2019, mum Jessica Clark spotted a huge 5ft black cat in fields near to the town’s Keepmoat Stadium.
“When I realised what I’d seen, I just started panicking. It was massive and very muscular and definitely a big cat. It was quite frightening to see something like that up close,” she said.
In January 2017, Alan Tomlinson said he had seen a ‘panther’ near to junction one of the M180, close to Doncaster services.
He said: “I’ve been doing this job for eight years, and have been driving since 1982 and I’ve seen foxes and things like that but I've never seen anything like that before. It was much, much bigger than any animal I've ever driven past.
“I only saw the back of it,but I knew it was a puma or a panther when I saw the size of its tale which was curled right round. That's how I knew it was a panther.
Meanwhile, later the same year, trucker Graham Byram said he saw a trio of highways workers struggling to lift a huge dead animal into the back of a truck on the A1 near Harworth.
Stories of big cats go back to the 1960s and 70s when it was legal to keep exotic animals as pets.
But in 1976 the government introduced the Dangerous Wild Animals Act and while many owners gave their pets to zoos, rumours started that some people released their animals into the wild where their offspring still roam to this day.