Riddle of 'black panther' found dead on Doncaster motorway is solved

A black panther.
A black panther.

The mystery surrounding a 'black panther' that was found dead on a Doncaster motorway has been solved.

The carcass of a "huge, big cat" was pulled from the central reservation on the A1 near Doncaster yesterday morning, according to a lorry driver who witnessed the scene.

But now road chiefs have solved the mystery - by revealing that the animal was actually a DOG.

Trucker Graham Byram witnessed a trio of highway maintenance workers struggling to remove the body of the animal, which was found on the northbound carriageway in the Harworth area at around 11.15am yesterday.

Mr Byram said: "I'm not one for being dramatic, but what those workers were removing was definitely something more than a domestic cat.

"One guy was moving it and one end was up above his waist and the other end was right down by the floor. It was definitely cat like - I have my own domestic cats so could tell instantly.

"It looked like a big cat of some kind to me, a bit like a black panther."

Mr Byram, a self-employed lorry driver, was travelling from Cambridgeshire to Hull when he spotted the incident unfolding on the A1 northbound about ten miles south of the junction with the M18.

He said: "These guys were in the southbound carriageway. I could see they were removing something that was in the central reservation.

"As I got closer, I could see it was a dead animal and then I realised it was a cat of some kind. It was far bigger than any cat I have ever seen.

"It was huge. All I can assume that it was hunting for animals in the dead of night and ended up being hit by a truck or something."

Mr Byram, who comes from Peterborough, says he was travelling at about 35mph to 40mph when he saw the incident and estimates that he watched the workers for about 30-40 seconds.

"I had to do a bit of a double take when I saw what they were moving," added Mr Byram, 57.

"I'd say it was about ten times the size of a domestic cat. I'd love to know if anyone else saw it and would love to know the story around what they found."

But a Highways Agency official said the animal recovered was actually a canine.

A spokesman said: "We recovered a black dog from the layby in the area yesterday morning."